|Edith Melba Artois|
|'Allo 'Allo! character|
|First appearance||Pilot: The British Are Coming|
|Last appearance||A Winkle in Time
The Best of 'Allo 'Allo!
|Portrayed by||Carmen Silvera|
|Family||René François Artois(husband)
Fanny La Fan (mother)
Ernest LeClerc (stepfather)
Edith Melba Artois (Edith spelled Édith in French), also referred to as Madame Edith, is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, which ran from 1982 to 1992. The character was played by Carmen Silvera.
Little is known about Edith's family, except that she married childhood sweetheart Rene Artois, aged 16. She is the only child of Fanny La Fan, and her stepfather is Ernest LeClerc. It is hinted at that either Ernest or his brother, Roger is her father. She loves Rene, but he prefers their waitresses/servants: Yvette, Maria and Mimi.
When Edith was a baby, Madame Fanny sent her to work at the Chateau as a serving girl, and she worked in the servant's quarters, where she discovered all the secret passageways. In her late teens-early twenties, she met Rene, started to court with him, and later married him.
Edith Melba Artois (née La Fan) is the wife (and subsequently, sister-in-law) of her husband René Artois. After Rene's 'execution' and fake death, she became the legal owner of the café, which gave her greater influence over her husband's actions than she had had before. She does however dream of the day when René will remarry her (as his own false twin brother).
Edith, despite being tone deaf, fancies herself a cabaret singer, and insists on treating café customers to displays of her talents. Her concerts usually clear the café; those who remain stuff cheese in their ears to muffle her wails. While one of the waitresses, Mimi Labonq, actually does have talent, Edith will not usually permit her to entertain the customers. Edith's singing is so horrible that she has shattered glass, in one duet, she made every dog in the town howl, and to prevent Rene from being killed by several Resistance girls who were going to shoot him as a collaborator. She has no problem with the waitresses taking favoured customers upstairs, though.
Edith is a jealous wife, and will become angry and suspicious of Rene whenever he is near other women. However she is very easy to hoodwink, whenever she catches her husband in a clinch with one of the waitresses, she swallows whatever transparent lies Rene chooses to tell her. Since she is thought to be a widow, she occasionally has suitors of her own, who flatter her enormously. They include Monsieur Alfonse, the local undertaker; and Bertorelli, an Italian captain. Edith's relationship with Rene himself can be quite contradictory at times, at one point she was quite ready to commit a suicide bombing to save Rene from the Germans and on other occasions is quite eager to see Rene die in some Heroic manner so she can be considered the Widow of a great man.
Edith appeared in the pilot episode and every subsequent episode. She is sometimes the butt of several jokes about her looks and exaggerating her age. Her age was at one point suggested to be over a hundred years old as she claimed she entertained soldiers returning from War and Rene riposte'd that it was during the Crimean War.
Madame Édith attempts to sing in her café, to no avail. Later, she delivers a message to René. Her mother upstairs, Madame Fanny La Fan, interrupts during the radio transmission.
Édith's accent is greatly exaggerated in this episode. It nearly bears no resemblance to the voice she quipped in later episodes. Also, she is less of a pushover.
Edith is later shown to be adopted, that Madame Fanny is not her birth mother. Edith was delivered to Madame Fanny in a basket. She could also have been a gypsy princess: a Gypsy read her palm, and all clues pointed to her being a long lost princess. However, none of the Gypsies could take her voice, so they forced her away.
She appears on the last episode of 'Allo 'Allo!. After the war, now aged, she was confined to a bed and has adopted several of her mother's mannerisms. When René elopes with the serving girl Yvette Carte-Blanche, she is left alone in Nouvion.