Penelope Keith
Actress, gardener; High Sheriff of Surrey
Penelope Keith
Penelope Anne Constance Keith, CBE, DL is an English actress. Having started her television career in the 1950s, Penelope Keith became a household name in the United Kingdom in the 1970s when she played Margo Leadbetter in the sitcom The Good Life. This role earned Keith her first of two BAFTAs, the second being in 1978 for The Norman Conquests.
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Penelope Keith's personal information overview.
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News
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DUNCAN BARKES So-called celebs take the shine off star status
Bognor Regis Observer - almost 5 years
Comedian, actor and former addict Russell Brand addressed a group of MPs on the subject of addiction last week. He turned up in ripped clothing and enough bling to satisfy the keenest Elizabeth Duke devotee. He looked a mess. But it wasn’t just sartorial elegance that he lacked. Despite his celebrity status he was missing something that today has virtually disappeared: star quality. Where have all the stars gone? All we have now, mainly, are hundreds of so-called celebrities who have become famous (or infamous) as a result of sordid behaviour or, at best, for doing very little of any note. These days you can be tagged a ‘celebrity’ for behaviour that only a few years ago would be classed as utterly shameful. We now have ‘celebrities’ whose only claim to fame is to have bedded a premiership footballer. To become famous nowadays you simply need to appear on some dreadfully contrived reality TV programme and demonstrate your low IQ or general ignorance, or be generally obnoxious and u ...
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Bognor Regis Observer article
What’s On for Tuesday May 1, 2012
The News - almost 5 years
A guide to what’s on in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and the rest of south east Hampshire. TODAY DANCING PORTSMOUTH, Admiral Lord Nelson School, Dundas Lane. 7:30pm - 10:00pm. H.A.B.D.A Ballroom and Latin Practice. Social evening, amateur club, all couples welcomed. Please bring your own refreshments. Admission £2. (023) 9235 7689. EVENTS EMSWORTH, South Street Centre. 7.30pm. Portsdown Camcorder User’s Club. Subject: Video making with green or blue screen. The PCUC is a friendly club for anybody interested in video making or editing. New members are welcome. (023) 9226 3003, (01243) 374473. HORNDEAN, The Archery Field by Cadlington House, Blendworth Lane. Forest of Bere Bowmen Beginners’ Archery Course. All equipment provided. Further details from (023) 9259 5738 or email fobbcommittee@yahoo.co.uk PORTSMOUTH, St Cuthbert’s Centre, Hayling Avenue, Copnor. 9.15am-12.15pm. Coffee and Chat/ Cake and Crafts/ Light Lunches. Plus stories and songs for tot ...
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The News article
What’s On for Monday April 30, 2012
The News - almost 5 years
A guide to what’s on in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and the rest of south east Hampshire. TODAY DANCING COSHAM, Cosham Community Centre, Wootton Street. 7.30pm-10pm. M&M Modern Sequence Dance Club. All welcome to this modern sequence club. (023) 9298 8550. WICKHAM, Community Centre, Mill Lane. 1:30-4:30pm. Monday Tea Dance. . Admission £4. (023) 9273 3393, 07980 058 310, ballroomrazzmatazz.co.uk. EVENTS GOSPORT, Discovery Centre, High Street. 5-6pm. French Language Cafe. Looking for an informal way to improve your language skills - No need to be fluent but no absolute beginners please. Admission free. (023) 9252 3463. HORNDEAN, The Archery Field by Cadlington House, Blendworth Lane. Forest of Bere Bowmen Beginners’ Archery Course. All equipment provided. Further details from (023) 9259 5738 or email fobbcommittee@yahoo.co.uk PORTSMOUTH, Fratton Community Centre, Trafalgar Place (off Clive Road). 10.30am-midday. New Age Kurling. F ...
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The News article
What’s On for Friday April 27, 2012
The News - almost 5 years
A guide to what’s on in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and the rest of south east Hampshire. TODAY CLUBBING SOUTHSEA, Wedgewood Rooms, Albert Road. 10pm-3am. Ram: Breakneck // Concrete // Subliminal. Main room (drum n bass/ dubstep/ house): Wilkinson; The Others; Charge; plus Concrete DJS. Edge of the Wedge hosted by Subliminal. Admission £8. (023) 9286 3911. CONCERTS PORTSMOUTH, Guildhall, Guildhall Square. 7.30pm. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in concert. Performing works by Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky. Conductor: Kirill Karabits. Soloist: Truls Mørk (cello). Pre-concert talk at 6.40pm. Admission £13-£23. (023) 9282 4355, portsmouthguildhall.org.uk. DANCING PORTSMOUTH, Buckland Community Centre, Malins Road. 1.30pm-4pm. Tea Dance. Ballroom and sequence with music provided by Brenda &W Sounds. Admission £2.50. (023) 9242 5331. EVENTS GOSPORT, Discovery Centre, High Street. 10.30am-1:00pm. Art Club. Whether you’re a beginner or an ol ...
