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Dr. Caroline Todd
Played By: Tamsin Greig
- Always Someone Better: First it was Angela, then briefly Holly until she showed her true colours.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Mac, before they get to know each other.
- Born Unlucky: Her first day at the hospital sums this up nicely. She is locked out of her brother's house and has to sleep in her car, Joanna pulls her hair (to "see how well she deals with stress"), everyone keeps asking her why she smells funny, "Have you been to a festival?", "What's that smell? Is that...is that mini-cabs?" Sue gropes her arse, she hears Angela telling Martin to do horrible things to "the new girl" (because Mac told her to try being jealous) Guy persuades her to come stay at his flat and so everyone assumes she slept with him when she didn't. And then there's what happens to her during the rest of the series...
- Dude Magnet: Despite her social awkwardness, 70's clothes and masculine haircut, manages to attract Mac, Guy, Martin and Jake, although it's obvious she is only truly interested in Mac.
- Implausible Deniability: Tends to lie, then awkwardly attempts to bluff her way through it, which rarely works. Her worst attempt was claiming the, ahem, outfit she had on to "surprise" Mac with when Mac came home with Holly and Mackenzie in tow was what she planned on wearing for dinner with her "Uncle".
- It's All About Me: Mac views her as this when she first arrives at the hospital. While it's certainly nowhere near that extreme, she can be quite self-centered, like when Martin was trying to tell her He has a half-brother, she's more interested in finding a way to stop Mac from moving to Sheffield.
- Loose Lips: Probably shouldn't have told Sue White that she had feelings for Mac.
- Nice Girl: Despite occasional moments of stubbornness or self-centeredness, she's one of the nicer characters on the show and tries to be helpful towards others.
- Tomboy And Girly Girl: She's the tomboy to Angela's girly-girl. Guy even lampshades it when he refers to them as "Barbie and Ken."
- Trademark Favourite Food: Chocolate, she's often seen eating or buying bars of it — especially when she's going through a nicotine fix.
- Unbalanced by Rival's Kid: Subverted — Holly tries her damnedest, but Mackenzie is not actually Mac's kid.
Dr. "Mac" Macartney
Played By: Julian Rhind-Tutt
- The Ace: A very competent surgeon, handsome, nice, popular with almost everyone in the hospital and owns a very cool motorbike.
- Broken Ace: But his lack of seriousness holds him back from being promoted, and the Season 2 finale reveals that he's dying.
- Badass Biker: Has a motorbike, which he keeps in one of the lifts in the hospital. He also likes to drive around on it naked.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Caroline, at least when they first meet.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's usually laid-back about all the bullying in the hospital, but people messing too much with Martin is his Berserk Button, as Guy found out the hard way.
- He's noticeably annoyed when Guy starts hitting on a very drunk Caroline, although Guy doesn't take it further than kissing.
- He stabs guy in the arm when Guy refuses to stop poking his sore spot concerning Holly.
- Chick Magnet: He is universally adored, admired, and lusted after by almost everybody at the hospital with little-to-no effort on his part. He spends the series being chased down by Caroline, Emmy, Holly and of course, Sue White.
- Deadpan Snarker: Probably the most sarcastic character on the show, and since it's a World of Snark, that is saying a lot.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Mostly used on Guy and Alan, but he sometimes does this to Caroline.
- The Gadfly: He really likes to mildly annoy people, although they are usually people who need their ego bruising a bit, mainly Guy, Joanna and Alan.
- Does it to Caroline too, although it's more flirting than aggravating.
- Fatal Flaw: His immaturity repeatedly holds him back from getting what he really wants out of life - he keeps failing at being made consultant despite being a very competent surgeon because the directors of the board don't feel he takes it seriously enough and his compulsion to tease Caroline instead of being honest about how he feels about her means they're stuck in a Will They or Won't They? for the majority of the series.
- Gratuitous French: Mostly uses it to annoy Guy.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Guy.
- Insistent Terminology: He is not ginger, he is blonde.
- Literal-Minded: Often pretends to be to confuse/irritate people.
- Masterof The Mixed Message: About his feelings towards Caroline, though eventually she does call him out for this.
- Men Don't Cry: Mac successfully restrains himself from turning on the waterworks, even in the full knowledge that he's dying of an incurable disease and that he'll never marry, have children and live a full life, as a sobbing Martin Dear blubbers out to him.
- Nerves of Steel: Mac is usually very composed in dangerous situations, the best example being when he tries calming down a hysterical Guy in the Season One finale.
