Psychoville. Mr Jelly (Reece Shearsmith)


  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Two
  • 2009 - 2011
  • 14 episodes (2 series)

A dark comedy mystery starring The League Of Gentlemen's Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. Also features Jason Tompkins, Dawn French, Daniel Kaluuya, Daisy Haggard, Imelda Staunton and Daniel Ings

Character guide

Psychoville. David Sowerbutts (Steve Pemberton). Copyright: BBC

David Sowerbutts

Played by: Steve Pemberton

These character guides contain spoilers - don't read them if you haven't yet seen the first series or want to avoid hints as to what happens in the second series.

David is a serial-killer obsessed man-child with a terrible hair cut. He is always reading books about murder, and knows pretty much everything there is to know about the famous killers in history.

David lives with his mum and the two share a close bond... perhaps a little bit too close!

David tries his hardest to hold down a job, but his simple nature, over eagerness to please, and general lack of social skills makes this one goal he can't achieve. He is good at one thing though - murdering people.

Psychoville. Maureen Sowerbutts (Reece Shearsmith). Copyright: BBC

Maureen Sowerbutts

Played by: Reece Shearsmith

Maureen is David's caring mother. Her relationship with her son could be described as more than a little close.

She will do anything for her slightly slow son... from chewing up his food for him, to helping him dispatch his string of targets in various murderous ways.

In her spare time she likes to play on a keyboard... she will happily sit for hours on end playing tunes with her headphones on.

Maureen is hiding some very dark secrets. As the series progresses we begin to get hints as to what these are.

Following a trip to the doctors, it seems Maureen may not have long left...

Psychoville. Mr Jelly (Reece Shearsmith). Copyright: BBC

Mr Jelly

Played by: Reece Shearsmith

Mr Jelly is an embittered children's entertainer. He's absolutely terrible at his job and often ends up making the kids he is supposed to be entertaining cry. He seems to lack an understanding as to what is expected of him - for example, he often turns up smoking.

Jelly only has one hand, and this is something he has incorporated into his act... by using 'novelty' clip-on hooks. The trouble is, his metal hooks are far from safe, and they all look terrifying.

Jelly was tormented by the success of his good hard-working clean rival, Mr Jolly. The two clowns were often confused for each other due to their similar names and thus some parents end up getting a clown full of built in rage, rather than the fun and smiley Mr Jolly they were expecting.

Following the death of Mr Jolly, this clown now has the task of un-picking his dead rival's life in an attempt to discover more about this mystery.

Psychoville. Oscar Lomax (Steve Pemberton). Copyright: BBC

Oscar Lomax

Played by: Steve Pemberton

Mr Lomax is a blind recluse with an unusual hobby. He is a greedy collector of a particular type of item... Beanie Baby-style soft toys. In Series 1, he needed just one final 'commodity', Snappy the Crocodile, to complete his collection.

Lomax is a multi-millionaire, but his wealth did not come without a big sacrifice... he had to sell his eyes to The Crabtree Sisters.

He is looked after by Michael - aka Tealeaf - a young care worker who has been sent by the council to help with household chores and assist with tasks like reading the post.

Later in Series 2 we discover that 'Oscar Lomax' is not his real name - he is someone much more famous.

Psychoville. Robert Greenspan (Jason Tompkins). Copyright: BBC

Robert Greenspan

Played by: Jason Tompkins

Robert is the charming dwarf who plays the part of Blusher in the panto. He is deeply in love with Debbie, the dumb actress who plays Snow White. However, Debbie doesn't appear to reciprocate the feelings and thus when he puts his heart on the line he is left looking stupid.

Mild mannered Robert is often teased by the other cast members. Occasionally this causes him to boil over... at which point he appears to demonstrate some telekinetic powers - but is it really his mind that smashes mirrors and lights when he gets angry?

The end of the first series saw Robert trapped in a house in the deepest, darkest woods at the hands of Kerry and her Grandma. His life in Series 2 is quite 'short' as well.

