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Clive Walter Swift (born 9 February 1936) is an English actor and songwriter. He is best known for his role as Richard Bucket in the British television series Keeping Up Appearances, but has played many other notable film and television roles, including that of Roy in the British television series The Old Guys.

Clive Swift
Birth nameClive Walter Swift
Born (1936-02-09) 9 February 1936 (age 82)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Years active1965–present
SpouseMargaret Drabble (1960–75) (divorced)
ChildrenRebecca Swift
Adam Swift
Joe Swift


Life and careerEdit

Swift was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, the son of Lily Rebecca (née Greenman) and Abram Sampson Swift.[1] His elder brother, David, was also an actor. Both were educated at Clifton College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where Clive read English literature. He was previously a teacher at LAMDA and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His family were Jewish.[2]

During the 1970s, he appeared as Doctor Black in two of the BBC's M.R. James adaptations: The Stalls of Barchester and A Warning to the Curious. He is best known for his role on Keeping Up Appearances as Richard Bucket, the long-suffering husband of Hyacinth. Swift starred in the BBC adaptation of The Barchester Chronicles and appeared in the Doctor Who story Revelation of the Daleks. On 25 December 2007, he appeared in a Doctor Who Christmas special as Mr Copper. He also played Sir Ector, the adoptive father of King Arthur in John Boorman's 1981 film Excalibur.

Swift was formerly married to novelist Margaret Drabble (1960–75).[3] He is the father of one daughter, Rebecca (who died in April 2017), known for running The Literary Consultancy in London, and two sons, Adam Swift, an academic, and Joe Swift, a TV gardener.[4]

In addition to acting, he is a songwriter. Many of his songs are included in his show, Richard Bucket Overflows: An Audience with Clive Swift, which toured the UK in 2007 and Clive Swift Entertains, performing his own music and lyrics, which toured the UK in 2009. He also played the part of the Reverend Eustacius Brewer in Born and Bred, which aired on BBC 1 from 2002 to 2005.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1965 Catch Us If You Can Duffie
1968 A Midsummer Night's Dream Snug
1972 Death Line Inspector Richardson
1972 Frenzy Johnny Porter
1973 Man at the Top Massey
1973 The National Health Ash
1978 The Sailor's Return Reverend Pottock
1981 Excalibur Ector
1984 Memed My Hawk
1984 A Passage to India Major Callendar
1988 Young Toscanini Comparsa uncredited
1997 Gaston's War General James
2003 Vacuums AJ Johnson
2004 Othello


Year Title Role Notes
1971 The Stalls of Barchester Dr. Black
1972 The Liver Birds Jim Royle 1 episode
1972 Dead of Night Dan
1972 A Warning to the Curious Dr. Black
1976 Romeo and Juliet Friar Lawrence
1978 Bless Me, Father Fred Dobie
1979 Henry IV Part One Thomas Percy,

Earl of Worcester

1981 Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years Sir Horace Wilson
1982 Tales of the Unexpected Latham 1 episode
1982 Barchester Chronicles Bishop Proudie
1985 The Pickwick Papers Tracy Tupman
1985 Doctor Who Professor Jobel Revelation of the Daleks
1986 First Among Equals Alec Pimkin
1987 Inspector Morse Doctor Bartlett
1987 Pack of Lies Ellis
1990-95 Keeping Up Appearances Richard Bucket Main Role
1993 Heartbeat Victor Kellerman
1994 Woof! Alex Pardoe
1998 Peak Practice Norman Shorthose
1999 Aristocrats King George II
2002-05 Born and Bred Reverend Eustacius Brewer
2007 Doctor Who Mr. Copper Voyage of the Damned
2009-10 The Old Guys Roy
2011 Hustle Yusef
2017 Midsomer Murders[5] Felix Hope


  • Oblomov as the Doctor
  • The Right Time
  • From Fact to Fiction – The Orchard as the Narrator
  • Measure for Measure as Escalus
  • Jorrocks's Jaunts and Jollities as Nash
  • The Price of Fear – Remains to be Seen as Fred Treiber


1963 The Physicists. Aldwych Theatre. Played Inspector Richard Voss.


  1. ^ Clive Swift profile,; accessed 12 October 2016.
  2. ^ Margaret Drabble (20 April 2010). "Art Thou Contented, Jew?". Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  3. ^ Sadler, Lynn Veach (1986). Margaret Drabble. Twayne Publishers. ISBN 978-0-8057-6907-4. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  4. ^ Silgardo, Melanie (25 April 2017). "Rebecca Swift obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Crime and Punishment - Guest Cast | TVmaze". Retrieved 2017-04-08.

External linksEdit