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The following characters appear in the comedy sketch series The Catherine Tate Show on BBC Two. Comedian Catherine Tate portrays all of the characters featured most prominently in the show, which she created with Derren Litten and her team of writers. Other actors who have supporting roles throughout the series include Mathew Horne and Niky Wardley.
Joannie 'Nan' Taylor
The foul-mouthed grandmother is an old East London woman who constantly swears at and criticises other people. She is always visited by her well-mannered grandson Jamie (played by Mathew Horne), where the visits usually start off well enough, with the Nan showing how grateful she is that her grandson has come to see her. However, things usually take a turn for the worse after she starts to make unfavourable comments about her neighbours, family, and home help visitors. Nan also appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show and the Channel 4 game show Deal or No Deal, hosted by Noel Edmonds. The latter sketch was shot especially for Comic Relief 2007.
When she appears on The Paul O'Grady Show, she is recognised as Joannie Taylor for the very first time as she is referred to as "Nan" by Jamie and as Mrs. Taylor by others. However, when she appears on Deal or No Deal, she is recognised as "Nan".
Lauren Cooper is a comprehensive school student with a bad attitude who is most widely known for her phrase "Am I bovvered?". Lauren, her best friend Liese Jackson and her love interest Ryan Perkins are known as yobs. Sketches throughout series one see Lauren arguing with authority figures such as train conductors and teachers, as well as Liese and Ryan. Her behaviour in later series becomes increasingly worse and engages in confrontation more frequently. Lauren Cooper's catchphrase "Am I bovvered?" had made her one of the most recognisable characters of the show. Lauren also appeared in many charity sketches with many famous celebrities, including McFly, David Tennant and Tony Blair.
Two other characters also featured prominently in Lauren's sketches include Lauren's love interest, Ryan (Kanye Fiddy Cent) Perkins, played by Mathew Horne. Ryan is a comprehensive school student with Lauren and Liese. He dubs himself as MC Perkins, who beatboxes, raps and spins decks and he also plays American football. The relationship between Ryan and Lauren is at times unclear, as he is quick to poke fun at Lauren with phrases such as "that is well bad". He has also made a bet to see whether Lauren would accept his marriage proposal and eventually was about to marry her until he left her at the altar due to her terrible rendition of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On", as featured in "Titanic".
The other character is Lauren's best friend, Lisa (aka: Liese) Jackson, played by Niky Wardley. Liese is a comprehensive school student with Lauren and Ryan who displays the typical chav culture look and mannerisms, also speaking Multicultural London English. She always seems to get stuck in the middle of Lauren's "am I bovvered" rant, even when she's trying to comfort her. However, Liese has her moments of making fun of Lauren, especially when she mispronounces a word (for example Lauren says bing-bing instead of bling-bling) or says the wrong name by mistake, to which Liese says "take the shame mate".
The incompetent Irish nurse. Bernie is an unruly, randy woman who bordered on being sacked in the hospital where she worked in every episode. She frequently makes inappropriate remarks to her patients, flirts with most of the male staff, takes a critically ill patient on a wild night out, and mixes up the records of living patients with those of deceased ones. In series two, Bernie makes three appearances. In one sketch, she is nearly sacked after being hypnotised. In the second, she returns to her usual ways, flirting with a man who she didn't know was the lead surgeon. In the third sketch, a lesbian nurse named Arthur flirts with Bernie, eventually kissing her. Upon doing so, Bernie refers to Arthur as a "mad fanny-basher".
In series three, her sisters Brenda and Bridie and brothers Seamus and Paddy, all identical to Bernie and even more over the top in their behaviour, cause havoc when they come over from Ireland to visit her during her shift at the hospital. It was also discovered that Bernie shuns medical terms for intimate bodily parts because she confuses them with the names of another sister and brother, Virginia and Clint.
Bernie appeared in a Christmas special in a sketch featuring George Michael.
Paul and Sam
The Essex couple. They are happily married yet slightly simple, and find everyday situations surprisingly hilarious. Paul (played by Lee Ross) and Sam often excitedly tell each other stories, which they find highly amusing and interesting, but which are in fact everyday situations (for example: forgetting the keys for the car and only noticing after getting in the car). The stories build up and when completed, Paul and Sam would both produce an exaggerated and completely silent laugh. Tate revealed in an interview that these characters are based on people that she knows, but that they are not aware of this despite enjoying the sketch.