Psychoville. Joy Aston (Dawn French). Copyright: BBC

Joy Aston

Played by: Dawn French

Joy is a deranged but caring midwife who teaches ante-natal classes as the local hospital. She talks to the prospective parents in quite a cutting, nasty way about what they're about to go through... and she certainly doesn't put anyone at ease with her graphic child birth videos!

Joy's secret is that she treats one of her practice dolls as if it's her real child. She absolutely believes that she can make Freddie into a real boy to compensate for something that's happened in her past. She has been 'feeding' the doll human blood in an attempt to make him real. Joy is determined to bring her little Freddie to life... even if it means someone has to make a big sacrifice.

Psychoville. Michael Fry (aka Tealeaf) (Daniel Kaluuya). Copyright: BBC

Michael Fry (aka Tealeaf)

Played by: Daniel Kaluuya

Michael is Mr Lomax's care worker. He helps Mr Lomax by doing things like reading his post out loud... this includes telling the old man how many million he has in his rather large bank account.

Michael, or 'Tealeaf' as he is called by Lomax, is sucked into the mission to obtain Snappy the Crocodile during the first series. He is happy to go along with this adventure as it is both fun and he can sense a big personal profit for himself...

In Series 2, Tealeaf has become genuine friends with Lomax and realises that the locket everyone is searching for is worth perusing too...

Psychoville. Debbie Hart (Daisy Haggard). Copyright: BBC

Debbie Hart

Played by: Daisy Haggard

Debbie is a beautiful but not very smart actress. She plays Snow White in panto and has made Robert truly love-struck.

Unfortunately for Robert, Debbie is patronising and rude. She manages to humiliate him a number of times. However, Robert appears to get the upper-hand when a blow to the head gives Debbie amnesia... thus giving him the chance to convince her that they've been going out together for two years now.

In Series 2, Debbie ends up with the locket everyone is after. She is now in more danger than she could ever realise...

Psychoville. Grace Andrews (Imelda Staunton). Copyright: BBC

Grace Andrews (Series 2)

Played by: Imelda Staunton

Grace - a woman with a sharp-suit and an even sharper haircut - is after the locket. Quite why she wants it we don't find out until the end of the second series - she is a shadowy figure who has mysterious motives.

Grace sits in a brightly lit room and tracks the whereabouts of the main characters with the help of her assistant Kelvin.

She isn't happy with the level of technology available to her. Instead of working with bits of paper and pins, she wants to be like Judy Dench in the Bond movies - playing with flatscreen technology, viewing life satellite imagery and the like.

Psychoville. Kelvin (Daniel Ings). Copyright: BBC

Kelvin (Series 2)

Played by: Daniel Ings

Kelvin is Grace Andrews' henchman and general gopher. He is very loyal to Grace, and keeping track of the various characters is his number one concern.

One problem is that Kelvin is a little inept. He makes some silly mistakes which don't help the mission... whatever the mission might be.

Psychoville. Detective Finney (Mark Bonnar). Copyright: BBC

Detective Finney (Series 2)

Played by: Mark Bonnar

Detective Finney is in pursuit of the locket too - as well as being a policeman, he seems to be in the employment of Grace Andrews in his spare time.

At first it seems that Finney wants to try and get to the bottom of what happened at the hospital so that those responsible can be arrested. But soon we discover his motives are much less altruistic, and he is a rather dangerous man to know.

Psychoville. Peter Bishop (Jason Watkins). Copyright: BBC

Peter Bishop (Series 2)

Played by: Jason Watkins

Peter is the owner of Hoyti Toyti, an antique shop specialising in toys. He has been dealing in rare and hard-to-find toys and collectibles for the past 15 years and is quite happy running his small shop in Harrogate, Yorkshire. He answers the phone in a very camp way and is fairly abrupt with anyone who doesn't understand antiques - he directs them to the Sue Ryder charity shop.

Peter teams up with Tealeaf to try and solve the mystery of the locket. But should Tealeaf be working with someone who has a rather disturbing collection of items stored in the basement under his shop?

