Characters & Cast

Here are the characters that appear throughout the three series. You can click on the cast links to take you to their Internet Movie Database page so you can see what other programmes they've been in.

Main Characters

Jump to:
Series One: Colin Freshwater | Franny Barnes | Mr Hellman | Anwar | Smith | Tatters The Cat | Ma Mossop | Jo
Series Two: Colin Freshwater | Franny Barnes | Mr Hellman | Anwar | Private Tripe | Nyegel | The Policeman | Umma
Series Three: Colin Freshwater | Franny Barnes | Mr Hellman | Jace Freshwater | Tracey Barnes | Robert | Vine | Eleanor
All Series: Anwar | Colin Freshwater | Eleanor | Franny Barnes | Jace Freshwater | Jo | Ma Mossop | Mr Hellman | Nyegel | Private Tripe | Robert | Smith | Tatters The Cat | The Policeman | Tracey Barnes | Umma | Vine
Series One: Avril Angers | Celina Cherry | Felipe Izquierdo | Frank Gatliff | Graham Seed | Jasmine | Louise Mason | Lyndam Gregory
Series Two: David Janes | Felipe Izquierdo | Frank Gatliff | Joan Hooley | Keith Varnier | Louise Mason | Lyndam Gregory | Victor Maddern
Series Three: Ben Felton | Felipe Izquierdo | Frank Gatliff | John Vine | Judith Paris | Louise Mason | Michael Bertenshaw | Tracey McDonald
All Series: Avril Angers | Ben Felton | Celina Cherry | David Janes | Felipe Izquierdo | Frank Gatliff | Graham Seed | Jasmine | Joan Hooley | John Vine | Judith Paris | Keith Varnier | Louise Mason | Lyndam Gregory | Michael Bertenshaw | Tracey McDonald | Victor Maddern

Colin Freshwater (Felipe Izquierdo)

Episode Appearances: 33 (series 1-3)

Colin Freshwater

Colin, aka secret agent C.A.B, is one of the main characters. Colin appears in all three series (the first two alongside Franny Barnes and in the third with Jace Freshwater and Tracey Barnes).

From L-R: Are You Being Served; Kappatoo & My Summer With Des

Felipe Izquierdo also appeared in other TV shows including main roles in Kappatoo and Eye of The Storm and guest appearances in The Upper Hand and Are You Being Served. For more information about Felipe, including images and appearances in other programmes click Felipe Izquierdo page.

Franny Barnes (Louise Mason)

Episode Appearances: 24 (series 1-3)

Franny Barnes

Franny is Colin's friend, also known as Franny the Brill, ace codebreaker. Franny appears in the first two series as a main character and also appears briefly in episode one of series three.

Louise Mason seems to have had no other acting credits. Louise left acting to pursue a career in research and worked on the TV show 'This Is Your Life' as a researcher for a short while.

Mr Hellman (Frank Gatliff)

Episode Appearances: 32 (series 1-3)

Mr Hellman

Mr Hellman visits Ma Mossop's shop in the first series and he owns The Wooden Kamel shop in the second and third series. Mr Hellman works for the American 'Mr Grandison' in the first series. Mr Hellman is Ma Mossop's cousin. In the first series we find out that his full name is Dr Johann Hellman and he is a renowned egyptologist. Later in series one we find out he is Ma Mossop's cousin and he really is Sargeant Nobby Clarke. He is a very greedy man but is he Colin's friend?

From L-R: Dramarama, The Good Life (2 images)

Frank Gatliff appeared in numerous television programmes such as Thundercloud (1979), The Onedin Line (1976-77), Z-Cars, Doctor Who, Dramarama and The Good Life. Frank Gatliff sadly passed away on the 23rd June 1990 aged 62 making C.A.B his last TV appearance prior to his death.

Smith (Graham Seed)

Episode Appearances: 13 (series 1)


Smith is an agent working for 'Mr Grandison'. He keeps a close watch on the shop as he is trying to find the secrets to Ma Mossop's shop and the hidden treasure. He uses various disguises throughout the series (which the children soon see through) including an American, the milkman, the Professor and (best disguise of them all) Rosemary! Later in the series it is revealed that his full name is Kenneth 'Kenny' Smith and he is a secret agent working for MI5 but is working for Mr Grandison for the money. Smith only appears in the first series.

From L-R: Graham Seed

Graham Seed is most well known for the role of Nigel Pargetter in the BBC radio series The Archers. Television work include Brookside, Doctors and The Upper Hand.

Graham Seed can be found on Twitter.

Read an exclusive interview with Graham here.