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The News article
The Way Of The World (review)
Hemel Today - almost 5 years
WHAT a tangled web lovers of all ages weave in William Congreve’s witty restoration comedy, The Way of the World, which has just opened in rep at the Chichester Festival Theatre. The shenanigans of the fops and powdered gentry of Georgian society are breathlessly presented by plotters of both sexes bent on finding love and the inevitable purse that goes with it. Two men-about-town – the fashionable and unfaithful Fainall – and the likeable Mirabell – meet in a trendy chocolate house to work out a game plan to enable the latter to win the woman of his dreams without her being deprived of her fortune. The first act can leave you reeling as you try to unravel the story, which initially seems unduly complex, and it helps to have a handle on the social graces of the eighteenth century. It isn’t until the arrival of the grande dame, Penelope Keith, as Mirabell’s prospective mother-in-law, Lady Wishfort, that the dialogue begins to sparkle with humour. Keith has lost none of her bite, ho ...
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Hemel Today article
Review: The Way of the World by William Congreve at Chichester Festival Theatre
Crawley Observer - almost 5 years
IN THE context of the social and political revolution in which it was born in 1700, The Way of the World is a technical masterpiece and linguistically brilliant. It reflects, with great subtlety and observation the changing England – not least the role of women and the contrast between town and country. There is a huge moral dimension to it, too, encapsulating the evolving mood of a nation. But, despite its technical strengths, the public did not care much for it then – and 312 years later despite the generosity of time it has improved little. This latest productions is rich in costume and design, but despite the best efforts of the cast it is crashingly dull. It is simply not enough for a play to be worthy; and this one is a very poor opener to the 50th anniversary year in the main Festival Theatre house. The plot is needlessly complex. On the surface, it focuses on two lovers Mirabell and Millamant who must receive the blessing of Millamant’s aunt, Lady Wishfort, in order to s ...
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Crawley Observer article
What’s On for Thursday April 19, 2012
The News - almost 5 years
A guide to what’s on in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and the rest of south east Hampshire. TODAY EVENTS GOSPORT, Discovery Centre, High Street. 5-6pm. Spanish Language Cafe. Looking for an informal way to improve your language skills - No need to be fluent but no absolute beginners please. Admission free. (023) 9252 3463. HAVANT, meet outside The Spring, East Street. 7pm. Evening cycle ride to Westbourne, White Horse. Organised by the Portsmouth CTC. All welcome. ctcportsmouth.hampshire.org.uk. PORTSMOUTH, Fratton Community Centre, Trafalgar Place (off Clive Road). 2pm-4pm. Friendship Group. Friendship Club for the over 50s. Different activity each week in a friendly group. Admission £2.50. (023) 9278 0500. PORTSMOUTH, St Wilfrid’s Church, George Street. Midday. Charity Lunch. A chance to enjoy a light lunch - the money raised will be used support a local charity. (023) 9229 3020. PORTSMOUTH, Groundlings Theatre at The Old Benny, Curzon Howe Road, Portsea. ...
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The News article
What’s On for Wednesday April 18, 2012
The News - almost 5 years
A guide to what’s on in Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, Waterlooville and the rest of south east Hampshire. TODAY COMEDY FAREHAM, Ashcroft Arts Centre, Osborn Road. 7.30pm. The Boy with Tape on His Face. Mime with noise, stand-up with no talking, drama with no acting. Warning: Comedy often contains strong language and adult themes. Age Guidance: 18-plus. Admission £12.50, concs. (01329) 223100, box office. DANCING CLANFIELD, Memorial Hall, South Lane. 7.30pm-10pm. Sequence Dance. Organised by Clanfield Sequence Dance Club. Visitors and new members welcome. Admission £2.50. (023) 9259 8456. ROGATE, Village Hall. 7.30pm. Scottish Country Dancing. Partner not necessary. New or experienced dancers welcome, as are visitors and new members. Admission £3. (01730) 263008. EVENTS GOSPORT, Discovery Centre, High Street. 10am - 12:30pm. Family History Advice Clinic. Come speak to our experts about reserching your ancestors, no need to book. Admission Free. (023) 9252 3463, hants.g ...
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The News article
Sussex Online TV What’s on around the county
Midhurst And Petworth Observer - almost 5 years
THIS week on Sussex Online TV – Bombay Bicycle Club announce their biggest UK headline tour stopping at The Brighton Centre on Monday, April 16. Plus The Bluebell Railway is running Spring Specials from April 16 to 20 and 23 to 27 with an observation car. And finally the Way of the World is playing at the Festival Theatre from April 13 to May 5, starring Penelope Keith as Lady Wishfort.
