|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2006)|
|'Allo 'Allo! character|
|First appearance||The Policeman Cometh|
|Last appearance||A Winkle in Time
The Return of 'Allo 'Allo!
|Portrayed by||Arthur Bostrom|
|Occupation||Secret Agent & French Policeman|
The character is an undercover British agent masquerading as a gendarme. His grasp of French is limited however, and this is represented on screen by his mangling of vowels for comic effect. Crabtree is occasionally heard speaking his maternal English, mostly when speaking to Fairfax and Carstairs. His bad French also seems to be contagious as several French characters (particularly Madame Edith) end up speaking like him without realising it after hearing him talk. It is also of note that others, especially lead character René, will use his mangled French to insult him, such as in "Pass off" (for "Piss off").
A running gag throughout the series is that, when any of the other characters meet British officers (even Fairfax and Carstairs on one occasion, when they were to be disguised as gendarmes) their French is just the same as Crabtree's.
Crabtree's rank in the French police force is unknown, although in series 9, he wears 3 stripes which denote the rank of Sergeant, and in series 7, Helga reveals that he is the head of the Nouvion police.
After the character's introduction, various episodes were named in this talking manners (e.g. "Up the Crick Without a Piddle" for "Up the Creek without a Paddle" in Season 7).