Psychoville. Jeremy Goode (Reece Shearsmith). Copyright: BBC

Jeremy Goode (Series 2)

Played by: Reece Shearsmith

An over-zealous librarian, Jeremy prides himself on going to whatever lengths are necessary to ensure that books are returned to the library.

Jeremy becomes obsessed with a particular book, 50 Great Coastal Walks of the British Isles Volume 2. It hasn't been returned, and even though there are other copies in the library he goes to extreme lengths to try and get the book back and avoid charging another 5p fine.

At first it seems that Jeremy isn't connected to the other characters - however, we discover later that he is actually closely linked to the past.

Psychoville. Silent Singer (Reece Shearsmith). Copyright: BBC

Silent Singer (Series 2)

Played by: Reece Shearsmith

Silent Singer is an eerie apparition with a strange hold over librarian Jeremy Goode.

Wherever Jeremy goes, it seems Silent Singer follows at a distance. As the name suggests, we can't hear Silent Singer - we just see he/she quietly miming along to a song. Creepy.

Psychoville. Hattie (Steve Pemberton). Copyright: BBC

Hattie (Series 2)

Played by: Steve Pemberton

Hattie is a make-up artist who once looked after Bonnie Tyler. She is full of joy and happiness - on the outside at least. You get the feeling that most of the cheeriness is just a front.

Hattie is asked by her gay best friend Chris to marry his Iranian other half for visa reasons. She happily accepts, but isn't quite so keen when she discovers the wedding won't be the glittery love-filled ceremony she's always dreamed of...

However, it isn't long before Hattie is is living the married life she always dreamed of. Sort of.

Psychoville. Shahrouz (Elyes Gabel). Copyright: BBC

Shahrouz (Series 2)

Played by: Elyes Gabel

Shahrouz is a gay Iranian man who is in love with Chris. He agrees to take part in a 'sham marriage' with Hattie so that he can stay in the country... however, when agreeing to wedlock, he didn't bank on Hattie becoming somewhat attached to him.

Shahrouz finds himself imprisoned in Hattie's bedroom. It's a creepy place to be. She uses his naivety about immigration to keep him from attempting to escape.

Psychoville. Nurse Kenchington (Eileen Atkins). Copyright: BBC

Nurse Kenchington

Played by: Eileen Atkins

Nurse Kenchington was in charge of Ravenhill Hospital in the early 2000s. She was a cruel and sadistic boss of the psychiatric hospital and devised humiliating and painful trials and tests for the patients.

Following her apparent death, the search for her locket - which has the letter 'K' on it - becomes key to many people's lives.

Psychoville. Mrs Wren (Vilma Hollingbery). Copyright: BBC

Mrs Wren

AKA: Claudia Wren.  Jelly's Accomplice.   Played by: Vilma Hollingbery

Claudia Wren is Jelly's elderly accomplice. She helps him out with his various stage tricks... when she hasn't accidentally fallen asleep.

Jelly is constantly exasperated by Mrs Wren and her naive, doddering, good natured personality, so it is somewhat of a mystery why the clown continues to smuggle her out of Sunnyvale Retirement Home to go on adventures with him.

Psychoville. Emily (Sarah Solemani). Copyright: BBC

Emily (Series 2)

Robin's Friend.   Played by: Sarah Solemani

Emily is an acquaintance of actor Robin. She gets to experience the Sowerbutts' unique entertainment skills first hand when she joins Robin at David and Maureen's flat for dinner.

Emily is clearly quite simple, naive and easily exploited. She has a kind heart though and, over time, gets closer to David.

Psychoville. George Aston (Steve Pemberton). Copyright: BBC

George Aston

Played by: Steve Pemberton

George is Joy's brow-beaten husband. A quiet and meek man, he has clearly been forced by his wife into treating her antenatal practice doll as if it was their real child. He complies with this charade for some reason, including humiliatingly 'feeding' and 'changing' the doll. However, behind Joy's back, he treats the doll as the bit of plastic and cotton it really is.

