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The Flatmates


Mark Corrigan
"If I want to act relaxed, it's going to take all my cunning, skill, and concentration."
Played By: David Mitchell

"I suppose doing things you hate is just the price you pay to avoid loneliness."

Mark is the sensible one: a professional brogue wearer with a slightly worrying interest in World War Two. He is playing at being very serious and grown up and is a painfully conventional young man with a seething mass of self-loathing, ego and self-consciousness just below the surface. Mark believes nothing is achieved without work, blood, sweat and tears. In fact he masochistically relishes this belief.

  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Several major Yank the Dog's Chain moments are caused by his impulsiveness, as well as a lot of awkward moments.
  • Ambiguously Bi: At one point he is confused by Johnson, but otherwise is completely heterosexual. He eventually comes to believe that he might be bi, but is most certainly "uncurious".
  • Big Eater: Never commented on. But Mark typically makes himself large meals and enjoys cooking
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Mark would probably be a lot happier in older, more conservative times.
  • British Stuffiness: Very stuffy, to the point where he regards anything liberal or fun with innate suspicion.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's much less overtly nasty than Jeremy, and does have the decency to agonize and feel guilt over his actions or desires. However, beneath it all, he's really just as selfish and self-absorbed as Jez.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mark is a prime example. Jeremy, though he has better luck in life, has his moments as well.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: May as well be the poster boy for this trope. Every attempt he makes to be suave, charming or sometimes even just friendly is just so...... awkward. Downplayed in that he's still a Kavorka Man despite all this.
  • Character Catchphrase: "She's the one!".
  • The Chew Toy: The first ever episode shows him being bullied by a smallish gang of pre-pubescent boys. At the end of the episode, he chases them with an iron pipe on impulse.
  • Closet Geek: Mark has shades of this. In series 1, Jeremy finds a fantasy model painting magazine hidden in his cupboard (which, of course, he mistakes for porn). When he meets Dobby, he's revealed to play a WoW-like game called Fantasy Warquest. Finally, when entering a geek shop with Gerard, he monologues about not feeling as awkward "since he bought his first twenty sided dice".
    • Mark is constantly shown to be interested in WWII, from reading books, to participating in reenactments and spends a lot of his time playing World War Two computer games.
  • The Comically Serious: When he's not being a Cloud Cuckoolander himself.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Normally a decent chef, but when stressed he creates an abominable dish made of pasta, beans, eggs, and lettuce. The matching cocktail of rum, water, lettuce, vinegar, and salt is even more disgusting.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly in his head, but sometimes in person. Jez brings it out of him more than anyone else.
  • Dirty Coward: Too many times to count, but most of all when he gets his gym instructor fired and the way he ends up hiding on his wedding day because he hasn't got the guts to break it off.
  • Freudian Excuse: He was bullied a lot in school after he had to switch from an expensive private school to a public one after his father's Aerospace shares became worthless and he grew up in a tense and unpleasant household where his parents blatantly favored his sister and rarely communicated. That's in addition to his dad being an unpleasant bully who intimidates Mark regularly. It's really no surprise Mark ended up the dysfunctional, neurotic mess he is.
  • Gold Digger: Mark decides NOT to call off his accidental engagement to Sophie so he can get to live in her grandmother's cottage.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Deconstructed as he believes in them despite these acts being horrible ideas. He plans to propose to both Sophie and Dobby as a way to save clearly dying relationships, with no regard for how miserable it will make him in the future.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jeremy.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: His father is a bigoted, bullying control freak who was instilling the fear of God in Mark when he wasn’t neglecting him. His time at school was.... not fun either.
  • Hidden Depths: When his love of history gets the chance to shine, you get the feeling he really should have pursued that instead of working for a finance company. It's shown a few times over the series that he regrets taking business management over ancient history at university.