Occasionally, their relations are featured, with humour derived from their similarities to the couple. In episode five of series two, audiences were introduced to Sam's parents, played by guests Paul Whitehouse and Geraldine McNulty, who are depicted as sharing their daughter's verbosity and idiosyncratic sense of humour. In the 2005 Christmas special, it was revealed that they have two children, who look like them and who behave in a similar manner. Paul and Sam made only two appearances in series three, featuring in the last episode and still very excitable over the slightest thing. It is usual for Paul to ask a question to which Sam would reply "I dunno!", again followed by an exaggerated and totally silent laugh.
In series two, episode six, after Sam excitedly tells the story and follows her usual pattern, Paul, instead of saying 'What are you like?' or, doing a silent laugh, he simply states 'yeah well, it's an easy mistake to make, Sam steps back, bewildered, tries to tell him another story in an attempt to make him laugh, but yet again he simply states 'yeah well, picked up the wrong one, it can happen', Sam, again bewildered, starts to leave, but it turns out Paul was joking.
Paul and Sam appear in the 2007 Christmas Special where three of Sam's friends from work go around to her house. They all display similar behaviour to Paul and Sam, even doing the silent laugh. The three were amazed with hair straighteners and drinks. At the end of the sketch, all five laugh so hard that they wet themselves.
Kate and Ellen
This sketch followed two office workers who sat next to each other. While Ellen (played by Ella Kenion) is usually keen to get on with her work, she is frequently disturbed by Kate (Tate). Kate continually makes conversation about her lifestyle, inviting her co-worker to "Have a guess!" on such delicate situations as how much weight she had lost, how many miles she could run, and how much money she paid for her holiday. While Ellen is reluctant to go along with the game, she is pressured into making a wild guess, which almost always results in Kate's becoming insulted and consequently offensive. Towards the end of the first series, Ellen occasionally guesses correctly, sometimes surprisingly such as when Kate asks "Do you know how many extras were used in the film Ben-Hur?". This upsets Kate, who reacted in ways such as calling her co-worker a freak, a "scab-faced old trout" and a lesbian. The name of the office is written on the set as 'Callas and Sait', which has been suggested as a reference to the callousness versus saintliness of the characters, actually refers to the surnames of two members of the production staff on the show. In series two, Ellen becomes more aware of material that Kate uses for her "Have a guess!" games, and often knew the correct answer before being asked. Unfortunately, this irritates Kate even more than usual, and during the course of this series she poured a drink over Ellen's head, trashed her desk and spat in her hair. Kate, when saying "I went to the theatre last night," and Ellen replies "The Phantom Of The Opera" correctly, Kate doesn't physically respond, but instead goes up to Ellen's ear and screams the main tune from "The Phantom Of The Opera" at her. Kate and Ellen appeared in series 1 and 2, but not in series 3.
Elaine is a woman who appeared in a documentary following her search for love, mostly corresponding with people around the world via the Internet in search of a man. The unseen interviewer and narrator is called Tanya. Series one follows her engagement and eventual marriage to a convicted cannibal and lunatic on Death Row in the US, who abducted, tortured and murdered eight people, proceeding to eat two of them. Elaine had met Jerry over the Internet but never in person, but notwithstanding having never met him remained positive about his crimes and continued to declare her love for him. Elaine even goes out to Texas to the prison in order to marry him, where the service lasts about five seconds. Elaine states that the wedding ceremony had to be short as they could not gauge the amount of sedative to give him. In another sketch, Elaine lights a candle to represent Jerry's life, to be blown out at the precise time of his execution, eventually realizing that the United States are six hours behind Britain, and that she has made an effort for the wrong time.
In series two, Elaine appears for one episode, and is still using the Internet to find potential lovers. Unfortunately, her new boyfriend Mohammed, a spice seller from Luxor Temple in Egypt, ends up conning her and taking her savings.
