Finns in Mourning for TV’s Onslow
The death of one of the stars of 1990s British comedy series Keeping Up Appearances has been met with sadness by Finnish newspaper readers.
Known as Pokka Pitää in Finnish, the sitcom is currently shown almost every evening on Finnish television and is extremely popular here.
The series, which ran between 1990 and 1995, followed the exploits of the social climber and snob Hyacinth Bucket (which she alone insisted was pronounced ‘Bouquet’) and her long-suffering and down-to-earth husband Richard, as middle-class Hyacinth schemed to impress local dignitaries and generally persuade people she was aristocratic. However, her plans often collapsed because of her working-class sisters Daisy and Rose and Daisy’s loveable slob of a husband Onslow.
Geoffrey Hughes, the actor who played Onslow, died on 27th July aged 68 of prostate cancer.
Originally from Liverpool, a city made internationally famous by the Beatles, Hughes played the voice of Paul McCartney in a Beatles cartoon, and appeared in the soap opera Coronation Street as well as the drama series Heartbeat. But he is best known in Finland for his role in Keeping Up Appearances.
He was also Queen Elizabeth’s honorary representative (Lord Lieutenant) on the Isle of Wight, off England’s southern coast, where he lived.
The report of his death in tabloid Ilta-Sanomat on Monday morning has already been shared on Facebook almost 1000 times with 119 people commenting on the article with such remarks as ‘Fine man,’ ‘Not nice’ (in English), and ‘Onslow was the best! May he rest in peace.’
Rival tabloid Iltalehti has also reported the actor’s death and it has provoked lengthy discussion on the forum Suomi 24.
Keeping Up Appearances was written by Roy Clarke, who also penned Last of the Summer Wine (Vielä Virtaa).