    • ...but perhaps he's really just Feigning Intelligence, as he seems to get caught out whenever he meets a real history buff, like Professor MacLeish and Jeremy's mother's new boyfriend ("Marr? Don't you find him a little light? I mean, he's good for an overview..."). Still, his passion is entirely sincere and he is positively gleeful whenever he gets a chance to show it.
    • Mark is incredibly witty and has a great sense of humour. This is something the viewer is aware of because of the nature of the show, but it doesn't get much attention in-universe until the first episode of Season 6, when Mark's normally hostile colleagues erupt into laughter during his satirical play, and afterwards discuss among themselves how great it was and how Mark should be on television. He can also charm women with it as well on occasion.
    • Mark is also quite articulate when he wants to be, effortlessly debunking Ben's take on Wuthering Heights in defense of Jeremy and giving an impressive impromptu best man speech at his green card wedding to Nancy, and it's shown throughout that he does possess a certain charisma that makes him attractive to women, even if he inevitably ends up ruining it.
    • There are a few occasions when Mark will actually show some backbone and stand up against bullies, not backing down when Jeff crashes Sophie's night in a clear effort to start something and later even standing up to his dad when Dan goes too far and pushes Dobby away. One can only imagine how different his life would be if Mark could be more assertive when it really mattered.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Mark is constantly on the look out for "the one" and idolizes women he dates as such before being inevitably disappointed.
  • It's All About Me: His entire conduct regarding Sophie and later Dobby.
  • Jerkass: Although he's a "hellaciously unlucky every-man" sort of character, he frequently says and does things that make it hard to sympathize with him.
  • Kavorka Man: Say what you will, despite his neurotic socially awkward personality, he's able to get with a surprising number of women, such as a Valerie, Sophie, making out with Sally, Dobby, Cathy and April. Deconstructed in that these are often unhealthy relationships and he's never truly happy in the end, ruining it with his own neuroses, selfishness and general screwed up nature.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He certainly has his moments.
  • Neat Freak: At least compared to Jeremy.
  • Never My Fault: He insists he's not a jilter since he technically married Sophie, ignoring the fact he hid from the ceremony long enough to get 73 missed calls and only went through with it because he was found hiding and (poorly) attempted to pass it off as one big joke, right when he was about to make a break for it.
  • No Social Skills: One of his defining character traits. He can get by well enough to at least have a good career and some chances at romance but his narration shows that he is completely baffled by most forms of social interaction and is constantly treating every conversation like a battle.
  • Odd Friendship: He and Super Hans seem to get along quite well. The two have absolutely nothing in common, but Hans appears to be less aware of Mark's social awkwardness than others, and Mark is surprisingly tolerant of Hans' eccentric behavior.
    • Several of Jez's love interests become fond of him as well. Big Suze and he get on well.
  • Only Sane Man: Subverted. He tries to be this compared to Jez and Super Hans but his neurosis keeps him down. By Series 9, he's arguably become the most insane.
  • Papa Wolf: Claims he'd even stab Jeremy to protect his baby.
  • Pet the Dog: As with Jez he often fakes this, but there are a few genuine instances of this trope. Notable examples include 'dumping' Suze after developing a crush on her (for the sake of Jez) and paying the bills on Johnson's stolen credit card (again for the sake of Jez.)
  • Salary Man: Mark works in finance and his attempts to get through the glass ceiling of management rarely succeed due to the work and his own neurosis.
  • Stalking is Love: Is very good at temporarily deluding himself into thinking so.
  • The Un-Favourite: It's clear from his dad's poor presents and general attitude to Mark that he prefers Sarah. But only slightly.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: At his worst. Mark is paranoid, petty, indecisive, selfish, and cowardly. Though he comes off a bit better than Jez does most of the time.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Mark inexplicably doesn't get sacked despite bungling his presentation for Alan Johnson in Season 4. Subverted when Johnson sacks him in Season 9 for gross negligence.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Has this kind of complex regarding Johnson and Jeremy's stepfather, among others. Probably owing to the Hilariously Abusive Childhood above.
  • White Collar Worker: He spends most of his working life in an office, whether at JLB or a bank.