In series three Elaine gives up on finding love on-line. Instead she attempts to have a baby with the aid of a sperm donor, but unfortunately her missed periods turned out to be the start of the menopause (a very early menopause, as her age is quoted in the first series as being 34).
In a special sketch for Comic Relief, James Bond actor Daniel Craig appeared as himself in a sketch with Elaine Figgis. He is another boyfriend that Elaine meets over the Internet and subsequently moves in with her. Throughout the entire sketch, Elaine is mostly oblivious as to who he was and his famous role as James Bond. She admits that she thought he was lying about being an actor, with the sketch ending in the splitting of their relationship.
The Aga Saga Woman
An upper-middle-class woman who goes into a state of shock in various, seemingly innocuous situations. For example: after receiving a phone call from her husband's European personal assistant, she must tell her children that "Daddy hasn't been able to find any good brie" on his business trip to France. They fear that they will be mocked at the Parisian picnic at school because they lack the correct cheese. Another time, she panics at the thought of having to use a dishwasher when an egg cleaver falls onto the floor, meaning that her daughter Chloe cannot open her egg and it cannot breathe and may discolour. Everyone panics at this and can only suggest that the housekeeper rush to their house on public transport—a taxi—to put the cleaver through the dishwasher. She also dreads the thought of going supermarket-shopping by herself. The title of the sketch is a pun on the stereotype of the pretentious middle classes having an Aga oven at home. The Aga Saga Woman is called "Mrs Montgomery" in Series Two, later retconned in Series Three to "Mrs Taylor-Thomas".
In Series Two, she goes into a state of shocked terror when a Northern nanny has to look after her children. She does forewarn the children that the agency arranged for a temporary nanny (as Alice was ill), and that she feared that the nanny may come from as far north as Sunderland (pronounced by them as // as opposed to //). Jill Halfpenny guest-starred as the Northern nanny.
In Series Three, she sends everyone at her children's school sports day into a panic when she finds out the eggs being used in the egg and spoon race are not organic. The children and parents immediately run for their 4x4s (all of them identical BMW X5s) and drive off. Another time, she becomes terrified at the prospect of having to use a hire car while her Land Rover is being repaired. She and her children are disturbed when they take a wrong turn and end up driving in Tottenham (pronounced by them as "Totting-ham"), where they are traumatised when they see the supermarket Iceland, when they notice that nobody is wearing brogues, and when someone cleans their windscreen at the traffic lights, screaming over whether they will 'survive' the incident. On another occasion they evacuate a picnic after her children's friend Fergus accidentally consumes a gooseberry and cinnamon yoghurt that is one day past its sell-by date. She seems to believe that encounters with the lower-middle class or anything less than perfect will prove fatal, and has passed this trait on to her children. This is evident in catchphrases like "Don't look them in the eyes!", "Run for your lives, children--we're all going to die!" and "Please don't kill us, we mean you no harm!"
The Aga Saga Woman's daughter, Chloe Taylor-Thomas, is played by two different actresses in Series One and Two and played by Jennifer Rae Daykin in Series Three. Chloe often comes up with good ideas during the Aga Saga Woman's crisis, such as suggesting that Roquefort will go well with some good bread at the Parisian picnic. The Aga Saga Woman's son, Thomas Taylor-Thomas, is played by different actors in all three series. He sometimes seems to be forgetful, as he once suggested bringing Wensleydale cheese, which would have been a grave mistake, to a Parisian picnic. He refers to his mother as "dear heart" and "darling" and often takes a lead role during the Aga Saga Woman's crisis by saying not to panic and "it puts everything into perspective."
Tate has stated that the character was based on a woman who was rude to her on Kings Road when she was pregnant.
Derek, who first appeared in series two, is a man who shows several signs of being gay (combining some mannerisms of famous gay British comedians such as Kenneth Williams and Frankie Howerd), but seems to be in denial about his sexuality and becomes extremely offended and defensive when people assume he is gay. To his dislike, these occurrences are frequent because he behaves in an extremely effeminate way. His most famous catchphrase is "How very dare you!", along with the overuse of the word "dear". This can be seen in another catchphrase; when asked about his sexuality he replies "Who, dear? Me, dear? Gay, dear? No, dear!", or when asked for advice replying "Me, dear? Advice, dear? Yes, dear." When offended, Derek states how he and his mother have been doing something relative to the person Derek is insulted by for 25 years. For example, in one sketch with Bonnie Langford, he rants "25 years my mother and I have been following your career and you come out with this!?" Derek also uses the word "impertinent" to describe the person who has unintentionally offended him. He also frequently says "What on earth are you insinuating?" when the person he is talking to makes a comment on how they think he is gay. Another well-known catchphrase is "I've never been so insulted!"
