22 Aug 2016

Patricia Routledge on Beatrix Potter

From Nine To Noon, 10:06 am on 22 August 2016

Patricia Routledge is perhaps best known as Hyacinth Bucket from the hit BBC comedy Keeping Up Appearances.

Now the award-winning 87 year old actor is making a comeback to our screens – alongside Jemima Puddle-Duck, Peter Rabbit and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.

Patricia Routledge

Patricia Routledge Photo: Supplied

Patricia's first TV documentary Beatrix Potter with Patricia Routledge was partly inspired by the announcement of a rediscovered story by the English writer and illustrator Kitty in Boots, which will be published by Penguin later this year.

She tells Lynn Freeman she would love to have met the 'feisty' Beatrix, but is sure she wouldn't have approved of actresses.

Patricia says that rather than having an 'unhappy' childhood (as many believe) Beatrix's childhood was 'secluded'.

"What she was deprived on in personal affection – particularly from her mother – she made up with imagination. She created her own world."

As a child Beatrix would smuggle animals into the nursery, but she wasn't at all sentimental about them.

“She boiled a rabbit once to see what the bone structure was like.”

Accoridng to Patricia, it is Beatrix's definite and spare writing style that has led to her books aging so well. "She used to say that she would go back to the Bible for a clear, economic narrative style."

Patricia believes that what matters most in any storytelling medium is writing. "Good writing – that’s where it starts."

Image from Peter Rabbit

Photo: Public Domain