Jeremy 'Jez' Usborne
"Your dream is just everybody, grey, on the omnibus, eating grey sludge. That's your dream isn't it?"
Played By: Robert Webb

"God, this is such a mess. It's fantastic."

Jeremy is a big kid. A lazy man with big ideas about himself and his future music career. Touchy and self-aggrandising, Jeremy is never far from doing something he will regret. He is clearly the loose cannon of the partnership: a lazy waster with dodgy friends, who dreams of becoming a musician, but can never get his act together, or often even get up in the morning! Although vain, idle and delusional, Jez is basically a nice bloke... for the most part.

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Wins a poker game with an utterly crap hand because he didn't know the rules and confidently assumed that all red cards meant he was unbeatable, resulting in what appeared to be a masterful bluff.
  • But Not Too Bi: For most of the series, there are indications that Jeremy may be bisexual - his general relaxed attitude towards his sexuality and admission that he's slept with men before, but apart from a couple of sexually confused moments (sometimes fueled by drugs), he pretty much exclusively shows interest in and forms relationships with women throughout the series. This is averted at the beginning of season 9 when he begins an ongoing sexual relationship with a man and his girlfriend.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Jez sent dog shit in the post, peppersprayed, tried to punch and possibly subconsciously tried to murder the men - and in one case a woman - who he considered rivals for whatever woman - Toni, Nancy, Big Suze, Elena etc - he was currently infatuated with. In one episode he got so clingy he was threatened by his girlfriend showing kindness to a homeless man.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Oh so very much. Eating the dog of one of his love interests is just one of many examples.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Of the more crude variety, both in his head and in person.
  • Dirty Coward: To a lesser degree than Mark, though. He has no problem with being socially bold but is also likely to run away from the consequences if something goes wrong.
  • The Ditz: He's clueless about even the commonest things due to living a mostly work-free life.
    Jez: Potatoes aren't veg, are they? I mean they kind of are... but not really. I mean tomatoes are fruit but potatoes are like... bread?
  • Dreadful Musician: Mark and Toni share a laugh over his god-awful music.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Refuses to have sex with Sarah on Christmas, given his love of the holiday.
  • Foil: To Mark. He's an idiotic party-animal slacker who doesn't give a fuck. Mark's an up-tight history nerd/buff who has trouble letting loose and gives too much of a fuck what others think.
  • Giftedly Bad: For all his knowledge of British pop and rock music, he isn't good at actually playing it.
  • The Hedonist: Jeremy seems to have few passions in life beyond having as much mindless sex and doing as many drugs as he can.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mark.
    Jez: I'm his one.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite being a terrible musician himself, Jez does have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of British pop and rock music which he gets to show off every now and again. He's also not quite as clueless about politics as he lets on, at one point namedropping Lech Wałęsa and making frequent references to Tony Blair. He's also capable enough to recognize talent as seen when he and Hans are impressed by a track from Sophie's cousin, although Hans later fucks it up and leaves the poor boy traumatized.
    • He also proves to be surprisingly capable at telephone sales, easily making his way to the top of the office sales chart in only a few hours and sincerely enjoying the work and office setting despite his initial apprehension. He seems genuinely upset when the company goes under and he can't work there anymore.
  • Hypocritical Humour: We're talking World Amateur Champion level here.
  • It's All About Me: Jeremy is completely self-involved and cares only about his own wants and urges.
  • Jerkass: A mean, selfish person.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cowardly and try-hard tendencies aside, he is generally more charming than Mark which is probably why he has more success with women and he tends to make more of an effort with his friendship with Mark, even he fucks up in the first place by doing something thoughtless and stupid.
  • Karma Houdini: From time to time. He does tend to get away with some pretty awful shit.
  • Kavorka Man: He's not a bad-looking guy, but he does score a lot considering the type of person he is. Perhaps it's because he targets dim or mentally vulnerable women.
  • Manchild: Even more so in the episode his mother comes to visit.
  • Men Are Uncultured
  • Men Can't Keep House: The flat turns into an absolute pig sty whenever Mark is away due to Jeremy's debauchery.
  • Never My Fault: Jeremy is always quick to blame someone else or downplay the seriousness when he fucks up.
  • Pet the Dog: Fakes this a lot but does have some genuine moments of kindness and it's shown regularly that he does genuinely cares about Mark as a friend.
  • Serial Romeo: He tends to fall in love (or, well, lust, which, in his words, "is basically the same thing when you get rid of all the Valentine cards and bullshit") ridiculously fast and ridiculously often. Of course, he's also game for dumping a woman immediately after having sex with her.
  • The Slacker: Jeremy is intentionally a slacker, and rather proud of it, seeing it as being a cool, pop culture lifestyle choice. He does have moments of clarity on occasion.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Thinks of himself as a musical genius and superstar in the making as well as a ladies man of epic proportions who can charm anyone he wants to without breaking a sweat. He isn't, to put it simply.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Jez could be said to be Too Lazy To Fool, since his time spent as a brainwashed cult member lasted days.
  • Too Dumb to Live: "They wouldn't put a bad idea in a film, they'd get sued."
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: More overtly amoral than Mark is. Jez has a tendency to be untrustworthy, abrasive, delusional, selfish, lazy and ignorant.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist:
    Mark: At some point he's going to find out what goes in sausages.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He often tricks himself into thinking he’s in some kind of movie.
    Jez (on getting paid by Johnson for sex with Big Suze): Is this a terrible idea? No, it can't be, it's in a film. They couldn't put a terrible idea in a film, they'd get sued.

JLB Credit


Sophie Chapman

"Of course, obviously, it'd be really great if you were happy, but it's not the most pressing thing."
Played By: Olivia Colman

Mark's ray of sunshine, object of desire and friend at work. Sophie is too bright and interesting for her job and most of her colleagues. In Mark she recognises someone who is on her wavelength. Trouble is he's such a bag of neuroses he manages to self-destruct as soon as things start going well.

  • The Alcoholic: Becomes a depressive one after Season 5.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She goes for Jeff at first, even lampshading it with, 'I always go for wankers'.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While viewer opinion varies as to who was more at fault in her relationship with Mark, we definitely see a less pleasant side of her from season 5 onwards.
  • Broken Pedestal: Mark's rose-tinted view of her doesn't long survive their actually getting together.
  • The Bus Came Back: She returns in season 9 to ask Mark to move in with her.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: During that wedding. This is a speciality of Oliva Colman. Not many do it better.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Not all the time but definitely when she manipulates Mark into getting her pregnant.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: In Series 5.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Yes, her spin war campaign against Mark after he jilted her was harsh, but at the end of the day... it doesn't change the face that he still jilted her in a cowardly way.
  • Put on a Bus: Sophie does not appear in Series 8. This is explained in episode 1 when Jeff turns up in Sophie's place at the flat to collect her and Mark's baby, then informs Mark that him and Sophie have got back together and moved into 'Nana's cottage' near Sophie's parents house in the countryside.
  • Satellite Love Interest: How she started off, likely because we only ever saw her through Mark's limited viewpoint.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Started off as a fairly pleasant and bland love interest and straight woman to Mark until after a couple of series Olivia Colman made the writers realise that she wasn't really such a nice girl when you look at how she treats him. This led to her character being developed in other directions in series 3 and 4 and she really turns into a bitch after their ill-fated wedding.. Although after the humiliation Mark subjected her to her behaviour is unsurprising.