In series three, Derek still battles with the problem of everyone he meets assuming he is gay. He becomes particularly offended when, while on holiday in Spain with his male companion Leonard Mincing, a taxi driver offers to take them to a Hawaiian-themed gay bar called "Homo Lulu". Bonnie Langford also appears in one of his sketches, where he ends up giving her one of his infamous rants after she casually mentioned that she had many "gay fans". Derek Faye's silent male companion, Leonard Mincing, is played by Martin Akehurst.
Irene and Vernon
Irene (whose accent suggests that she is a lisping East Londoner of Maltese origins) and the ever silent Vernon (often referred to as Vern; portrayed by Aschlin Ditta) first appeared in series two. They are the owners of a mobile burger van situated on the side of a motorway. During their sketches they are visited by a regular customer called Neville (played by Brian Murphy) whom Irene tries to convince that she and Vernon have been visited by various celebrities. Neville almost always orders a double cheese with no sauce, and keeps a tab with Irene and Verne and always asks if he can "settle up on Friday." When Neville appears, Irene never knows the name of the celebrity in question and always attempts to describe them. She once says when trying to describe Madonna; "That big blonde woman off the telly." Irene also claims that they were visited by former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev and Desmond Tutu.
In series three, with little change from the last series, Irene tries to convince her regular customer Neville that she and Vern had met ABBA, Condoleezza Rice and even Henry VIII of England who, according to Irene, did not die over 400 years ago but is renting a bungalow in Hemel Hempstead and was seen by her on a bike ride with Anne of Cleves. Vernon, who normally has no lines, was given a speaking part for the first time, when he simply told Irene to "Shut up." She replied "No, you shut up!".
Janice and Ray
A culturally ignorant and xenophobic Northern couple, introduced in series 2 and portrayed by Tate and either Derren Litten (series 2) or Nigel Betts (series 3) respectively, who express their disgust at meals they have been presented with at restaurants, usually based on either perceived over-pricing or the exotic nature of the food. They are also shown to be frustrated by the availability of such items in their locality, owing to comments such as "This were in Harrogate." After complaining about the food and prices, they use their most infamous catchphrase: "The dirty bastards!" or sometimes "The dirty, evil, robbing bastards!" Some of the foods that Janice and Ray express disgust at are; shiitake mushrooms (pronounced by them as "shit ache" mushrooms), grapes in brie cheese sandwiches, vegetable tempura and tentsuyu (described as "battered veg" with "spicy jam"), gazpacho and escargots. Another signature characteristic of Janice and Ray's story telling, is the rearranging of the order of their complaint (with pauses). For example, in the gazpacho sketch, they say that the "cold tomato soup" is "tomato... soup... cold", "soup... tomato... cold" and "cold... soup... tomato".
Janice is shown to be the more vocal of the two, with Ray sourly providing, when opportune, such laconic sayings as: "Famous last words", "Listen to this". While Litten did not participate in series 3, Ray is written much the same, with his catchphrases remaining unmodified.
Their catchphrases often become slightly modified to fit the situation, for example "The dirty, evil, raw fish-guzzling bastards!" when complaining about being offered sushi in Nagasaki, or "The dirty, evil, lactose intolerant bastards!" after telling the story of being served coffee with rice milk for £1.50 each at Janice's sister's house.