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Midhurst And Petworth Observer article
Penelope Keith blasts the youth cult of TV
Daily Mail (UK) - over 5 years
The Good Life sitcom actress has accused TV bosses of killing off family shows through their ‘invidious’ practice of targeting the youth market.
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Daily Mail (UK) article
Box Set Club: The Good Life - The Guardian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The Good Life: Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Paul Eddington and Penelope Keith. Photograph: BBC/PA Perusing the Esmonde and Larbey section of my DVD collection – yes, they have a section – I was genuinely excited to pick out the Good Life box set
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Google News article
Visit the National Canna Collection in Farnborough this Bank Holiday Weekend! - Camberley People
Google News - over 5 years
They did however have the last laugh as the publicity people wanted a shot of Penelope Keith at the show and decided to photograph her standing in amongst the cannas.) Christine and Keith have a wealth of stories to tell about their travels and cannas
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Google News article
Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, marks 100 years of women in aviation - Elmbridge Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
To mark the centenary Brooklands Museum, in Weybridge, held a weekend of activities on August 20 and 21, which were opened by British actress and Brooklands trustee Penelope Keith. Visitors enjoyed speaking to flight professionals, trying out virtual
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Google News article
Class Conflict in the Countryside: 'To the Manor Born: Complete Series Three' - PopMatters
Google News - over 5 years
The plot of To The Manor Born is simple yet ingenious: upper class Audrey fforbes-Hamilton (played by Penelope Keith in a virtual reprise of her Margo Leadbetter character from The Good Life) owns, along with her husband Marton, the rural Grantleigh
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Google News article
Avebury Manor Reborn for TV - Wiltshire Gazette and Herald
Google News - over 5 years
The National Trust, which has owned the property since the early 1990s, has linked up with the BBC to produce To the Manor Reborn, starring actress Penelope Keith, who played the main character in the 1980s sitcom of almost the same name
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Google News article
NOW I'M NOT ONE TO TALK OUT OF TURN BUT… - Express.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
Take the case of Audrey fforbes-Hamilton, played by Penelope Keith in sitcom To The Manor Born. Audrey had fallen on hard times and to detract from that she was always discussing details of Richard DeVere's life (played by Peter Bowles)
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Google News article
Restoration of a manor house to be shown on BBC1 - Christian Davies Antiques (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The four part series is to be called 'To the Manor Reborn' and will be presented by Penelope Keith and Paul Martin. The refurbishment will cover a 500 year period, from Elizabeth I to the start of the Second World War. Work will be carried out by
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Google News article
Literary lineup revealed for Cheltenham - BBC News
Google News - over 5 years
Other popular names making an appearance include Hollywood director John Landis, Terry Wogan, Fern Britton, Penelope Keith and Duncan Bannatyne. The festival takes place in October and tickets go on sale from 15 August. In the comedy arena Frank
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Google News article
Penelope Keith in restoration series - The Sun
Google News - over 5 years
SITCOM actress Penelope Keith is to star in a BBC1 series about the restoration of a country house - called To The Manor Reborn. Four hour-long episodes will see a team of historians, experts and volunteers refurbish a 500-year-old National Trust
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Penelope Keith
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2014
    Age 73
    In the 2014 New Year Honours, she became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to the Arts and to Charity.
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  • 2009
    Age 68
    In 2009 she presented Penelope Keith and the Fast Lady, a one-off documentary for BBC Four about Dorothy Levitt, the Edwardian motoring pioneer She presented the four-part BBC documentary The Manor Reborn in 2011.
    More Details Hide Details Since 2014, she has presented the More4/Channel 4 series Hidden Villages, and in June 2016 she presented Penelope Keith at Her Majesty's Service again for Channel 4.
  • 2007
    Age 66
    In 2007, she starred in a one-off To the Manor Born Christmas Special,
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    In 2007, she played the part of Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest on tour, which transferred to the West End in 2008, at the Vaudeville Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details She has voiced adverts including ones for Pimm's, Lurpak, Tesco and, most famously, The Parker Pen Company, which was named one of the 100 Greatest Adverts in a Channel 4 programme. In 2012, she starred in Keith Waterstone's Good Grief, having previously appeared in the play's premier production in 1998. In 1997, she provided the voice of the narrator for Teletubbies, and also starred in the radio adaptations of To the Manor Born. In 2003, she appeared opposite June Brown in the television film Margery and Gladys.
  • 2004
    Age 63
    In 2004, Keith starred in the first of 5 full-cast BBC radio dramatisations of M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin novels, playing the title role.
    More Details Hide Details Two years later, she appeared at the Chichester Festival in the premiere of Richard Everett's comedy Entertaining Angels, which she later took on tour.