Jeff Heaney
"So basically, man is programmed to do two things: kill and knob."
Played By: Neil Fitzmaurice

In his bristling normality and easy handling of everyday situations Jeff is the complete opposite of self-conscious, self-defeating Mark. Jeff Heaney is therefore an enemy in Mark's eyes. Mark is completely justified in hating Jeff because he's an abrasive twat.

  • Berserk Button: He really doesn't like being laughed at or made the butt of a joke, getting pissed and retreating in a huff when Dobby turns his usual behavior back at him.
  • The Bully: Jeff is a crass and vindictive bully who takes every opportunity available to pick on Mark.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Full of snarky, mean-spirited jibes against Mark.
  • Dirty Coward: When Dobby mocks his tendency to spout cruel jokes at the expense of others, Jeff sheepishly calls her a "freak" before retreating. He also only picks on Mark because he believes he can get away with it. Noticeably when Mark stands up to him at the end of season two, Jeff backs down.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Jeff doesn't take Mark insulting his mother very well.
  • Foil: To Mark. Both are overconfident, manipulative, arrogant, and have their sights set on the same woman. The critical difference is that Jeff is loud and extroverted while Mark is withdrawn and neurotic.
  • Hidden Depths: In Series 6, he helps Sophie with her pregnancy and was very upset about the break up originally. Of course, even when helping Sophie he takes shots at Mark and is relieved to find out he isn't the child's father.
    • Neil Fitzmaurice has revealed that Jeff doesn't really hate Mark, he just thinks he's "a bit of a twat".
  • Hypocrite: Although he's always making jokes at Mark's expense, Jeff hates being the subject of jokes himself. When Dobby makes fun of him to his face, he becomes sullen and runs off.
  • Jerk Jock: He fills this role in the show, with Mark being the hapless nerd he relentlessly picks on.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Jeff is precisely as churlish as he appears. He's sometimes supportive of Sophie, but it's suggested that the real reason he does that is just to spite Mark and that he doesn't actually care about her.
  • Kavorka Man: Despite his abrasive personality and being average looking he still has two relationships with Sophie and is seen shagging a girl on Mark's bed.
  • Kick the Dog: He goes from a mere office bully to a full-fledged sadist when he gives Mark a nasty speech about how he doesn't see him as a threat to his relationship. "You could have your cock in her. You still wouldn't have the balls to fuck". Overlaps with Jerkass Has a Point considering that this sums up Mark's entire problem in two succinct if vulgar sentences.
  • Oop North: A Scouser with a prominent accent.
  • Pet the Dog: Tries surprisingly hard not to react to Mark's goading him, as he can tell Mark is just lashing out after a tough week. While he does headbutt Mark, it was only after he keeps getting in his face, and walks away after Mark tries to get him to do it again.
    Look, you've obviously got a lot of serious...stuff going on. And I'm not gonna make it any worse.
  • Perverted Sniffing: Apparently has the nickname of "Seat Sniffer" around the office, which suits his abrasive, overbearing personality.
  • Romantic False Lead: Talks a lot about being a lady's man but ultimately loses Sophie to Mark.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: For all his braggadocio, Jeff is just another lowly office drone working the same dead-end job as his nemesis Mark. Jeff's constant hostility could be read as him compensating for his insecurities by bullying a more obvious loser than himself.
  • Smug Smiler: The picture says it all.
  • Smug Snake: His attitude towards Mark. Notably, when Jeff is talking to less socially dweeby people like Jez or Johnson he drops his obnoxious alpha male routine and sucks up to them.
  • The Social Darwinist: How he justifies his unpleasant demeanor towards Mark.


Alan Johnson
"What this department needs is a kick up the arse so hard, my foot'll go right up your digestive tract and wiggle out your mouth like a little leather tongue."
Played By: Paterson Joseph

"In business, Jeremy, you learn that every man has his price, and I judge yours to be... £530."

Mark's smooth and cool boss and 'business guru' at JLB Credit. Johnson is a no-bullshit work-monger with a brutal view of the world based on maximizing profit and minimizing your opponents. Mark looks up to Johnson with a pathetic degree of regard.

