Unseen Recurring Characters

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marsey
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Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by marsey »

It always fascinates me when tv programmes refer to characters who forever remain offscreen, yet are mentioned often during a series.

A couple of examples are

Miss Cathcart and Joe Maplin from Hi-deHi!
Elizabeth, Mainwaring's wife.

There must be quite a number of these type of characters? Also can anyone think of a character who was often talked about and -eventually- showed up on screen?

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Ian Wegg
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Ian Wegg »

marsey wrote:...Also can anyone think of a character who was often talked about and -eventually- showed up on screen?
If you count the 2016 film version, then Elizabeth Mainwaring in Dad's Army.

SgtPepper
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by SgtPepper »

In Cheers Norm had a much maligned wife - Vera - who didn't appear for years, but eventually put in an appearance. I can't remember how it happened, but she ended up with a cake being thrown in her face so you never actually saw what she looked like.

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by murphy1961 »

marsey wrote:It always fascinates me when tv programmes refer to characters who forever remain offscreen, yet are mentioned often during a series.

A couple of examples are

Miss Cathcart and Joe Maplin from Hi-deHi!
Elizabeth, Mainwaring's wife.

There must be quite a number of these type of characters? Also can anyone think of a character who was often talked about and -eventually- showed up on screen?
In the Australian police drama Matlock Police (1971-1975) there was a radio operator named Shirl played (voiced) by an actress named Margaret Cruickshank whom you never saw until the final episode. The funny thing was she played several on-screen characters during the run of the series. There was one episode where she was sitting at a desk opposite Michael Pate (Sgt Maddern) and he asks another cop to get Shirl to call someone on the radio and "Shirl" was sitting right in front of him.

Also in the Australian drama series A Country Practice (1981-1992) there was a telephone operator named Beverley whom you didn't see, but people always spoke to her on the phone. I seem to recall that maybe once she was seen from behind, but not the face. Like Mrs Mainwaring in Dad's Army, she was apparently a rather large woman.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Spiny Norman »

Mrs Miggins, pie shop proprietor extraordinaire, is mentioned several times in Blackadder II before reincarnating as an on-screen character in Blackadder the Third.

Oh and Keeping Up Appearances has several of them who never appear at all. Sheridan, her sister Violet (the one with the mercedes etcetera), and sometimes, her father (he sometimes does appear).
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Richard Charles Skryngestone
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

Did Monkey Harris ever actually appear in Only Fools and Horses?
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by ian b »

Here the thread on the same topic at the old forum...

http://www.mausoleumclubforum.org.uk/xm ... #pid334698

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Brock »

Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:Did Monkey Harris ever actually appear in Only Fools and Horses?
No (he's on the "top ten" list here).

Mrs Dooms-Patterson from The Good Life was one of my favourites.
Also can anyone think of a character who was often talked about and -eventually- showed up on screen?
Someone will have to back me up on this, but didn't this happen with Sandra's father in The Liver Birds? We repeatedly saw Mollie Sugden as her mother on the end of a phone complaining about him, and then he unexpectedly just turned up in one episode.

Brian F
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Brian F »

Brock wrote:
Someone will have to back me up on this, but didn't this happen with Sandra's father in The Liver Birds? We repeatedly saw Mollie Sugden as her mother on the end of a phone complaining about him, and then he unexpectedly just turned up in one episode.
You mean the bus driver who ran off with his clippie and returned when she left him. I remember that.

This didn't only happen on TV. In the Archers the Country Club chef Jean Paul was often talked about but was never heard and I'm sure htere were others.

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Brock »

Brian F wrote: This didn't only happen on TV. In the Archers the Country Club chef Jean Paul was often talked about but was never heard
...until 1988, when he suddenly became a regular character (played by Yves Aubert).
and I'm sure there were others.
Some of the "unheard" characters from The Archers appeared in a spin-off series called Ambridge Extra on Radio 4 Extra, which ran between 2011 and 2013. It wasn't a great success.

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by ian b »

Brock wrote:Someone will have to back me up on this, but didn't this happen with Sandra's father in The Liver Birds? We repeatedly saw Mollie Sugden as her mother on the end of a phone complaining about him, and then he unexpectedly just turned up in one episode.
No, Ivan Beavis played Mr Hutchinson on a semi-regular basis between 1971 and 1975, and William (Mr. Sugden) Moore took over for at least three appearances afterwards.

