Even though the series You Rang, M’Lord? is 32 years old, its leading character, Jeffrey Holland, is still worshipped as a megastar in Hungary. Read below why.
“Jeffrey Holland found fame in Hi-de-Hi back in the 1980s” – Daily Star Sunday reported. However, he became a megastar in Hungary for a later sitcom, You Rank, M’Lord? Mr Holland told the British daily that Hungarians watch the series every day. “For some reason, it has become part of their national culture and they adore the show” – he added.
He receives emails from Hungarian fans every day, and when he made a public appearance in Hungary, the audience went wild.
He told Daily Star that he was amazed by the Hungarians’ reaction. “I’d never heard anything like it. It was like I was Elvis Presley. It was so moving” – he highlighted. “When I came off, I burst into tears because I was so overwhelmed by the love in the room. We were treated like royalty. Then, when I did a show in the West End, about 40 fans from Hungary flew over to see it. They loved every moment” – he said.
Here is how the Hungarian audience welcomed Jeffrey Holland in 2018:
The star said that he made many Hungarian friends after the show.
He considers himself lucky and proud to have been part of that era of the TV comedy. “I often get asked if I get sick of people saying ‘Hi-de-Hi’ to me. But I don’t. I’d be sick if they didn’t! People only say it because they love the show” – the former James Twelvetrees said.
You Rang, M’Lord? was a famous sitcom in the early 90s following the antics of the posh Meldrum family and their servants. The background was London in the 1920s. “It starred Jeffrey Holland, Paul Shane and Su Pollard, and the cast also included Donald Hewlett, Mavis Pugh and Perry Benson. Scripts were penned by the genius writers who brought us Dad’s Army – David Croft and Jimmy Perry” – Daily Star reported.
The Guardian wrote in 2018 that Britain forgot the series, but Hungarian kids still name their pets after the cast. Not surprisingly, in 2018, the show celebrated its 30th anniversary in Budapest instead of London. Even the hotel’s chef, Áron Barka, said he was a fan. “I know it by heart” – he admitted.
Regarding Western series, Enikő Marton, a film director, said that the first arrivals to the Hungarian telly were Brazilian romcoms. Then Dallas came followed by You Rang, M’Lord?, but only the latter stayed.
The You Rang, M’Lord? fan club has 27k followers.
But why is this sitcom so popular in Hungary?
Radio journalist Adrienn Csepelyi believes that the reason is the Communist regime. “From the 50s, we were taught that aristocracy is something we should forget, that good Hungarians work hard all through their lives to build our great socialist country. After the regime change in 1990, most Hungarian people didn’t have any connection with the aristocracy. As we have to work hard to earn a living, we are longing to have such English traditions as sipping five o’clock tea from beautiful china in beautiful houses. But as we just don’t have the chance, we can at least relate to the humour of Mabel [the elderly charlady, played by Barbara New] and Mr Stokes [Paul Shane’s crooked butler]. So we like both sides but for different reasons, I guess.”
Source: Daily Star Sunday, The Guardian