Few actors were as different as the character they’re most associated with than Clive Swift. To the public, he was Richard Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances, the epitome of henpecked, downtrodden middle-of-the-middle class. In real life, he was a Shakespearean actor who wrote letters of complaint to newspapers when they called his alma mater (Clifton College Prep) “a minor public school”.
And rather than the social-climbing Hyacinth, he was married to literary giant Dame Margaret Drabble for 15 years. They had three children, including Joe Swift off the gardening TV shows.
He wasn’t shy either – notoriously ornery, he pilloried an interviewer from Dr Who magazine about his lack of shorthand ability, and was always happy to greet strangers calling him “Richard” with a response of “fuck off”.