  • The Alcoholic: Recovered, then relapsed in the Series 7 finale.
  • Bad Boss: As Series 6 demonstrates, he's perfectly willing to throw his employees under the bus if he thinks it'll elevate him even slightly.
  • Broken Pedestal: Mark's view switches from idolization to disdain in a few seasons. He never completely sheds his sense of admiration, though.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite going semi-insane after his fall from power, he still manages to nail a contract for the management-consultant business him and Mark set up and by the end of Series 7 has enough money to buy another house.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Especially in later seasons.
  • Driven to Suicide: He was supposed to kill himself in the season 3 finale but this was cut for being too dark.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Well, Mark wants him.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: He regularly treats women as objects. Somehow, Big Suze doesn't notice.
  • Jerk Jock: To a certain extent. He's certainly a top dog and can be thoughtlessly aggressive, even punching Jez when he thought he was shagging Big Suze again. Unlike Jeff however, Johnson is capable of kindness. See Pet the Dog below.
  • Large Ham: Johnson is expressive and very charismatic.
  • Last-Name Basis: His name is Alan, but he's almost always referred to as simply "Johnson".
  • Pet the Dog: Mentoring and community work, according to Big Suze. Johnson is also one of the rare characters to show compassion for Mark, occasionally offering him advice and demonstrating concern for his well-being.
    • There's also the time when he sticks up for Mark when Sophie begins her post-break-up-post-wedding-humiliation campaign of bullying and vilification.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Debatable. He's competent and doesn't suffer fools, but he's also highly aggressive, willing to throw innocent employees to the wolves to save himself, and Mark not inaccurately describes him as part of a group of, 'literally the worst men in the world'.
  • Sanity Slippage: After JLB goes under, he hops off the edge of reason.
  • The Social Darwinist: Believes the weak should make way for the strong. Reaches borderline-fascistic levels at Gerrard's funeral.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Has this effect on Mark at least.
  • The Teetotaler: Johnson is a teetotal former alcoholic before he snaps at the end of series 7 during Big Suze's New Year's Eve party.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The recession is...not good for his sanity. Neither is throwing a house party on the same night as him.


Gerrard Matthew

Played By: Jim Howick

Mark’s rival for Dobby’s affection. He’s a nice, nerdy fellow with ongoing health problems.

  • Ascended Extra: First appears in an episode in Season 4 before becoming a regular.
  • Character Death: Dies of flu in the first episode of Season 8.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Initially at least, but he doesn't hesitate to stab Mark in the back or abuse any power he can get once Dobby's there to play for.
  • Ignore the Disability: "Tube up his nose. Tube up his nose. He's a man with a tube up his nose."
  • Out-Gambitted: "Never go to war with Stalin, Gerrard. Uncle Joe don't play by Your rules".



Played By: Isy Suttie

A nerdy co-worker who just might be the one girl that likes Mark for the neurotic mess that he is.

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Gets self-righteous very easily and continously leads Mark on about moving in but ultimately picks the New York job instead. She's also quite passive aggressively obnoxious when she, Simon and the other hipsters laugh at Mark getting the questions wrong during the quiz.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She snarks at Mark's attempts at being a normal human in Season 5.
  • Hipster: Downplayed at first but played up more in later seasons.
  • Informed Attribute: She mentions being a smoker in her first scene but is never seen smoking.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mark was pushing his luck every time, they don't seperate until the end of Series 8.
  • Lad-ette: Can definitely be a bit "foward" at times (see: store cupboard scene). And in her first scene we see her reading Viz.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Elements of this. A quirky hipster who tries to open Mark up to new experiences.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Possibly a poster girl for this.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: As she explains in her introductory scene, her real name is Debbie, but nobody else in the show ever calls her that. You could be forgiven later for not even knowing what her name is.
  • Oop North: Has an ambigiously Yorkshire sounding accent but not the stereotypical 'eeeee' instead of 'a' variety.
  • Romantic False Lead: Ultimately chooses the New York job.
  • Seen It All: After a couple of seasons she knows how Mark's life works better than Mark does.
  • Shout-Out: To a certain house elf?
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted. Although she succeeds Sophie as Mark's main love interest, they are quite different characters and Sophie remains in the show.



Toni Papadopoulopoulos

Played By: Elizabeth Marmur

The unhinged next-door neighbour who serves as an unhealthy object of lust for Jez during the first and second season.

  • Berserk Button: Really likes her music. Do not criticise Peter Gabriel in front of her. Or try and take her Bhundu Boys album.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After being a central recurring character in series 1 and 2, she vanishes with no explanation in series 3 and beyond.
  • Freudian Excuse: She has some serious daddy issues owing to her father dying when she was 3.



Played By: Vera Filatova

A bisexual, marijuana-dealing Russian émigré who lives in the same block of flats as Mark and Jeremy.

