Keeping Up Appearances ‘is given a viewer warning for offensive language after the iconic sitcom featured jokes poking fun at Polish migrants’
- The family sitcom starred Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth and Clive Swift as Richard and originally aired from 1990 to 1995
- It’s reported that the show has received a viewer warning for its release on streaming service BritBox, warning viewers of offensive language
- One episode featured a joke where the character Hyacinth tells her husband Richard that a man is as ‘quent as a £4 note’
- Additionally, in another episode, many of the show’s characters make jokes about a Polish person’s right to live in the UK
- BritBox has now reportedly added a disclaimer warning viewers that the series ‘contains language and attitudes of the era that may offend’
- Numerous comedies have also faced calls to be removed from broadcast and streaming, including Little Britain and Gavin and Stacey
Keeping Up Appearances has reported been given a viewer discretion warning for its release on the streaming service BritBox.
The family sitcom – which starred Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth and Clive Swift as her husband Richard – featured several jokes that appeared to have anti-immigration connotations.
It comes after another light-hearted comedy, The Good Life was also given a viewer disclaimer for offensive racial imagery, after featuring a historic logo that has since been banned.
In one episode Hyacinth and her husband visit her sister in the country and encounter a well-spoken man.
Hyacinth then tells her husband that the stranger is ‘quent’, meaning eloquent, and ‘quent as a £4 note’
In another episode, many of the show’s characters make jokes about a Polish person where they interrogate his right to be living in the UK.
As a result, Britbox has now added a disclaimer warning viewers that the series ‘contains language and attitudes of the era that may offend’, the Daily Star reports.
The ITV and BBC streaming service said: ‘We review and refresh BritBox’s programme catalogue on an ongoing basis.
‘Programming on the service that contains potentially sensitive language or attitudes of their era has carried appropriate warnings since our launch in November 2019, to ensure the right guidance is in place for viewers who are choosing to watch on demand.’
MailOnline has contacted BritBox for further comment.
The BBC show ran for five series, between 1990 and 1995 and starred Dame Patricia Routledge as an uppity social climber, Hyacinth Bucket.
Created and written by Roy Clarke, Keeping Up Appearances followed Hyacinth as she tried to climb the slippery rungs of the social ladder and become, what she considered, upper class.
But her attempts were constantly thwarted by her downtrodden husband Richard and her lower-class extended family, who she goes to great lengths to hide.
Other cast members also included Josephine Tewson as Elizabeth, Geoffrey Hughes as Onslow, Judy Cornwell as Daisy, Mary Millar as Rose and David Griffin as Emmet.
It comes after the 1970s show The Good Life was given a viewer discretion warning last week.
Episode four of the light-hearted comedy – which starred the late Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal and Penelope Keith – featured a scene in which Penelope’s character Margo wore an apron featuring Robertson’s jam since-banned Golly badge.
BritBox has now added a disclaimer warning viewers that the episode ‘contains offensive racial imagery’, The Sun reports.
The series’ fourth episode is titled Away From It All.
As Margo prepared food in the kitchen during one of the last scenes she clearly wore the apron strapped across her front.
MailOnline has reached out to BritBox for comment.
The BBC show ran for four series, between 1975 and 1978, and made household names of Richard, Felicity, Penelope and Paul Eddington.
Created by writers John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, The Good Life followed disillusioned designer Tom Good who, with the help of his wife Barbara, abandoned a corporate lifestyle.
The couple turned their suburban home and garden(in Surbiton, Surrey into a smallholding with livestock and vegetables, though wringing a chicken’s neck wasn’t up their street.
Tom and Barbara were played by Richard and Felicity, with Penelope and Paul as their snooty neighbours Margo and Jerry Leadbetter.
Robertson’s jam was axed in 2008 after becoming a symbol of controversy for its use of the Golly character.
The character became a figure of controversy in the Sixties, after critics highlighted that the image was an offensive caricature of black people.
In 1983 the Greater London Council stopped buying the firm’s jam and marmalade.
Could the axe swing on more of Britain’s favourite comedies?
League of Gentlemen
Steve Pemberton and Mark Gattis’ BBC comedy features a character called Papa Lazarou – a blacked-up ringmaster who calls everybody Dave. He collects spouses by forcing his way into women’s homes posing as a humble peg-seller, then talks gibberish at them until they hand over their wedding rings, at which point he says: ‘You’re my wife now!’ League of Gentlemen is still available to watch on both Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Comedian Leigh Francis tearfully apologised for impersonating black stars such as Craig David, Trisha Goddard and Michael Jackson on his programme. Talk show host Trisha said it ’emboldoned a lot of casual racism’ while popstar David insists it ruined his life. Bo’ Selecta is no longer on All 4 but remains on Prime Video.
Hank Azaria announced earlier this year he will no longer voice Indian immigrant and Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu on The Simpsons after 30 years. The South Asian character has come under fire for perpetuating racial stereotypes. The Simpsons is broadcast regularly on Channel 4 and can be streamed on Disney+.
Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry and Paul
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse faced criticism in their sketch series for their depiction of Nelson Mandela appearing on adverts selling various narcotics and promoting shoplifting.
The character of Rupert Rigsby has also been criticised, but creator Eric Chappell defended him by saying he ‘was not a racist or a bigot, but he was prejudiced and suspicious of strangers’. There were also jokes about Leonard Rossiter’s character having a black medical student as a tenant. Rising Damp is still available to watch via Prime and ITV Hub.
Channel 4’s show about prank calling often featured accents from ethnic minorities. Star Kayvan Novak previously said: ‘There’s a weird thing going on at the moment where the more extreme politics and people’s opinions get, the more it seems that comedy on TV is all about playing safe and not offending anyone, when it needs to hold up a mirror and go ‘this is what’s going on now’.’
Only Fools and Horses
Even perhaps Britain’s most beloved sitcom of all time has had to edit old episodes to remove politically incorrect dialogue, such as an episode where Del told a child to ‘pop down to the P**i shop’ – a line no longer broadcast in repeats.
The Two Ronnies
Another one of the nation’s all-time favourites. Many have felt uncomfortable about a sketch titled ‘The Sheikh in the Grocery Store’, which features Ronnie Corbett wearing dark makeup and an Arabic keffiyeh, mispronouncing the names of items on his shopping list. The Archway School in Gloucestershire had to apologise for showing the clip to parents after complaints were made.
Fantasy Football League
Ex-Nottingham Forest star Jason Lee, who was often a target of ridicule on the 90s show, said David Baddiel’s depiction of him was ‘a form of bullying’.
The Mighty Boosh