- Nice Guy: His habit of irritating people aside, he is a genuinely kind, compassionate person. He looks after a very-drunk Caroline, constantly steps in when Guy's bullying of Martin goes too far and is generally pretty friendly.
- Nice to the Waiter: Mac seduces the dinner ladies with genuine charm and compliments, and effortlessly strikes good friendships and rapport with the janitors.
- No Name Given: Dr. 'Mac' Macartney. Lampshaded and unrevealed variously throughout the series, especially when he is looking at his medical test results:
- Dr. Macartney: Sometimes I forget I have a first name.
- No Sparks: With Emmy, who isn't very bright and most of Mac's quips fly right over her head.
Dr. Guillaume "Guy" Secretan
Played By: Stephen Mangan
- Animal Motifs: Several people reference the fact he looks like a donkey. (Specifically the one from Shrek.)
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Caroline, as he often goes out of his way to irritate her, but they do obviously have chemistry.
- Somewhat zigzagged with Sue White- he's terrified of her but he also seems weirdly aroused by it, too.
- The Bully/ Big Brother Bully: Mainly to Martin, but he's also seen harassing other members of staff if he's bored.
- The Casanova: He blurs the line between Casanova and Kavorka Man but is more of the former.
- Parodied when he reels off a long-winded, sorrowful cock-and-bull story in an attempt to hit on Joanna, who laughs at him for it (but still sleeps with him anyway).
- Subverted with his later undying love and failed attempts for Caroline, which drops him down to a Casanova Wannabe.
- Character Development: One of the most prominent examples in the series.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Mac loves nothing more than to annoy and mock Guy, Martin swings between admiring him and thinking he's an asshole and Caroline is well aware he's a jerk, yet they all still continue to hang out with him anyway. When Guy's license is suspended, Mac and Caroline even make the replacement surgeon wear a donkey mask.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Implied, especially as he apparently went to a boarding school at a young age and the memory reduces him to snivelling to himself in the cloakroom.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mac.
- Hospital Hottie
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: If you look underneath his arrogant alpha male bravado, it's clear he's actually quite insecure and pathetic.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eventually. Guy has the most obvious Character Arc in the entire show.
- Men Don't Cry: Subverted and lampshaded by Sue White when she catches Guy crying like a sissy in the cloakroom.
Dr. Alan Statham
Played By: Mark Heap
- Ax-Crazy: He psychotically beat a dwarf to death with a stuffed heron.
- Bad Liar: Most of the time he can't even get to the actual lying stage, and ends up blurting out the truth instead.
- Butt-Monkey: He is constantly mocked by his own students and his girlfriend insists on keeping their relationship a secret because she's embarrassed to be seen with him and gets himself into extremely embarrassing situations because of his arrogance and complete lack of social skills.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Becomes very antagonistic towards Lyndon because Joanna flirts outrageously with him, but he seems oblivious to the fact that Lyndon finds Joanna "disturbing". Or maybe he just doesn't want to acknowledge Joanna doesn't really like him that much.
- Genius Ditz: He is totally useless at basic social interactions and doesn't understand at first what Joanna means when she tells him she's "late" and offers to call her a taxi, but he does work in a hospital and is a consultant.
- Heroic BSoD: Has one after Joanna dumps him, leading to him stealing a milkvan.
- Kavorka Man: He is known to have had several sexually-charged conquests throughout his lifetime, despite being completely and utterly devoid of personality, looks, charm and even the most basic social skills.
- Dr. Alan Statham: Surreptitiously however, I was bringing her to climax with a breadstick...
- The woman he stalks at the hospital chapel is obviously repulsed by him.
- Large Ham
- Motor Mouth: Particularly when upset.
- Screams Like a Little Girl
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He often speaks in ridiculously complicated sentences and vocabulary, and sometimes even resorts to French and Latin just to express himself.
- The Unintelligible: One episode has Alan deciding he wants to be part of a council, so asks Sue White for advice. She promptly tells him to get a voice coach because he "sounds like a hysterical child that's swallowed a conker."
- Old Windbag
- Outlaw Couple: With Joanna in the special. Most of the crimes they commit, though, are really due to their own stupidity.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist
Dr. Martin Dear
Played By: Karl Theobald
- Annoying Younger Sibling: To Guy.
- Biggus Dickus: He's huge. Sue White celebrates the fact with a massive nude oil painting of him hanging in her office.
- Casanova Wannabe: Martin is the polar opposite of Guy in every way, a relatively unpopular, socially awkward and rather dumb individual who spends the series in totally unrequited love with Caroline. Rachel's pet nickname for him is "Martin Dear, he's so queer!"