  • Bisexual Love Triangle: Briefly in one between Jeremy and Gail, though it's quickly made clear that Jeremy is case of Friends with Benefits rather than a genuine romantic rival.
  • Brainless Beauty: She's very attractive but not especially bright.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Jeremy thinks this initially, but quickly grows jealous and angry. Elena hurts both Jeremy and her girlfriend, completely subverting this trope.
  • It's All About Me: She's very self-involved, even more so than Jeremy, not seeming to care at all about the damaging effect of her infidelity on Jeremy and Gail or showing any indication of seeing them as existing for any reason beyond her own pleasure.
  • The Unfair Sex: Averted. Elena is depicted as being just as selfish and shallow as Jez. Maybe even moreso.


Gail Huggins

Played By: Emily Bruni

Elena's girlfriend and Jeremys love rival in Series 6. Completely devoted to Elena who does not show the same level of devotion back though she always choses her over Jez. She appears again in series 8 when she campaigns to be chairman of the freehold committee in Apollo House.

  • All Gays are Promiscuous: Averted. She's completely faithful to Elena, although Elena isn't faithful to her.
  • Brainy Brunette: A member of MENSA who runs her own business.
  • Ice Queen: Borders on this at times.
  • Informed Ability: Her intelligence. Possibly intentional, as Jeremy makes fun of her inability to spot that he's having an affair with her girlfriend.
  • Jerkass: Incredibly rude and condescending to Mark at times.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: When she thinks Mark's hitting on her "I'm in a relationship. And it's a same-sex relationship. And I don't find you attractive. Even speaking objectively" Ouch!


    Super Hans 

Super Hans
"Tell you what, that crack is really more-ish."
Played By: Matt King

"People like Coldplay and voting for the Nazis. You can't trust people, Jeremy."''

A friend of Jeremy's and a musician. He's a slightly more successful (and psychotic) version of Jeremy, and influences him in a variety of negative ways.

  • Berserk Button: Does not like being trapped in a room at all, "ever since Dad locked me in the airing cupboard to monitor the homebrew".
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being a barely functional drug-addled lunatic, Hans has actually had several legitimate jobs and performed well in them from what we see.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Hans tends to be on his own wave length much of the time, no doubt due to the massive amounts of drugs he's usually on.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: In "Man Jam," he tells Jez that he "only sign[s] in blood."
  • Depraved Bisexual: Played with. He and Jeremy sucked each other off while very high. Sophie's cousin Barney also gave Hans a blowjob while high on ketamine, leading him to spiral a bit and frantically ask if he 'did it right' and that he loves Hans.
  • Death Glare: When Mark throws up on his snake he has this to say: "You are paying for that snake to be dry cleaned.".
  • Disappeared Dad: To his twins; the fact that he takes a while to remember their ages implies he hasn't seen them in a while, though the fact that Mark says he's never heard Hans mention his children and Hans can't even produce a picture of them pretty much confirms that he doesn't have much of a role in their lives at all. They make an appearance at his wedding in season 9 however.
  • Dreadful Musician: He's more capable than Jez though.
  • Drop-In Character: He even had his own set of keys made for the flat as it's "easier".
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • "You should take a hard look at yourselves.", when participating in Mark's scheme to throw his new lodger out which culminates in Jez waterboarding the poor guy.
    • Whatever's going on at the New Year's Eve party is too depraved and reprehensible even for him.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Has tried and failed several times.
  • Guyliner: His default look.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: His Dad would lock him in the airing cupboard to 'monitor the homebrew'.
  • Immune to Drugs: Super Hans clearly thinks he is, although in many episodes he's reduced to an utter wreck by his excessive habits. However, someone who can survive taking four grams of cocaine in one go "to relax him" must be carrying at least a pint or two of tiger blood.
  • Insane Troll Logic: His ideas for the pub in "Sectioning" are ridiculous.
    Jeremy: I'm definitely not co-managing a pub called "Free the Paedos."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite being a crack-addled maniac, he's very much in love with his girlfriend (despite a complete language barrier between them), and his later wife, even going as far to say he'd hospitalize anyone who tried to stop him marrying her.
  • Junkie Prophet: Sometimes likes to pass himself off as one, even though his 'wisdom' is a mix of nonsensical ramblings, parroted phrases from film and television and the suggestion to do more drugs.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He’s not overly skilled at manipulation, but it doesn’t take much to trick Jeremy.
  • Mysterious Past: In the Series 6 finale, Super Hans mentions that he has seven-year-old twins, with whom he has little contact. He doesn't give their names or genders, but they seem to live in a German-speaking country. No one in the show refers to them after this, but they do finally show up at Hans' wedding in Series 9.
    • He also mentions in Series 5 that he's banned from some countries in the EU. This is never discussed further or mentioned again.
  • Odd Friendship: He and Mark seem to get along quite well. The two have absolutely nothing in common, but Hans appears to be less aware of Mark's social awkwardness than others, and Mark is surprisingly tolerant of Hans' eccentric behavior. Though Hans is ostensibly Jez's friend, he and Mark can converse (relatively) easily when Jez isn't present, and he often makes a point of asking after Mark's personal concerns, such as Mark-and-Sophie's wedding or Sophie's subsequent pregnancy and will often give well-meaning if inappropriate advice. The two are co-workers in Series 8 and Hans asks Mark to be his best man in Series 9.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: He even introduces himself as 'Hans. Super Hans'.
  • Only Sane Man: Yes, it's a show where the only sane man happens to be a drug addict but in a weird way, he is. He has more moral standards than Mark and Jeremy and by the end of the show, marriage falling apart aside he's able to stablise his life and is generally better at holding down a job.
    • Season 9 reveals his first name is Simon.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Much like Jeremy, he envisions himself as a musical genius. He does have other impressive skills, just not much related to music.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Whatever's happening at the New Year's Eve party is automatically made infinitely more horrific, depraved and grotesque by the simple fact that even Super Hans is utterly shaken and wants nothing to do with it.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: To Jeremy. If Hans does something, Jeremy will usually try to do the same thing with less success.
  • Undiscriminating Addict: very heavy polysubstance user.
  • Verbal Tic: Peppers his speech with plenty of "yeah"s, "nah"s, and "innit"s.
  • Wild Card: Can function as the episode's antagonist, single-scene comic relief, an unreliable backup party member for Jez and/or Mark, or just a drug-addled dead weight depending on the situation.