However, we discover later that George has a secret that he has hiding been hiding from his wife. He leaves Joy at the start of the second series.

Psychoville. Biggins (Christopher Biggins). Copyright: BBC


Christopher Biggins (playing himself) is the director of the Snow White panto. He scoots about the stage in a busy way, cheerily shouting instructions to the actors and stage crew.

The camp director and actor is full of gossip. He's just got back from filming reality show I'm A Celebrity... it turns out it isn't in the jungle as it appears, rather in the comfortable back lot of a film studio.

Psychoville. Kerry Cushing (Lisa Hammond). Copyright: BBC

Kerry Cushing

Played by: Lisa Hammond

Mild-mannered Kerry plays Sniffly in the panto. She is clearly in love with Robert. We later learn that she is actually obsessed with him... something which puts Robert in danger.

In Series 2, Kerry is still attempting to get Robert to fall in love with her... with the help of her mother, Kerry comes up with a special potion.

Psychoville. Mr Jolly (Adrian Scarborough). Copyright: BBC

Mr Jolly (Series 1)

AKA: Dr Stuart Strachen.  Played by: Adrian Scarborough

Mr Jolly was a kids entertainer. He was very good at his job and thus was often booked by schools to perform.

Mr Jelly hated Mr Jolly because he was successful and happy. But there was also a deeper reason... in Episode 3 we learn that, in a previous profession, Mr Jolly was a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at St Dunstan's Hospital, Manchester, and his real name is Dr Stuart Strachen. It was during his tenure at St Dunstan's that he operated on Mr Jelly's hand - but the operation went wrong.

Jolly was also a psychiatric consultant at Ravenhill Hospital during the early 2000s. It turns out later this is quite a key link in the Pyschoville story. Mr Jolly is no longer around... but un-locking his past is still important.

Psychoville. Nicola (Elizabeth Berrington). Copyright: BBC

Nicola (Series 1)

Nicola was a fellow nurse and midwife at the hospital Joy works at. She was a happy and cheerful person who meant no harm to anyone, but ended up getting punched by Joy when she dared to insult Freddie, Joy's practice doll.

It turns out that Nicola wasn't entirely saintly herself though - as she revealed to us when she put a plan conceived by herself and George into action late one night.

Nicola started to grow suspicious of Joy when she spotted her colleague in the blood bank room... she perhaps should have paid more attention to what was in the blood bags, as it ended up costing her her life.

Psychoville. Brian MacMillan (Reece Shearsmith). Copyright: BBC

Brian MacMillan (Series 1)

Played by: Reece Shearsmith

Brian is one of Robert's co-stars. He plays the Wicked Queen in the panto... which is quite apt, as Brian is both wicked and a queen!

Brian has been doing panto for years - he's shared dressing rooms with all the famous names, and has lots of juicy gossip and interesting stories about each of them.

Brian is a snob. He reveals himself to be less than trustworthy when it comes to keeping secrets and is happy to humiliate others for a quick and easy laugh.

Psychoville. Chelsea Crabtree (Alison Lintott). Copyright: BBC

Chelsea Crabtree (Series 1)

Played by: Alison Lintott

Chelsea is one-half of The Crabtree Sisters. The siblings are online auction millionaires - buying and selling hundreds of items on websites like eBay from their dingily lit computer-filled basement.

However, despite being rich, the twins were desperately after one particular small little green item - the same item that Oscar Lomax wanted so badly too.

Psychoville. Kelly Su Crabtree (Debbie Chazen). Copyright: BBC

Kelly Su Crabtree (Series 1)

Played by: Debbie Chazen

Kelly Su is attached to her sister Chelsea... because the duo are conjoined Siamese. However, they're only monovisual. Having one eye each doesn't stop the sisters being lightening quick on a keyboard though.

The Crabtree Sisters, being in the market Snappy the Crocodile, attempted to buy the toy off Bob and Karen Dalton for a huge sum of money - but the plan soon changed.

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