- Clark Kent Outfit: In the episode where he poses for a life drawing class we see that he's actually rather ripped.
- The Ditherer
- Dogged Nice Guy: Shows elements of this to Caroline, even when he takes her on a date and all she can do is talk about Mac.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Common nickname for Martin is "Fartin." He also goes into a very lengthy anecdote to Caroline about how he came to be known as "Titbrain" at high school. And Rachel and Kim refer to him as "queer".
- Extreme Doormat: He lets Guy boss him around, belittle him and casually insult his girlfriend with feeble attempts to prevent it. Guy even manages to convince him to drink his piss in one episode.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: He is hinted at having this. It's not surprising with a mother like Joanna.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Boyce. (Although Boyce isn't exactly heterosexual, and casually offers him a handjob at one point.)
- Innocently Insensitive: In his racist comments to Lyndon.
- He does unintentionally insult people, like pointing out in one episode Caroline's boobs look uneven in her top.
- Literal-Minded: When he whines to Karen that no woman has ever fancied him, she asks, "What about me?" and he replies, "What, has no woman ever fancied you either?"
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: He's the Sensitive Guy to... Guy.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Guy and Martin, since they are half-brothers.
- Verbal Tic: Stutters when particularly riled up.
Dr. Angela Hunter
Played By: Sarah Alexander
- The Ace: Seems to be this in the first episode, but her more unsavory personality quirks come into light as the show goes on.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Often subtly undermining towards Caroline and likes being the centre of attention. Her bitchiness gets turned up to eleven after she becomes the face of a TV documentary set at the hospital. Interestingly, in a deleted scene with Sue White, Angela even lampshades it, saying she is ambitious, driven and will do anything to get ahead. The "niceness" is all a front. It's hard to tell if she meant it or if she was trying to big herself up to Sue, however.
- Control Freak: She irons her pants.
- Covert Pervert: Acts all perky and squeaky-clean, but also claims she gets off on "sticking [her] hand up women and delivering babies" and she finds jealousy "exhilarating! In-in a dirty sort of way..."
- Hospital Hottie: The director for the TV documentary becomes instantly smitten with her.
- I Can't Dance: Angela's boyfriend comments, "She really is the perfect girlfriend...although...she does dance a bit like a wolf." Queue the camera panning to Angela doing just that.
- Put on a Bus: Dr. Angela Hunter gets what is probably the most generous bus-sendoff ever. That is, until she is later killed off-screen in an unexplained incident with a moose, constituting a Bus Crash.
Played By: Oliver Chris
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Kim, though more so on her side.
- Big Damn Kiss: He gets a pretty damn big one with Alan, in the series 2 finale.
- Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: With Martin, who Boyce gets along very well with despite how awkward and nerdy Martin is.
- The Determinator: In a weird way, but he really goes above and beyond to annoy Alan.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Pulls this on Alan countless times.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: He is referred to as a "porcelain ladyboy".
- The Gadfly: Mainly to Alan, but he sometimes playfully annoys Martin, Guy and Caroline, too.
- Gay Bravado: Towards Dr. Alan Statham. To the point where he forces Statham into a romantic date, and they end up sleeping together. Boyce isn't even fazed and continues his trolling just as before, but in the end he genuinely cares about Alan.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Martin.
- Icy Blue Eyes: "Chipped-ice blue eyes", to be exact.
- Last-Name Basis: He's just "Boyce", his first name isn't revealed.
- Nice Guy: His constant teasing of Alan aside (and Alan really does deserve it), Boyce is generally a pretty friendly, outgoing person.
Played By: Michelle Gomez
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Guy. She buggered him senseless once and has had a thing for him ever since, but he's just sort of terrified of her. She does manage to give him a hard-on just by talking to him, a few times over, and he asks her for another shag at least once — but all he gets is a date after the Slave Auction, and she makes him put on a blonde wig and pretend to be Mac.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Her hobbies including stalking people, molesting people, threatening to put SPELLS on people and shooting at people with a bow and arrow. She also gives birth to a lion cub, which raises a whole lot of questions that don't need to be answered.
- Crazy Cat Lady: She inexplicably has a few scenes in Season 1 riding a camel. She often barks like a dog and once says she will only answer Alan's questions "in the language of a crow".
- Deadpan Snarker: Like everyone else on this show, mostly towards Guy, Alan and Martin.