    Big Mad Andy 

Big Mad Andy

Portrayed by: Liam Noble

  • Ax-Crazy: Mainly in his first episode.
  • The Bus Came Back: Makes a return in Series 8, having not been seen since his first episode in Series 3.
  • Sanity Slippage: Not the most stable guy to begin with, but by the time he returns in Series 8 he's clearly gone even more 'mad' (if less violent).

Mark's Family


Dan Corrigan

Portrayed By: Clive Merrison
Mark's father.
  • Abusive Parents: Mark lives in utter terror of him, and for good reason: he's domineering and emotionally abusive to the extreme. Everyone seems to walk on eggshells when he's around.
  • Berserk Button: Cauliflower is traditional!
  • Freudian Excuse: He's a living excuse for Mark's behaviour. It's amazing Mark and Sarah didn't turn out worse.
  • Hate Sink: He's a sullen, sexist bully who treats his family horribly and is just awful to be around in general. He's one of the few characters on the show to have absolutely no redeeming traits.
  • Hypocrite: He insists the family didn't have enough money for Pam to pursue a new career but bought a new car that same year which would have cost even more which Dobby is quick to point out, much to Mark's horror.
  • Jerkass: Cruel to pretty much everyone, especially his family who understandably loathe him. He revels in his poor behaviour.
  • Perpetual Frowner: His default expression is an angry scowl to reflect just what a grumpy, unpleasant arsehole he is.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Dan shows some misogynistic tendencies; his most despicable moment in his one-episode appearance comes when he tells Mark to put a "muzzle on your woman" when Dobby makes an innocuous statement disagreeing with him.


Pam Corrigan

Portrayed By: Lynn Farleigh
Mark's mother.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Writes sexually explicit plays, gives Mark sexually explicit socks as a Christmas present, and suggests Emmanuelle in a round of Charades.
  • Cool Old Lady: She's very laid-back and chill, openly discussing sex and becoming fast friends with Super Hans and sharing his ribald sense of humor.


Sarah Corrigan

Portrayed By: Eliza L. Bennett

Mark's sister who has an on and off again relationship with Jez.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Part of the reason she gets with Jez.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Inverted - Sarah argues much more forcefully in Mark's favour over his and Sophie's custody battle, even going too far (arguing that Sophie is an unfit mother because she drinks and smokes) in the hopes of getting more reasonable demands. All this does is make the discussion more heated than it needs to be.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: With Mark, being flighty, self-absorbed and hedonistic while he is...well, Mark but he's at least more down to earth.
  • Jerkass: She's very self-involved. It's very telling when Mark is the more mature one.
  • Parental Favoritism: Beneficiary of this - gets a holiday and a cashmere jumper for Christmas, while Mark gets some novelty socks and a used paper shredder.
  • Pet the Dog: She argues hard on Mark's behalf in the custody hearings with Sophie. Granted, it just makes things worse but it's noticeably one of the few times she's ever genuinely tried to help him or anyone else.

Sophie's Family


Ian Chapman

Played By: Paul Clayton

Sophie's quietly bitter, self-loathing father.

  • Alcoholic Parent: Ian has started to self-medicate with alcohol.
  • Ax-Crazy: Burns down his neighbour's barn when he suspects him of sleeping with his wife.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: See Ax-Crazy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has a very dry, self-deprecating wit that comes from a combination of being the Only Sane Man and a Grumpy Old Man.
    Jeremy: So, I like your barn, Ian.
    Ian: It's full of crap no one has any use for. Maybe that's why I feel so at home here. Ha.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: As he himself admits, he may be a homophobe...but he's no badger baiter.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Being in a loveless marriage will do that to a man.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: With Penny. They put on a facade, but both of them are deeply miserable.
  • Only Sane Man: He's very aware of the fact that he's in a loveless marriage and everyone around him acts in their own selfish interests.
  • Papa Wolf: He doesn't care about anything but Sophie's happiness.