A frequent petitioner, who constantly tries to get her co-worker, Martin, to sponsor her charities with facts such as "Every 38 minutes ..." then follows her statements up with "If you don't believe me then log on to the website ...". The scenes for this sketch follow the same pattern. Georgie comes into the office and starts singing happily, with Martin joining in, and then she asks Martin how his weekend went. Martin then talks about his daughter Michaela which would prompt Georgie to feel concerned about her but then begin to talk abusively about her. Georgie then requests to borrow something on Martin's desk, for example "can I borrow your nice lime green highlighter?" She then describes her and 'the girls' latest fund-raising effort and asks him to sponsor her. He always offers a modest donation then makes at least one small increase, but after several futile attempts to get him to donate yet more money, she says "Let's say no more about it because I wouldn't want it to come between us pet". She then attacks him in a manner that has something to do with the cause she was championing (for example, she whacks him round the head with a wine bottle after he refuses to pay out as much as she had liked for husbands in Gateshead who are abused by their wives).
She also tries to raise money for victims of sexual harassment, "battered husbands", alcoholism and sex addiction as well as for dwarves and for Africans addicted to online gambling, but claims she "couldn't be less interested" when Martin asked her to donate to a fundraiser of his own. She also made an appearance in a sketch made for Comic Relief. During the sketch, Martin still offers a modest amount of money for Georgie's charity, but upon Lenny Henry raising money for Comic Relief, he promptly writes a more generous cheque for £150. This prompts Georgie to shred it in the shredder that she had previously borrowed from Martin, before head butting Lenny Henry and saying "That'll give you a red nose". In the 2007 Christmas special, Georgie tries to raise money for those addicted to dogging. This is the only episode in which she does not attack Martin, but to Georgie's surprise Martin himself, wearing a garter belt and tights, leaves to go dogging. At the beginning of this sketch, Georgie asks Martin if she can borrow something from his desk, but he replies that the object she asks for is in use, but she goes on to tell him about her latest cause anyway (the objects Georgie asks to borrow are ones she borrowed in previous sketches).
Martin, Geordie's target for fundraising money, is played by Richard Lumsden.
Tate stated on This Morning that Georgie was her favourite new character. Tate said that she wanted to do a Geordie character and that Georgie was based on a letter she received from a woman in Newcastle about donating money.
The information woman works at a help desk in a shopping centre. When shoppers ask for her assistance, she would misunderstand them or mistakenly believe that they were trying to engage in friendly conversation with her. An example is when someone approaches her at the information desk and says "Excuse me, I've lost my mother." to which she responds "Oh I'm so sorry to hear that." believing the mother to be deceased rather than just lost. She only appeared in one episode of series 1.
Bunty is a woman who insists on being allowed to perform in a children's majorette team, as there is no upper age limit. Her sketches involve her going to a pub and meeting the head of the Doncaster Spinners, Geoff, played by Derren Litten, who tries to convince Bunty of her inappropriate behaviour (to Bunty's disgust, saying about the nine-year-old girl who had replaced her on the team "Does she know she'll be on the majorette scrap heap when she's thirty?"). Bunty's obsession with the team eventually results in Geoff contacting the police and obtaining a restraining order. A running gag in this sketch is that, when Bunty leaves the pub, she plays a song on the jukebox which reflects her current feelings. In one sketch, after being rejected by Geoff, she plays "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen.
Botox Babe/Boob Job Babe
This sketch features an actress who does a perfectly normal acting scene one day, but on the following day when it comes to do the same shot, has changed her appearance drastically. In series one she appears with massive lips, obviously having had injections of collagen. In series two she appears a second day with enhanced breasts. Nobody is concerned about the continuity of the shots apart from the other actor (played by Michael Brandon). Boob Job Babe appeared in series 2.
Not drunk enough woman
Claire, who makes only one appearance in series one, is a woman whose boyfriend (played by Bruce Mackinnon) tries to get her to invite him indoors after a date, but she insists she "just isn't drunk enough". Despite his efforts to remedy the situation (even suggesting she have alcohol fed into her body intravenously) she tells him that even though she is so drunk she can hardly stand, is dying of alcohol-related liver damage and went to Oktoberfest where she was arrested for drunken behaviour (twice), she still cannot get drunk enough to find him attractive.
Margaret screams with terror at quiet, every-day noises, even her own hiccups, a birthday card, telephone, crunching, a post-it note and Christmas tree lights. Her husband, Michael, repeatedly warns her when something may cause her to scream; but, after insisting she is fine, she would scream anyway. Her final sketch in the Christmas special in 2005 reveals that her hair is a wig and that she is completely bald. That time, it is Michael who screams. Tate later revealed that she based this character on her mother.
