TV & Radio Bits
|DES WEDNESDAY (Volumes 1- )|
Date/place of Birth: 12 November 1949, Mitcham, Surrey
Cars: Fiat 126 (77S), Routemaster bus (62)
Des is the undoubted star of 'The Chronicles of Des and Mick'. Without him, the other residents of Oakleigh Avenue in Tolworth, Surrey, would probably be living an untroubled, care-free existence.
But with Des in your life, there is never a dull moment. He is prone to coming up with daft ideas that never have a hope of going right. Des means well, but he is perhaps a little naive.
Brought up by his Aunty Phyllis, Des has not worked since he was eighteen, being a millionnaire. He was attending dustman training school when his Great Uncle Big Tim Cheese Wednesday died in a freak collision with a fridge and inherited a huge sum of money. However, he rarely spends it, and is happy to live in an ordinary house in suburbia.
Des is stuck in the 1970s. He still wears his tank tops and flares with pride, and won't get rid of his wraparound haircut and sideburns. He loves chocolate biscuits, is extremely rich, and drives a Fiat 126. He has also recently bought a 1962 Routemaster bus which will be used for group outings. Musically, Des favours Abba, Barry Manilow and the Carpenters.
|MICK WOOLLEY (Volumes 1- )|
Date/place of Birth: 19 September 1950, Tooting Graveney, Surrey
Occupation: Des's next door neighbour, not much else
Married: Nora Jones, 30 July 1981. Divorced in February 1992
Mick is the unfortunate person who ended up living next door to Des. He is the voice of sanity in this crazy world; well compared to the others.
He is keen to live an ordinary existence, but Des manages to interfere with every aspect of Mick's life. Like it or not, Mick always manages to get dragged into Des's schemes, despite usually offering warning signals. In these cases Des accuses Mick of being boring.
Des and Mick first met at primary school in the 1950s. Mick later worked for an insurance company before resigning in 1992 after an incident with a desk and a window cleaner.
It would be unfair to call Mick boring, but he is certainly the most sensible person in the street, and is conservative with a small 'c' in his tastes.
|CLIVE KIPPERS (Volumes 1- )|
Date/place of Birth: 1 July 1954, Guildford, Surrey
Occupation: we're not quite sure
Married: we don't think so
Car: BMW 735i (98S)
Clive is the local smarmy know-all. He hates Des, and Des hates him. He is always the first to pour scorn on Des's ideas, but just like Mick, always gets mixed up in his schemes in the end. Traditionally, it is Clive who comes out on top, but more recent stories have shown that Clive cannot always be right.
Clive has the shiniest hair in the area, due to the mountains of hair gel that he puts on. He loves 70s disco music, particularly the Bee Gees, and takes any opportunity to do a bit of jiving in his John Travolta suit. He drives a 1998 BMW 735i, and seems to be rather well-off despite apparently not having a regular job (the source of Clive's income is some mystery to the others).
|WAYNE COACH (Volumes 1- )|
Date/place of Birth: 1 April 1965, Romford, Essex
Occupation: window cleaner
Car: Ford Escort van (75P)
Wayne is the local idiot, whose main purpose is to make Des look clever. A real expert in the field of window cleaning, he knows nothing about anything else, and is as naive and gullible as they come. Wayne will believe anything you tell him.
He is the only person to look up to Des, and is always the first to give support to him in his schemes, however hair-brained, particularly when they involve making money.
Romford-born Wayne, whose first words were actually "Need yer windas cleaned, guv?!", is into hardcore rave, ambient dance and various other types of music the others have never heard of.
|MRS GREASY (Volumes 2- )|
Date/place of Birth: 22 May 1943, Burnley, Lancashire
Occupation: cafe proprieter
Married: Mr Greasy, 11 April 1964
Car: moped (00X)
Mrs Greasy - whose first name is not known by the others - runs Mrs Greasy's Little Cafe just round the corner from Des and Mick's houses. She is the worst cook in the world, but is completely oblivious to this fact and cannot understand why she never has any customers.
Only the regular gang ever turn up to her cafe, not to eat, but to hold their meetings, although Mrs G does not waste the opportunity to serve them some revolting food.
She married Mr Greasy in 1964 after she told him she could cook. He believed her - the fool! In the years after they moved to Ipswich, Taunton, Oxford, Hull, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Nottingham and Plymouth, as word of Mrs Greasy's astounding cookery skills spread. She lost Mr Greasy somewhere along the way (she cannot remember exactly where).
Mrs Greasy is the number one fan of the Village People.
Visit Mrs Greasy's agony column on DMTV Online
|FARMER FILES (Volumes 1- )|
Date/place of Birth: date unknown, somewhere in Dorset
Occupation: former pig farmer, now entrepreuner
Car: Land Rover (69J)
Farmer Files - whose first name is also known only by himself - was the local pig farmer, who begins every sentence with the immortal phrase "Ooooh arrrrrr!!!", and speaks with a thick West Country accent.