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Spiny Norman »

If we include even books, then there's Sauron, from Lord of the Rings. Never a "meanwhile, at evil HQ..." scene in there. (Although certain filmmakers didn't twig that "the evil eye" was not meant to be taken literally.)
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Brock
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Brock »

ian b wrote:
Brock wrote:Someone will have to back me up on this, but didn't this happen with Sandra's father in The Liver Birds? We repeatedly saw Mollie Sugden as her mother on the end of a phone complaining about him, and then he unexpectedly just turned up in one episode.
No, Ivan Beavis played Mr Hutchinson on a semi-regular basis between 1971 and 1975, and William (Mr. Sugden) Moore took over for at least three appearances afterwards.
Thanks, I stand corrected. I don't think I remember Ivan Beavis's appearances. There was definitely a period when Mr Hutchinson was an "unseen" character though - IMDb says that William Moore didn't appear until 1977.

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Brock »

Brian F wrote:In the Archers the Country Club chef Jean Paul was often talked about but was never heard and I'm sure htere were others.
I've just remembered that the late lamented Listener magazine used to run a comic strip by Merrily Harpur called "Unheard of Ambridge". It was published in book form:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unheard-Ambrid ... 0140127860

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by perov »

In Corrie, we have never seen Fat Brenda.

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The Wooksta!
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by The Wooksta! »

Arthur's wife - 'er indoors - was oft mentioned in Minder but IIRC never seen.

Merris, Nyles' wife was always talked about in Frasier.

Sheriff Medska (sorry, I don't know the correct spelling!) in Murder She Wrote had a wife - Adele - who we never saw but who was always around the action.
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Game On: Martin's Turkish co-worker at the bank, Wally Bazoum - frequently referred to, but never seen. Also Martin's sister and Mandy's best friend, Claudia - did appear in one episode, but referred to is various others.
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Private Frazer
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Private Frazer »

Laura Rule (Harry Rule's wife) only appears in episode twenty-one of ITC's The Protectors'.

As I remember The Irish R.M. (1983) the opposite happens and Major Yeate's wife inexplicably disappears.
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gran not nan
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by gran not nan »

Marjorie in the "Damn" sketches in A Bit of Fry And Laurie. She eventually appeared in one of the later sketches played by Maria Aitken.

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Spiny Norman »

There are never any kids appearing in The Caesars, even though they get mentioned specifically.
I always suspected this was a rules & regulations thing. Right?
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Mark
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Mark »

Audrey and Husband George, friends of Sybil in "Fawlty Towers".
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Spiny Norman
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Spiny Norman »

Mark wrote:Audrey and Husband George, friends of Sybil in "Fawlty Towers".
And O'Reilly, mentioned and on the phone and sending men before he finally appears in person, under threat of gnome insertion.
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Mark »

Oh yes, ' You, orily men'.
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Private Frazer
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Private Frazer »

I'm not sure but I think Finbow Lewis (or Captain Creasy) in Jupiter Moon had an imaginary friend.
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Simon36 »

Dolly Mountshaft in The Good Life too. In the early days of EastEnders, there was often talk of Fat Harry, who ran a pub nearby, but I don’t think he was ever seen.

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The Wooksta!
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by The Wooksta! »

Did we ever see the owner of the laundrette, Mr Opadopolis, in Eastenders?
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Brian F
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Brian F »

Did Mrs CJ in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin appear in the TV show? I know she wasn't in the first 2 books but haven't read the third for a while.

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by billo »

Thelma Chambers was only mentioned as a girl Bob fancied in 'The Likely Lads' in the sixties when Terry was ribbing Bob about what Bob had got up to with her in a coach on a trip

later she was a regular character and Bob's wife in 'Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads' in the seventies

Dolly Clackett, a girl Harold fancied was only mentioned in Steptoe and Son...but she finally appeared in the episode 'Any Old Iron'

'old' Mr. Grace' of Grace brothers was mentioned but not seen in 'Are You Being Served'....

until after 'Young' Mr. Grace had passed away, then his older brother appeared

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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Simon Coward »

Brian F wrote:Did Mrs CJ in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin appear in the TV show?
I'm not sure about the later seasons, but she's in the first series twice, played by Dorothy Frere.

If I remember rightly, she accompanies C.J. to the dinner party Reggie gives in episode three, and I think she she also makes an appearance at Reggie's memorial service in episode six (she's certainly in that episode).
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Brian F
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Re: Unseen Recurring Characters

Post by Brian F »

Ah, I'd just re-read book 2 and she didn't appear in that at all, perhaps there was a difference between the books and the TV series.

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