The Enigmatic Cop
Amanda is a detective who comes up with bizarre theories at crime scenes, to the surprise and frustration of her assistant, Whittaker (Jonathan McGuinness). She once concluded that the world is a figment of someone's imagination and, another time, asked for Whittaker to shoot her so that she can confirm that a bullet to the heart is enough to kill. When Whittaker refuses to shoot her, she becomes disappointed as she thought Whittaker had been "making progress". The sketch often ends with her singing an irrelevant song, such as Brass in Pocket by the Pretenders, and sternly saying "Whittaker!" so that he'll sing along with her.
Karen and Ben (played by Jonathan McGuinness) are the new parents who will do anything to stop their newborn baby from waking up, including refusing to leave their car to attend a birthday dinner, going to the extreme of eating their meal in the car. They frequently argue, but immediately switch to happy singing if their child starts to cry.
In only one scene in series 2, Karen is shown holding a baby (who is not the same baby that appeared in series 1) using toy blocks with letters on them to tell the baby words beginning with the letter on the block she holds up. However, she uses most letters to explain not only a word, but a reason beginning with that letter stating that she is so tired. One of them is ""I" is for "Igloo". That's where the eskimos live. And also for "I need to sleep so bad, I could vomit". At the end of the scene, Karen falls asleep with the baby in her arms.
Drunk estate agent
The drunk estate agent makes only one appearance. She arrives at a property, drunk and offends both the owner and prospective buyers, accusing one man of being homosexual; "You know what they say about a man who likes a bit of chrome in his kitchen, he likes a bit of cock up his arse" on account of the prospective buyer's liking for chrome, lack of children, Cherokee Jeep and cheap aftershave before she passes out. She also rubs salt into the wounds of the owner with regard to the details of her split with her husband.
An at-first peaceful sounding woman who suddenly switches voice tone and personality when she advises complete strangers to violently attack people who are irritating or confusing them with "one swift backhander" to teach them a lesson. This includes a windscreen washer, a vegetarian restaurant worker and a mime. She then switches back to complete politeness.
Sandra Graham is a professional businesswoman who starts a game of 'last hit' at her office, and goes to great extremes to ensure that she has the last hit. When her colleague Anthony (played by Bruce Mackinnon) is involved in a car accident as a result of the game, she is more interested in whether she has the last hit or not. Anthony later dies of his injuries and when at the funeral, Sandra receives a message from his widow saying "last hit", which prompts Sandra to run to his grave screaming "last hit", as it meant that Anthony had the last hit and she had lost the game.
Jill, a trainee clown who constantly uses her circus skills to talk about and convey a horrific car accident that she claims to have been involved in. She complains of whiplash, paints a child's face to look like a crash victim, says that her trick flower reminds her of the flowers tied to a tree where the person died and claims that silver confetti reminds her of a shattered windscreen. She also uses a balloon to make a noose while the other clowns make the traditional animals.
Ally is an extremely tactless woman, who despite meaning no harm, always manages to unintentionally offend people in one way or another, after being introduced to them at parties. After she offends the person, she becomes embarrassed and tries to look for an escape from the conversation as quickly as possible, sometimes faking that someone had just spoken to her, or sometimes she spontaneously starts singing and then quickly escapes. During one sketch, Ally thinks that a birth mark on someone's head is a mark left by their hat, and when a deaf person was communicating via sign language to speak to his translator, Ally exclaimed "Film!", thinking that they were playing a game of charades. She also thought that an afro was someone's hat and that somebody's girlfriend was their mother. Also, when a visitor with a cleft palate announces to Ally that she is in a silly mood, Ally replies back imitating a cleft palate, and thinking an attached hair on someone's face was a stray hair. Ally appeared in three episodes in series 2, twice in each episode. She also appeared in the Christmas special that year but did not appear in series 3. In an interview, Tate said that this character was partly based on herself.