- Hypocrite: Accuses Caroline of being a lesbian, despite the fact she constantly gropes and verbally harasses Caroline whenever she can.
- Gag Boobs: Constructs some out of newspapers once when she's bored, then throws one at Caroline.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Non-violent example: she eats umbilical cord sushi.
- Large Ham: She actually wears a large ham costume as well in 2x01, though that's Mac's dream sequence.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Frequently manages to one-up Joanna, which isn't something just anybody manages.
- She really doesn't like Holly. She even seems to put aside her hostility towards Caroline while Holly's around.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Swears frequently and pretty casually.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Joanna, with Sue often winning.
- Stalker with a Crush: She is this trope. The scene in which she makes a clay statue of Dr. Mac and considers differently sized genitalia (modelling them herself) is but one shining example. She even steals some of his genetic material while he's comatose to try to impregnate herself with his child. All Played for Laughs, of course.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: She calls it "The Squirrel".
- Violent Glaswegian: Not so much violent as outright mental, but still qualifies.
- She even lampshades it at one point when Mac suspects she's the one who sabotaged his other job offer by telling the hospital he was dead, "Oh, well, you've caught me there, I must be the only Scottish woman in creation, it must have been me, lock me up!"
- Yandere: For Mac, BIG TIME.
- Also, towards Caroline. Although when Holly is her main rival for Mac's affections, she cuddles Caroline at one point. (Then gropes her.)
Played By: Pippa Haywood
- Abusive Parents: She is clearly the worst mother in the universe, but it never stops Martin from declaring his undying love for her. Her interactions with Guy after Season One are horrendously awkward, but she does at least ask (if incredibly grudgingly) after his wellbeing.
- All Women Are Lustful: It says something that she was desperate enough to start a sexual relationship with Alan Statham, and there's her relentless pursuit of Lyndon and actually getting annoyed when builders don't wolf-whistle at her.
- Bad Boss: She physically and verbally abuses not just her regular HR underlings, but also various doctors and surgeons around the building.
- Berserk Button: If you want an easy life, don't make references to her age.
- Birthday Hater: Because it just means she's getting older. However, she seemed disappointed when it turned out the HR staff were not throwing her a surprise party. Not that you could blame them.
- Bitch Alert: She's needlessly sarcastic, bitter and insulting to pretty much everyone (especially Alan), but she sometimes tries to put on a syrupy, pleasant façade in front of Lyndon. Naturally, she's not fooling anyone. Amusingly, Alan even subtly makes fun of her for this (albeit not to her face).
- Christmas Cake: She knows she's this, but refuses to admit it, to the extent where she won't let Martin tell anybody he's her son in case they figure out how old she is.
- It's All About Me: She shows very little concern for anyone aside from herself (and Lyndon).
- Kick the Dog: Constantly. The biggest example is probably rubbing Harriet's face in it when the latter becomes pregnant again, knowing full well Harriet doesn't want another child.
- Naked in Mink: Tries to seduce Lyndon this way. It doesn't work.
- Really Gets Around: Or she used to, anyway.
- Outlaw Couple: With Alan in the special.
- Pet the Dog: She does at least send Martin a postcard when she goes on the run, and it's implied it's because of her that he's allowed to keep his job despite failing his exams.
- Punny Name: Her second name — she gets her "claws" into men.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Sue White.
- Villainous Breakdown: After figuring out Guy is her son...just after they've had sex.
Played By: Lucinda Raikes
- A-Cup Angst: At one point she furiously yells at the other girls for walking all over her, "Just because I haven't got any breasts!" before sitting down and resuming work like nothing happened.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She spends the first series as a bullied, self-loathing, friendless Butt-Monkey. By the time the Special rolls around, she is a flashy, arrogant, domineering bitch who eclipses Rachel in social status and positively terrifies the rest. Granted, the last appearance of her before the special, she got knocked out of a window and nobody even noticed.
- The Chew Toy: Getting her hair stuck in the printer, a Turkish man who barely speaks any English manages to string enough together enough to compare her to Brian May from Queen, gets knocked out of a window and not even Martin particularly wants to go out with her.
- Extreme Doormat: The HR staff walk all over her (Joanna forgets her name half the time), Kim and Rachel give her stupid advice on how to win Martin (like telling her she "looks better crouched down", leading her to spend an entire day crawling around the office.) and she generally seems to be the only one who actually does any work.
- Granola Girl: One episode has her coming in wearing vegan shoes made from gecko skin. However, she is informed by Rachel and Kim that a gecko is a kind of small lizard.
- Plain Jane: Type C.