Anwar (Lyndam Gregory)

Episode Appearances: 9 (series 1 & 2)


Anwar is the Egyptian who appears in the first and second series. Anwar is a decendent of the people who protected the tomb. Anwar has telepathic and hypnotic powers and can hear what people are saying.

From L-R: Publicity photo, Eastenders & Chucklevision

Lyndam is best known as appearing in Eastenders as Guppy in 1995 and in comedy Surgical Spirit as Simon Field from 1989 to 1992. Lyndam has had many other TV roles including The Gentle Touch, London's Burning and Doctors.

Lyndam Gregory sadly passed away on 15th July 2014 at the age of 59.

Tatters The Cat (Jasmine)

Episode Appearances: 12 (series 1)

Tatters The Cat

Tatters is Ma Mossop's cat which the children are looking after while Ma Mossop is away. Colin and Franny hide Ma Mossop's secret box under Tatters at the start of the series. Tatters gets cat-napped during the series. Tatters appears in every episode of the first series apart from episode four. In the second series Hellman mentions that Ma Mossop and Tatters went to live on Eel Pie Island seeking political asylum.

Tatters is not credited in the credits of any episode but is credited as 'Jasmine' in the TV Times episode listings.

Ma Mossop (Avril Angers)

Episode Appearances: 2 (series 1)

Ma Mossop

Ma Mossop owns the shop which used to be the old Citizens Advice Bureau from the first series. She appears in the first and last episode of the first series. The children think Ma Mossop is at Lambeth Road hospital but at the end of the series she was in the shop all along listening in on everything. In the second series Hellman mentions that Ma Mossop and Tatters went to live on Eel Pie Island seeking political asylum.

Avril Angers, once described as the 'Lucille Ball' of the United Kingdom had an extensive television and theatre career. Television work includes No Appointment Necessary, Are You Being Served and All Creatures Great and Small. Avril Angers sadly passed away on the 9th November 2005 aged 87. See the Avril Angers page on AYBS central website for more information and pictures.

Jo (Celina Cherry)

Episode Appearances: 2 (series 1)


Jo is the little girl who visits the shop in series one, who sells Rosemary (Smith in disguise) the pretty teapot! Jo appears in two episodes, meeting Smith in both episodes and Hellman and Franny in episode five.

From L-R: Celina Cherry Publicity photo, The Big Reunion & Honeyz music video

The actress who played Jo later is now better known as the lead singer of the band 'The Honeyz'.

Celina can be found on Twitter and Instagram.

Private Tripe (Victor Maddern)

Episode Appearances: 5 (series 2)

Private Tripe

Private Tripe appears in the second series and works for the president of an island in the Arctic ocean who wants the treasure from the tomb to be able to buy things to build spaceships and conquer the world. Anwar calls Tripe 'a very dangerous man'. Hellman thinks Tripe is dead so is shocked when he turns up at The Wooden Kamel but by the end of the series he starts to work with Hellman on his wicked plans.

Often cast as member of the forces Victor had an extensive career in television and film. Notable credits include some of the 'Carry On' films, The Dick Emery Show and episodes of Doctor Who. Victor Maddern sadly passed away on the 22nd June 1993 aged 67.

Nyegel (Keith Varnier)

Episode Appearances: 4 (series 2)


Nyegel appears in the second series. Nyegel gets delivered to the Wooden Kamel inside the spacesuit, he tells Colin he works for the Eastern Oriental Space Agency. He works for the mysterious 'Jacko Palermo' the dubious international art collector.

Keith Varnier is not a well known actor but appeared in many TV programmes during the 1970's and 1980's these include Star Cops (1987), Gems (1985) and Survivors (1977).

Policeman (David Janes)

Episode Appearances: 5 (series 2)

The Policeman

The Policeman appears in the second series. He listens to everything that happens in the shop with the radio in the attic space. He works for 'Mr Grandison'.

David Janes made several TV appearances mainly during the 1980's these include Boon (1989), Bergerac (1985) and Minder (1984).

Umma (Joan Hooley)

Episode Appearances: 5 (series 2)


Umma appears in the second series. At first she seems only to be a cleaning lady for her master in The Wooden Kamel shop but it turns out she is an undercover agent for MI6. 'Timbuktu' is the codename that Tripe and his gang gave her.

From L-R: Publicity photo, Off Their Rockers (2 images)

Joan is best known for appearing in Eastenders as Josie between 1998 and 2000 and as Dr. Louise Mahler in Emergency-Ward 10 during 1964. Joan also made TV appearances in The Bill, Bugs and Doctors. Joan was also one of the main writers and member of the script team of the comedy 'Desmond's'.