    Keith has regularly appeared on stage, taking the classics and new plays across the country. These include Shakespeare, Shaw, Sheridan, Wilde, Rattigan and Congreve. She played Lorraine in Noël Coward's Star Quality, while in 2004 she played Madame Arcati in Coward's Blithe Spirit at the Savoy Theatre.
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  • 2002
    Age 61
    On 2 April 2002, her 62nd birthday, she began a one-year term as High Sheriff of Surrey, the third woman to hold the post.
    More Details Hide Details She is also a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1998
    Age 57
    She had a featured role in the 1998 ITV serial Coming Home.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1989
    Age 48
    She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1989 New Year Honours, and was promoted to a Commander (CBE) in the 2007 New Year Honours for "charitable services".
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    She succeeded Lord Olivier as president of the Actors' Benevolent Fund after his death in 1989, and was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the arts and to charity.
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  • 1988
    Age 47
    In 1988, she hosted one series of the ITV panel show What's My Line?, following the death of its original presenter, Eamonn Andrews.
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  • 1982
    Age 41
    In 1982 Keith starred in a TV production of Frederick Lonsdale's On Approval.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1978
    Age 37
    In 1978, the year The Good Life ended, she married Rodney Timson, a policeman.
    More Details Hide Details They had met while he was on duty at Chichester Theatre where Keith was performing. Timson, who is four years her junior, had been married twice before. They adopted two children. Keith and Timson live in Milford, Surrey. Keith has a great passion for gardening. In 1984, she had a rose named after her. Penelope Keith has been President of the Actors' Benevolent Fund since 1990, taking over after the death of Lord Olivier, and is president of the South West Surrey National Trust.
    She won a second BAFTA award as 'Best Actress' in 1978 for The Norman Conquests.
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  • 1977
    Age 36
    In 1977, Keith won a BAFTA award for 'Best Comedy Performer' for her role of Margo Leadbetter.
    More Details Hide Details From 1979–81, she played the lead role of Audrey fforbes-Hamilton in the TV series To the Manor Born. Following To the Manor Born, Keith has appeared in six other sitcoms as the main lead: Sweet Sixteen, Moving, Executive Stress, No Job for a Lady, Law and Disorder and Next of Kin. She also had the starring role in a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie's play Spider's Web.
  • 1975
    Age 34
    Penelope Keith achieved popular fame in 1975 when the BBC sitcom The Good Life began.
    More Details Hide Details In the first episode, she was only heard and not seen in her role as Margo Leadbetter, but as the episodes and series went on, the scope of her role increased.
  • 1974
    Age 33
    Her best known theatre appearance, in 1974, was playing Sarah in The Norman Conquests, opposite Richard Briers, her co-star in The Good Life.
    More Details Hide Details Keith and Briers would often film The Good Life during the day and perform on stage in the West End in the evening.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1967
    Age 26
    In 1967, she had a minor role in Carry On Doctor, but the scene was cut from the final edit.
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  • 1963
    Age 22
    She began her career working in repertory theatre across the UK, including Lincoln, Manchester and Salisbury. Keith's earliest appearances were in The Tunnel of Love, Gigi and Flowering Cherry. In 1963, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company both in Stratford and at the Aldwych Theatre in London.
    More Details Hide Details She started her television career in programmes such as The Army Game, Dixon of Dock Green, Wild, Wild Women and The Avengers. In the early 1970s, she appeared in The Morecambe & Wise Show, Ghost Story and The Pallisers. Her film appearances during this time included Every Home Should Have One, Take A Girl Like You, Rentadick and Penny Gold.
    Keith joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963, and went on to win the 1976 Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance for the play Donkeys' Years.
    More Details Hide Details She became a household name in the UK playing Margo Leadbetter in the sitcom The Good Life (1975–78), winning the 1977 BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance. In 1978, she won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for The Norman Conquests. She then starred as Audrey fforbes-Hamilton in the sitcom To the Manor Born (1979–81), a show that received audiences of more than 20 million. She went on to star in another six sitcoms, including Executive Stress (1986–88), No Job for a Lady (1990–92) and Next of Kin (1995–97). Since 2000, she has worked mainly in the theatre, with her roles including Madam Arcati in Blithe Spirit (2004) and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest (2007). Penelope Anne Constance Hatfield was born in Sutton in 1940. Her father, who was a Major by the end of World War II, left her mother Connie when she was a baby, and Keith spent her early years in Clacton-on-Sea and Clapham. Her great uncle, John Gurney Nutting, was a partner in the coachbuilding firm J Gurney Nutting & Co Limited and Keith recalls sitting in the Prince of Wales's car.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1940
    Born
    Born on April 2, 1940.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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