A Brummie dog trainer who resorts to strange and desperate methods to achieve success in training dogs. In one sketch, Moo tortures her own dog when she sent an electric pulse through her body in order to make her behave using a shock collar. Unfortunately, her dog, Lady Penelope ended up ignoring Moo at an important contest, resulting in their performance being dubbed as rubbish. Moo was also seen holding a dog training class, where the class attendants were not allowed to bring their dogs and had to imagine that their dogs were attached to their leads.
DI Angie Barker
A policewoman who is a single mother and brings her children with her to an unpleasant crime scene. Whilst at the crime scene, her children play with a dead body, on which they paint cat whiskers and poke it with sticks. This barely fazes DI Angie Barker, who casually orders someone to put the body back to its previous state.
Victoria Russell is a drunk bride who insults her new husband and his family in a memorable wedding speech. During her speech she blatantly embarrasses her husband John, and even admits to having several affairs, in front of him and all their guests. At one point in a sketch, she forgets her husband's name and just referred to John as "him". Then, to end her long and drunken speech, she says: "And finally propose a toast, to me, and all who sail in me." She appeared several times in the fourth episode of the second series. At the end of the sketches, Victoria was seen intoxicated and passed out, with a bridesmaid alone in the dark ball room, presumably being divorced.
A woman who lives in a world where "gingers" are ostracised from society and is sent to "Russet Lodge"; a refuge for redheads, under police protection. She has a Liverpool accent and appears several times in one episode of series two, then in the next series she returns with her campaign group "Gingers For Justice" taking a stand against the public, who eventually decide that gingers are allowed back in to civilisation. The series three sketches guest starred Patsy Palmer, where Palmer dressed as a battery (copper top) and protested with the other "gingers", who were themselves dressed as carrots and ginger biscuits. After the protest, it is revealed that a film is to be made of the "gingers" where Bonnie Langford will play Sandra.
An uptight, snobbish Scottish woman who thoroughly disapproves of the behaviour of everybody around her, before farting loudly and unashamedly. She does this in a funeral car, a taxi, and at the cinema. She also appeared in a scene whilst in confession at Church, however she did not disapprove of the behaviour of anybody, and was told by the Priest to take her time as she appeared to be slightly nervous about confession. The Priest told her "Whatever it is inside of you, just let it go", referring to her to confess her sins with no problem, however she took this the wrong way and farted. Sheila appeared four times in series two. She was shown in the intro to every episode in series 3, however she did not appear in this series.
Amanda and BBJ's
Amanda is a perky waitress at the fictional BBJ's restaurant. She greets customers with "I'm Amanda, but my friends call me Zebedee!" in an overly chirpy voice. After annoying diners with her loud and childish behaviour, she jumps into structured dance routines with her fellow workers after she takes each order. During one sketch, she pulls out a wooden spoon puppet dressed like an Italian chef to speak to the diners, who only want to order a pizza. The diners can only look on in horror as the two employees both started dancing to a song after they had tried to place their meal order. Her ridiculous behaviour always causes the diners to run off. Her usual catchphrase was: "I'm a fiery Taurean with my moon in Uranus - careful, I'll do the jokes." Amanda was a regular character in series 2 and appeared in four episodes.
Trudy and Ivan
Trudy and Ivan (played by Hugh Sachs) are the owners of an extremely successful wig emporium which many well-known celebrities use. When they invite a production crew into their workplace to make a documentary about them, they struggle to keep the names of their clients a secret, due to comments such as "If that jiffy bag doesn't get to Wembley Arena by 7 o' clock, it'll be the first time "Candle In The Wind" has been sung in crash helmets!" There were also signs and double entendres which pointed towards Ivan being gay. Their secretary, Carole-Anne, played by Una Stubbs, finds it a struggle to keep the identities of the celebrities a secret. Her inadvertent naming of Judi Dench as a customer pales in comparison to other examples, such as how she named a large number of celebrity customers, not realising that the camera was rolling at the time.
The sketch features a croupier who is extremely unprofessional in her job. One sketch sees a man gamble a lot of money on red, and she announces the ball had landed on red. However, she then casually announces, whilst the group is celebrating their victory, that it had in fact landed on black and not red, as the colours "sort of merge" while the wheel is spinning. She also takes the ball away from the roulette wheel when the noise starts to annoy her. Another time the ball actually flies off the roulette board and she says "It would have probably been red". In the Christmas special 2005 sketch, after watching the wheel spinning, she faints. She is named as Hayley in the script book.
