Patricia Routledge talks Hyacinth, KUA and comedy 101


As the great Patricia Routledge inches closer to her 83rd birthday on Friday, 17 February, I’m reminded of a point in time in the late 1990’s that we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview Ms. Routledge for a salute to British comedy program for broadcast on public television in the States. For weeks before the interview, we had either heard unsubstantiated stories or imagined that she was exactly like her character, Hyacinth Bucket.

Days before the interview, we had several phone calls with her to briefly discuss our line of questioning but mostly to give us both time to become comfortable with each other prior to the interview. When the day came for the interview, because of extensive preparation on both ends, it was like interviewing your favorite aunt or a close friend. We came away feeling like we had just been schooled, in an extremely positive way, in Comedy 101.

Along the way, Ms. Routledge discussed her thoughts about Hyacinth, how she felt when she heard that Clive Swift had been cast as her hapless husband, Richard, and talked about the importance of physical comedy and how Lucille Ball was ‘a goddess’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGdTxAPpShg&

It was several years later when we had the great good fortune to interview Ms. Routledge once again for the PBS special, Funny Ladies of British Comedy. It was like getting to visit your favorite aunt all over again. We treasured every moment.

So, a very happy 83rd, Patricia Routledge. Thanks for sharing 2+ hours out of your 83 years with us and with public television.

  • Paul W

    We don’t see her on TV any more or hear her on the radio. I miss her from the radio version of Ladies of Letters.

  • Paul W

    We don’t see her on TV any more or hear her on the radio. I miss her from the radio version of Ladies of Letters.

  • jt

    Ms. Routledge is indeed a very talented woman.  I was stunned to learn some years ago that in addition to being a superb comedienne (Lucy would have been very proud, perhaps even slightly jealous!), Ms. Routledge, unlike Hyacinth, has a very beautiful singing voice.  She also reads poetry wonderfully.  She is very special indeed, and I will always be grateful that her lifetime on this little blue planet overlapped my own.  I felt the same way about Lucy.  No matter what else happens in this world, I feel blessed that Ms. Routledge, and others, have been there to make me laugh.  Happy Birthday!!! :  )

    Bill, can we not bring her to visit us in North Texas for the next big pledge drive?  That would be FAB!  :  )

  • jt

    Ms. Routledge is indeed a very talented woman.  I was stunned to learn some years ago that in addition to being a superb comedienne (Lucy would have been very proud, perhaps even slightly jealous!), Ms. Routledge, unlike Hyacinth, has a very beautiful singing voice.  She also reads poetry wonderfully.  She is very special indeed, and I will always be grateful that her lifetime on this little blue planet overlapped my own.  I felt the same way about Lucy.  No matter what else happens in this world, I feel blessed that Ms. Routledge, and others, have been there to make me laugh.  Happy Birthday!!! :  )

    Bill, can we not bring her to visit us in North Texas for the next big pledge drive?  That would be FAB!  :  )

  • Cora

    Happy Birthday to Ms. Routledge

  • Cora

    Happy Birthday to Ms. Routledge

  • RV60

    Ms. Routledge, Here it is October, Belated Birthday Wishes. Wish we could get you here in Los Angeles, health permitting, on KCET, Public Broadcasting System. Loved Hyacinth and Hetty!

  • Happy belated Delivery day Ms. Routledge! You are the same age as my mum!! (her b-day was in Jan)