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Young Hyacinth star Kerry saddened by Routledge remarks

Published 23/08/2016

Kerry Howard is to play a young Hyacinth Bucket in a prequel to Keeping Up Appearances
Kerry Howard is to play a young Hyacinth Bucket in a prequel to Keeping Up Appearances

Kerry Howard, the actress who plays a young Hyacinth Bucket in the Keeping Up Appearances prequel, has described Patricia Routledge's response to the new drama as "sad".

Young Hyacinth is one of the comedies announced for the BBC's landmark sitcom season, with the corporation revisiting much-loved classics such as Are You Being Served? and Porridge.

The one-off episode is set before Hyacinth married long-suffering Richard and becomes a suburban snob. It sees her as a young woman living in poverty in a gloomy house in the 1950s with her drunken father and three sisters.

Earlier this year, Routledge suggested that she was unimpressed with the idea of the corporation revisiting some of Britain's best-loved TV series.

"Why are they doing this sort of thing?" the actress, 87, was quoted as saying. "They must be desperate.

"Nothing to do with me. Let them get on with it.... Remind me to switch off, please."

Howard, who plays the young Hyacinth, told Radio Times magazine that she had grown up watching Routledge and was disappointed by her reaction.

"Oh, it's so sad, isn't it?," she said.

"She was scathing about the whole project. Not just specifically our show. I think she should be incredibly flattered that the BBC are paying homage to all these great shows.

"They were all massive hits and the BBC is celebrating its history. And I think that's kind of cool."

Howard, who is the sister of the comedian Russell Howard, added: "We are not recreating her show.

"We're going backwards and explaining her character. She doesn't know that. I think that's why she responded like that - because she was thinking some other actress is going to come along and play her part.

"But it's not that at all. There's no way she could come back and play young Hyacinth!"

The Him & Her actress, 34, added: "I grew up watching Hyacinth. Every Sunday night, we'd watch Keeping Up Appearances and then I'd spend the next week doing impressions of her to my mum in the kitchen. So when this came up, I thought: I have to play this role. I am her."

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