|Age||1990-1995 - 54-59|
|Portrayed by||Clive Swift|
|Nieces and Nephews||Stephanie (Niece)|
|Other Relatives||Daisy (Sister-in-law), Rose (Sister-in-law), Violet (Sister-in-law), Onslow (Brother-in-law), Bruce (Brother-in-law), Daddy (Father-in-law)|
|First Appearance||Daddy's Accident|
|Last Appearance||The Pageant|
Richard Bucket is a fictional character played by Clive Swift in the British comedy TV series Keeping Up Appearances, which was aired from 1990 to 1995.
He is the calm, tolerant and long-suffering husband of social climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket, who insists their surname is pronounced "Bouquet". Unlike Hyacinth, Richard is content to live a normal life and does not aspire to mingle with the aristocracy. As pointed out in the BBC documentary series Comedy Connections, he is a foil to exploit Hyacinth's personality to the worst advantage, and after Hyacinth has behaved in a particularly snobbish fashion, Richard will mutter a dry, acerbic remark, that provides some of the show’s humour. He pronounces his last name as it is spelled (and as everyone else but Hyacinth pronounces it): "Bucket" (He insists on this in Riparian Entertainments).
Unlike Hyacinth, Richard is fond of brother-in-law Onslow and sisters-in-law Daisy and Rose, and prefers their company to Hyacinth's other, but wealthier sister Violet's (this is stated in the last episode of series one, where Richard complains how Violet is "always moaning" in contrast to Onslow's and Daisy's cheerfulness). Unlike Hyacinth, Richard accepts Onslow and company as members of the family, not caring about their lower-class status, and he often tries to portray them positively to Hyacinth. In the fifth episode of series one, Richard says to Hyacinth: "You've got to admire Onslow's relaxed attitude to life". Onslow sympathises with Richard (who he calls "Dickie"), knowing he is at Hyacinth's beck and call day and night. He tries to rescue him on one occasion in series three, taking him to a pub where they play pool together, and enjoy a round or two of beers. Other characters in the sitcom also sympathise with Richard, and wonder how he puts up with Hyacinth; neighbour Emett frequently asks sister Liz, a longtime friend of the couple, "How does he live with her?".
At the beginning of series three, Richard is forced to take early retirement from his position as a local government official (he answers the phone, "Finance and general purposes" but other than that we do not know his title). Some of his colleagues say how lucky he is, until they remember he will have to spend his retired life with Hyacinth. Richard loves Hyacinth dearly, despite her faults, but cannot clearly explain her finer qualities to his dumbstruck friends. He favourably describes living with Hyacinth as being like his time in the Army, when every day everything was planned out for him and he never had to make any decisions (to which the vicar remarked, "But in the Army, they only sign up for thirty years!"). He does not appear to be particularly unhappy living with Hyacinth: as Patricia Routledge pointed out in the Comedy Connections series, she keeps a good table, and irons his clothes (something that a lot of men like). However, on one occasion, he did manage to stand up for himself and yell at Hyacinth when she was being obnoxious about using a public phone box (which someone else was using) and didn't feel that she had to wait. Richard firmly ordered her back to the car, which astonished Hyacinth; Liz looked at him in admiration; and he earned a compliment from the man using the phone box for his courage.
Richard and Hyacinth also have a son called Sheridan, and with his materialistic wife and their equally self-absorbed son (who is never seen on camera), Richard frequently has an empty wallet. Richard and Sheridan clearly are not close—Richard is almost never seen talking to him on the telephone, and often voices his displeasure to Hyacinth when their son does call, usually due to his belief that Sheridan is calling only for money (a fact that is clear to nearly everyone but Hyacinth, who can believe no wrong of his dear boy). Richard does have concerns for Sheridan, however, and has the idea that Sheridan may be homosexual.
Richard drives a light blue metallic 1987 Rover 216S, a conventional, slightly upmarket family saloon which fits in well with Hyacinth's pretentious image. (He is very careful to clean and polish the exterior whenever he must chauffeur Hyacinth anywhere, as she is extremely meticulous about their image and would never venture into public in a slightly tarnished vehicle.)
According to the book Hyacinth Bucket's Hectic Social Calendar, Richard's birthday is November 26th, and his and Hyacinth's wedding anniversary is December 16th.