Jace Freshwater (Ben Felton)

Episode Appearances: 10 (series 3)

Jace Freshwater

Jace is Colin's younger brother. Jace takes over as 'secret agent C.A.B' in series three, he keeps lookout at the Wooden Kamel to see if he can see Hellman. In episode ten of the series he mentions that his name is Jason when Colin calls him Jace.

From L-R: As Robert in the Dramarama episode 'The Horrible Story' (2 images) and in an episode of The Bill

Ben had guest roles in an episode of the childrens TV series Dramarama in the 1987 episode The Horrible Story and in an episode of The Bill (1990). After this Ben has made no known appearances. For more information about Ben, including images and appearances in other programmes click Ben Felton page.

Tracey Barnes (Tracey McDonald)

Episode Appearances: 10 (series 3)

Tracey Barnes

Tracey is Franny's younger sister. Tracey appears in series three and helps Colin and Jace discover the mystery of the Queen's Beast. Tracey seems to have inherited Franny's skills at solving puzzles which she does in this series to help Colin and Jace.

Tracey also appeared alongside Colin Baker in the series 'Cuckoo' and in stage productions during her childhood. Read an exclusive interview with Tracey here.

Tracey can be found on Twitter and Instagram.

Robert (John Vine)

Episode Appearances: 10 (series 3)


Robert is working for Eleanor and between them they are plotting to take over the throne of England. Robert (dressed all in biker gear) keeps lookout on the shop, Hellman and the children.

From L-R: Publicity photo, Sweeney 2 & Together

John Vine has appeared in numerous TV shows including Shoestring, Boon, Soldier Soldier, The Knock, The Bill and many others.

Vine (Michael Bertenshaw)

Episode Appearances: 9 (series 3)


Vine appears in series three as a plumber who comes to fix the water in the Wooden Kamel for Hellman, but is he really a plumber? Later in the series he tells Colin that he is the guardian of the beast.

From L-R: Publicity photo (2002), In 'Joking Apart' (1995) and 'Doctor Who' episode 'The Next Doctor' (2008)

Michael Bertenshaw has appeared in numerous TV shows including Casualty, The Bill, Doctor Who, Joking Apart, Rosemary & Thyme and many others.

Visit the Official Michael Bertenshaw Website for more information. Michael has a Youtube channel featuring clips of his many TV appearances.

Michael Bertenshaw can be found on Twitter.

Read an exclusive interview with Michael here.

Eleanor Plantagenet (Judith Paris)

Episode Appearances: 6 (series 3)


Eleanor Plantagenet believes she is the real Queen, 'Eleanor of England'. Along with Robert she is solving the mysteries of the Queen's Beast and Henry VIII's codes so she can take the crown from the Queen's Beast and take over as the true Queen of England. Eleanor appears from episode five of series three.

From L-R: 'Doctor Who' episode 'The Hand of Fear' (1976) and publicity photos

Judith Paris has appeared in numerous TV shows including A Touch of Frost, Doctor Who, Within These Walls, 2point4 Children and many others. Judith appeared in a number of film projects of the director Ken Russell including The Devils and The Rainbow.

Other Characters

These are the other characters who are mentioned during the series but never appear.

Mr Grandison
Series mentioned: 1 & 2
Mr Grandison is the American Mr Hellman is working for in the first and second series. When Franny finds the article about Hellman in series one we find out that Grandison's full name is Wendell D Grandison and he is an American oil billionaire and he has appointed Hellman to work for him. Towards the end of series one we find out that Smith is also working for Grandison having done a deal with him.
Mr Grandison
Sargeant Nobby Clarke
Series mentioned: 1 & 2
Sargeant Nobby Clarke is the soldier in the photograph in Ma Mossop's memories. We find out late in the series that Nobby Clarke is really Hellman!
Sargeant Nobby Clarke
Jacko Palermo
Series mentioned: 2
Jacko Palermo is the dubious international art collector who Nyegel works for in the second series. The Policeman looks on his computer for information on him for Mr Grandison. Jack Palermo is also known as 'Turkish Delight'.
Jacko Palermo
President Al-Greener
Series mentioned: 2
President Al-Greener is mentioned in the second series. Private Tripe is working for the president of the small island who wants the treasure to be able to buy things to build spaceships and conquer the world. Umma carries a photo of the president incase he comes to the shop.
President Al-Greener
The Mysterious Messenger
Series mentioned: 3
In episode two of series three Hellman explains to Colin that he met someone on the beach who asked if he was Mr Hellman and then he gave Hellman the first riddle telling him to return to The Wooden Kamel. Who this is is not known.
The Messenger