But Files has now decided that he is too old for the farming game, and so, in a shock move, has sold his farm and taken over the local pub - now called The Laughing Pig.
|DICKIE THE VICAR (Volumes 11- )|
Date/place of Birth: 25 December 1935, Balham, Surrey
Married: Marjorie Rogers (aka Mrs Dickie), 19 January 1963
Cars: Austin Montego estate with a spire sticking out the top [the churchmobile] (85B)
The Rev Richard Rogers, otherwise known as Dickie the Vicar, is the vicar at St Malcolm's Church. His aim is to update the image of the church and tries in vain to attract younger people to his services, by wearing a baseball cap and saying things like 'fab' and 'groovy'. He is always happy to allow Des and Mick to borrow the church hall for whatever they want.
Dickie also takes his church out to his congregation by use of his 'churchmobile', in fact a converted Montego with a built-in retractable spire on the roof. He is also permanently trying to raise funds to fix the church roof, mainly by holding discos at which he plays Matt Munro and Frankie Vaughan.
He is pictured here with Mike the Manic Mechanic.
|MIKE THE MANIC MECHANIC (Volumes 9, 11- )|
Date/place of Birth: 12 December 1964, Catford, London
Cars: Ford Cortina Ghia (78T)
Michael Medford, commonly known as Mike the Manic Mechanic, runs the local independent garage, Mike's Manic Motors. A car fanatic, he is first and foremost a mechanic, and made his first appearance when he turned Des's Fiat 126 into a supersonic car. He is also involved with the used car market, selling mainly dubious twenty year-old Ford Capris.
Something of a lunatic (so he fits in well with the local residents) he is often involved with Des's schemes. He is generally a decent fellow, but does not miss an opportunity to con his customers. Mike also dabbles with music, and sometimes plays in a rock band with his mates.
He drives a tasteless green Ford Cortina, with personalised reg plate MAN1C, complete with pink furry dice, six-tone musical horn, coat hanger aerial and twelve-speaker stereo system.
|DAVE PRESLEY (Volumes 1, 11-17)|
Date/place of Birth: 8 August 1955, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire
Occupation: Elvis impersonator
Married: Nora Jones (Mick's ex-wife), March 1993. Divorced in 1996.
Car: Austin Metro (82X)
Dave was the local Elvis look-a-like, and worships the man. Dave lives the life of Presley - he talks just like the King of Rock 'n' Roll, and is never seen without his Elvis jumpsuit, shades and quiff. He is constantly to be seen munching on hamburgers, which he transports in his guitar case. Dave is horizontally challenged, to say the least, and shows not the slightest bit of talent in the music department.
Dave previously worked in a fish and chip shop and as a window cleaner. He has now left The Chronicles of Des and Mick to start a new music career, miming to old Elvis songs, in the Caribbean.
|PHYLLIS WEDNESDAY (Volumes 1, 2, 7-10, 12-15, 17)|
Date/place of Birth: 1 April 1927, Mitcham, Surrey
Married: Kenneth Wednesday, 10 July 1948; Ralph Berkshire, 5 June 1994, divorced June 1997
Phyllis is Des's busy-body aunt, who brought him up until he was sixteen. Phyllis demands absolute perfection - all males must wear a tie, haircuts must be symmetrical, grass must be the same height throughout the garden, and her house spotless.
She met trainspotter Ralph Berkshire (pictured) in 1994, and having finally found a man subservient enough to do all the housework and carry her shopping, they moved to Oakleigh Avenue in that year and were married.
This lasted until Ralph attempted to sell Phyllis's priceless painting, a family heirloom. Phyllis threw him out of the house and the two divorced in 1997. It has since been down to Des to carry her shopping.
|RALPH BERKSHIRE (Volumes 7-14)|
Date/place of Birth: 9 March 1939, Reading, Berkshire
Occupation: retired trainspotter
Married: Phyllis Wednesday, 5 June 1994, divorced June 1997
Car: no way, he's a trainspotter
Ralph lived in Oakleigh Avenue from 1994 to 1998, as Phyllis's husband and general dogsbody. Obsessed by trains, Ralph never got much of a chance to indulge in his passion, as he soon discovered Phyllis only married him so he could carry her shopping and do the housework - a thankless task.
In 1959, inspired by the contemporary music scene, Ralph joined up with his friend Tommy Thomas, to form a band called Tommy and the Drearies. But the only chart success was a number 26 hit in the local chart, and they disbanded in 1963. Ralph went back to the trains, and later moved to Tolworth.
In 1994 Ralph happened to meet Des's Aunty Phyllis whilst on a trainspotting excursion to Paddington station. Phyllis decided he would be the ideal man to carry her shopping, and before long they had married.
The next few years were relatively miserable for Ralph, having to live with Phyllis and so being very much deprived of train spotting opportunities. However they divorced in 1997, and having finally been freed, Ralph reformed Tommy and the Drearies who now tour the country by train with their 60s revival concerts.
Copyright© Robert Williams 2000