Played By: Olivia Colman
- Bad Liar: She goes into involuntary spasms of blinking and facial twitching whenever she lies.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She can be pretty assertive when pushed too far.
- The Ditz: She manages to forget either her kids or an article of clothing in about every episode. She once arrived at work and a cat jumped out of her bag.
- Cant Get Away With Nothing: Even though her husband has been cheating on her for some time, when Harriet starts an affair with Lyndon she can't bring herself to continue because she doesn't want to hurt her children, then Ian finds out about it anyway and kicks Harriet out.
- Comically Missing the Point: Often.
- Covert Pervert: She seems sexually frustrated, as her husband "hasn't slept with her since Oscar was born" and almost cries when she gets a "twinge down there."
- She also asks Lyndon to call her "Giselle" when they have sex.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: Given what we hear about her home life, Ian doesn't treat her very well and she has four very annoying children to deal with.
- Team Mom: Sort of. She does help Caroline get a pen top out of her nose.
- Your Cheating Heart: It's implied her husband is cheating on her with Rosy "pin-legs, slitty-eyed" Kendall, but she also has an affair with Lyndon.
Played By: Sally Bretton
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Boyce, even after they have sex at Caroline's party.
Played By: Katie Lyons
- Buxom Is Better: Very proud of her huge boobs. She even weighs them in one episode.
- Deadpan Snarker: Mainly towards Karen and Martin.
- The Ditz: She has her moments, like not realising she could pull up the handles on her suitcases.
- Dude Magnet: Ollie seems to have a bit of a thing about her, and she's implied to have slept with Guy.
Played By: Paterson Joseph
- Beware the Nice Ones: Lyndon finally snaps after Joanna buys him in the Slave Auction and gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, calling her "tedious, disturbing and desperate".
- Black and Nerdy: He's the IT guy, though he doesn't really seem like a stereotypical nerd.
- Chick Magnet: a handsome, sweet-natured IT consultant who is regularly called out to perform mundane, bullshit tasks by regular nurses and clerks who find themselves besotted with him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually toward either Guy or Alan, both of whom are jealous of his effortless ability to attract women.
- Hetero Sexual Life Partners: Implied this is the direction his friendship with Jake might go.
- Only Sane Man: Even to Mac.
- Opposites Attract: He could get any woman in the hospital he wanted, but he likes Harriet.
- The Scapegoat: He has zero interest in Joanna and merely tries to politely rebuff her advances, but it doesn't stop Alan from threatening/harassing/stalking him to try and keep him away from her.
Played By: Sally Phillips
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She claims she wants to be friends with Caroline and is very touchy-feely with her, but immediately calls her "that weirdo Todd" when Mac pretends to choose her over Caroline.
- Implausible Deniability: Ironically a trait she shares with Caroline. But she keeps trying to maintain that Mackenzie is Mac's son, even when he produces not only orange hair-dye (she claims it's for a friend who is "phobic, for some reason, about buying hair-dye"), but also a DNA test.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Which makes Caroline very uncomfortable.
- Romantic False Lead: She happens to appear just as Mac and Caroline are about to lock lips. And when that isn't enough to put the brakes on, she pulls a small child out of her sleeve. Caroline often fantasizes about shooting her.
- Too Dumb to Live: Kinda, but leaving orange hair-dye in her locker wasn't a particularly smart move with Sue White around.
Played By: Darren Boyd
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: His last scene implies he and Lyndon will develop into this.
- Long Hair Is Feminine: It's only about shoulder-length, but it doesn't stop Joanna referring to him as "Alice."
- Romantic False Lead: Works well as this because he's likable enough in his own right, it's just that Caroline and Mac have a strong connection despite Holly's interference. He comes off a bit like a Third-Option Love Interest for Caroline (compared to Guy and Mac), but things don't work out.
- Tranquil Fury: He does a very good job of keeping calm when Caroline accidentally drops his twelve-year-old Tamagochi into a wine glass on a date.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Passive-aggressively calls out Caroline for dating him when it's obvious she's still in love with Mac, but they do mainly part on amicable terms.
Emily "Emmy" Louise Westbrooke
Played By: Daisy Haggard
- Named Like My Name: There's another Emily Louise Westbrooke, who is merely pretending to be a physiotherapist and is actually a con artist. Caroline is rather dismayed to learn she's got the wrong Emily Louise Westbrooke.
- Romantic False Lead: Briefly dates Mac in Season One, just to make things more frustrating for Caroline, but she clearly doesn't really "get" Mac's sense of humour.