Penny Chapman

Played By: Cheryl Campbell

Sophie's friendly yet adulterous mother.

  • Happy Marriage Charade: With Ian. They're in a loveless marriage rife with infidelity and sexual dysfunction.
  • Mrs. Robinson: She seduces the much younger Jeremy with little to no effort.

Mark's Love Interests


April Danecroft
Portrayed By: Catherine Shepherd

A student and shoe salesgirl; Mark pretends to be doing the same course as her at university in order to meet her.


Sally Slater

Portrayed By: Liz May Brice

One of the few friends that Mark had and his old School Crush.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The likeley reason she's married to Mark's former high school bully.
  • Nice Girl: She treated Mark well at school. Mark and her shared some happy moments.
  • Not So Above It All: Not above having an affair with Mark and would have gone through with it had her husband not showed up impromptu.
  • The One That Got Away: One of the few people at Mark's old school who treated him well and who Mark developed a crush on.

Jeremy's Love Interests


"I come from America, I've seen the problems race brings up. Now fuck me and pretend I'm your mom!"
Played By: Rachel Blanchard

A kooky, 'liberated' small-town American girl who Jeremy falls in love with. She later marries him for visa reasons, and is in general something of a hypocritical free-spirit.

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Depending on how you view her.
  • Brainless Beauty: She's beautiful, and she is intelligent in some ways but certainly not in others.
  • Citizenship Marriage: With Jeremy.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: She adheres to a bizarre, hippie-esque religion that seems to be some mix of Christianity and every single cult in the 60s.
  • Granola Girl: Very much so, but also (by her word anyway) a devout Christian.
  • Hypocrite: Acts like a devout Christian...and is also too kinky for Jeremy. It's probably in keeping with her own, self-styled religion.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In a DVD commentary, Mitchell & Webb and Armstrong & Bain comment about the novelty of a sexy Hollywood actress coming over to do a low-budget British sitcom in "shitty Croydon".
  • The Pollyanna: To an extent that gets rather creepy, given that she chirps about family crises and year-long spells of drug addiction as brightly as anything else.

    Big Suze 

Big Suze
"This is quite a weird date, Jeremy. It's even weirder than when you took me to Laser Quest and tried to hump me in the dark."
Played By: Sophie Winkleman

Posh, a little stupid, very attractive and very sweet, Big Suze is Jeremy's ex-girlfriend. He's still in love with her, and has an excellent plan to 'get her high and put my hand up her jumper'.

  • Beware the Nice Ones: She rather cheerfully suggests tying a burglar up in the bath, then burning him with cigarettes to extract information.
  • Brainless Beauty: Averted. She's actually more intelligent than she appears to be, due to her cheerful attitude. However, she also repeatedly hooks back up with Jez and Johnson even after they've wronged her countless times.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Just about everyone's reaction to her, with good reason.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Repeatedly gets back together with Jez and Johnson in spite of how they've treated her in the past.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Ultrafemme and frequently in skirts with low cut tops.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She's never been referred to as anything other than Big Suze. We don't even know if 'Suze' is short for Susan or Suzanne.
  • Ship Tease: With Mark in the Series 3 episode 'Sistering'; after they spend time alone together Mark develops a crush on her but she is Oblivious to Love, though the end of the episode, where Mark 'dumps' her for the sake of Jez hints she might have had a soft spot for Mark after all.
  • Nice Girl: Has a very sweet demeanor.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Hence the name.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Treats Mark and Jeremy passive aggressively bad way in Series 7, although they've done more than enough to warrant it.
  • Unseen No More: References to the character weere made from the very first episode, but she only started appearing in person in Series 3.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Very posh, but not very smart.


Played By: Camilla Beeput

An intellectual woman whom Jeremy meets in a hospital waiting room while her boyfriend Ben is in a coma. Ben regains consciousness and later employs Jeremy, in a role which Jeremy uses as a means to try and get close to, and eventually seduce Zahra, even though she affects an interest in many refined subjects that are beyond him, such as foreign films and classic literature like Frankenstein, which he pretends to know about and be interested in in order to impress her.

  • Feigning Intelligence: At first, she seems quite clever. With each passing episode, it becomes clearer that she bases intelligence on 'refined' subjects and is merely better at faking it than Jeremy.
  • Hipster: Most certainly, due to her big fashionable glasses, and feigned interest in obscure, artsy subjects.
  • Men Are Uncultured: Averted. She's just as uncultured as everyone else, she's merely better at hiding it.



Portrayed By: Bart Edwards

Megan's boyfriend. Jeremy has sex with him on an impulse which results in an ongoing relationship between the two.



Portrayed By: Cariad Lloyd

A barmaid whom Jeremy meets during Super Hans' stag night.