John Reilly's Mum
A gritty, hard-faced Northern Irish woman who, to the amazement of her son John, played by Kevin Trainor, is delighted for him and herself when he comes out as gay. Even though he does not want to be treated any differently, she obsesses over his sexuality, inviting him to give her fashion advice, look at pictures of men in magazines while he was trying to watch football, visit one of her friends, and go on a gay parade — much to his embarrassment. The phrase she frequently uses is "Have you heard about our John? He's a gay man now".
This character has been referred to as the "Ulster Mum" or the "Northern Irish woman", however when Tate appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross one week before series three was aired, she told Ross that this character was called John Reilly's Mum after he tried to guess an Irish name for her calling her "Mrs O'Reilly". She is addressed as Kathleen in one sketch, and also as Mrs Leary in the 2007 Christmas special where she is still obsessing over her son's homosexuality, even informing a couple of his friends by putting "Have you heard about our John? He's a gay man now" up in lights, and she leaves her son mortified when she gives him a chocolate penis for a Christmas present. When his grandmother questions this and learns the truth, she gives John some money for a rent boy.
The actor who played John's father in series 3 was changed for the 2007 Christmas Show, however he did play the role of the priest in the church scene. Colin Morgan also replaced Trainor as John in the Christmas Show. Mrs O'Reilly was referred to as Mrs Leary here too.
Ma Willow - Life at Ma's
A parody of Life on Mars which features Tate as Ma Willow, the overbearing owner of the boarding house "Ma's" during the 1950s, who takes in time-travelling policeman, Sam Speed, after he is hit by a car. The policeman is played by Tom Ellis. Unfortunately, he often breaks the conventions of that time period (such as being a non-smoking, politically correct vegetarian). Life on Mars star Philip Glenister made a guest appearance in this sketch for the 2007 Christmas special. Ma's husband, Herbert, is played by Hugh Sachs, Her daughter, Jeanie, is played by Niky Wardley and her friend, Vi, is played by Una Stubbs.
A woman who claims "I can do that!" when her friends and colleagues are in search of people with specific skills. For instance, in one episode, her colleague needs someone to practise tennis with, and Helen happily accepts to assist her, implying that she can play tennis brilliantly. However, she is abysmal at tennis and hits the balls way out of the court into a group of trees. In another sketch, she claims she can speak seven languages for a conference, and proceeds to "translate" into nonsensical sounds that were based on linguistic stereotypes. Three more examples included the themes of drumming, curling, and salsa dancing. Jools Holland appeared in one of her sketches.
A bungling spy who is called in to assist the American government with a top secret mission involving terrorists (in a direct parody of thriller series 24), but is so inept at trying to use a computer keyboard that she causes a communications failure which blows the entire exercise (literally, as the terrorists blow up their hostages). It appears that she knew nothing of computers or her job.
Snack Food Woman
A woman who whilst out and about with different people, frequently excuses herself to go and buy a bag of snacks, including Nik Naks, Monster Munch and Mini Cheddars, only to return and find that some horrible disaster had happened while she was away (including her boyfriend being killed in a building collapse and a pair of friends: one who died in a drive-by shooting, the other in a shark attack) before surveying the scene with mild surprise whilst munching on her snack.
Frankie Howerd Impressionist
An actress who, when she comes to a critical point in the scene she is acting, produces a Frankie Howerd impression. However, she claims that she does not realise she is doing this very obvious impression, even though she actually says words and moved physically to sound and look like Frankie Howerd. She acts almost totally oblivious to what she is doing, although she does acknowledge that she employs some Howerd characteristics in her acting. She is also seen in labour, and the impression "came out" in this sketch too.
This character was portrayed by Derren Litten in the only sketch of the entire show that did not feature Catherine Tate. In the series one sketch, Martin appears on a train talking to a series of people on his mobile about how drunk he was the previous night, and how he had "copped off." As he converses, the people around him become increasingly annoyed.