Madame Fanny La Fan
|Madame Fanny La Fan|
|'Allo 'Allo! character|
Madame Fanny, listening to her ear trumpet.
|First appearance||Pilot: The British Are Coming|
|Last appearance||A Winkle in Time|
|Portrayed by||Rose Hill|
|Occupation||Resident of the Café's attic|
|Family||Edith Artois (daughter)
Ernest LeClerc (husband)
Fanny was born in 1856 (although she was once mistaken to be born in 1877 and on another occasion in 1789), to a poor French family. It can be assumed that she was a prostitute (although she gave this up in 1922). When she was a child, she was a childhood sweetheart of Roger LeClerc, who would later become the pianist of Café René. She once claimed to be the most talked about woman in Paris. Fanny once had a previous affair with Ernest LeClerc in 1927–1928. Fanny implied that she was raped by German soldiers during World War I.
Fanny once mentioned, that a cuckoo clock belonging to one of her ancestors, that was once owned by Marie Antoinette, was stolen from her by German soldiers during WW1. Fanny once mentioned that she was given a painting by a "penniless artist" in return for sexual favours. The painting would later turn out to be The Cracked Vase with the Big Daisies. The artist told Fanny that if she did not marry him, he would cut of parts his body and send them to her. After leaving her, the artist cut off and sent her his ear, implying that it was Vincent van Gogh.
When telling René to stop being nasty to her, Fanny said "that if my late husbands were alive, to hear you talk to me like that, he would horse whip you", implying that she had previous or some marriages before (and perhaps after) marrying Edith's father. Due to age mentions, it can be assumed that Fanny gave birth to Edith in 1910. Edith's father is unknown, as neither Fanny nor Edith never mention him, although it is implied that Roger or Ernest LeClerc could be Edith's father (or perhaps one of her lovers). At some point, shortly after Edith married René, and a long time before World War II started, Fanny moved in with her daughter Edith and her son-in-law René, and came to live at Café René.
An elderly woman, Fanny is also a misanthrope who often moans at anything or anyone with whom she comes into contact. Even her daughter Edith, who is one of the few people who makes an effort to be nice to her, can rarely meet her constant demands or appease her crankiness. She often uses a walking stick to bang on the floor of her bedroom so that the other characters below will hear and come to her assistance. More often than not, however, the reasons for the calls for help are nothing more than complaints about what was served for lunch.
Fanny and her son-in-law René intensly dislike each other (the only time she is pleasant to René is when she learns of a large quantity of gold in his possession and then encourages Edith to marry him). Despite this, however, they are both constantly being caught up together in the plans of the French, British or German intelligence – René because of how "out of the way" his café is, and Fanny because since she is by and large bed-bound. While it is sometimes unclear whose side René is really on, Fanny is fiercely patriotic and extremely anti-German. Despite this, when Gestapo Officer Otto Flick intended to search for the British airmen in her bedroom, she told him that they were hiding in the wardrobe and that a radio was hidden under the bed, and even gave a "Heil Hitler" complete with salute when the Officer left, not believing her.
Fanny is rarely seen not lying in her bed. The bed itself (especially its "flashing knobs"), her chamber pot and other boudoir-related objects are constantly used to conceal or disguise radio communication equipment or various unorthodox weapons to be used in the cause of the French Resistance. Many of the show's characters, including Yvette, Maria, Monsieur Alfonse, Roger LeClerc, René, and even Lieutenant Gruber have hidden beneath her bedsheets to escape capture by German army officials or the Gestapo. Lt. Gruber once found a book under her pillow with the title Wheelchair Jujutsu which contained, among other things, 12 ways to disable a man with a crutch. On the few occasions when Fanny ventures out of her bedchamber, she is usually seen consuming liquor at the café's bar or attempting to entertain its patrons with a song.
In "Savile Row to the Rescue", "Prisoners of War", "Camp Dance", "The Great Un-Escape", "Up The Crick Without A Piddle", "Awful Wedded Wife", Fanny is shown to have a fondness for alcohol, and thus gets drunk.
Fanny is also known for her many dalliances with men in her youth, some of whom later became famous. Despite her own randy past, she constantly pressures her daughter Edith to remarry once Edith's marriage to René becomes officially ended.
Hatred of the Germans
Many allusions are made to her long-held disdain of all things German, including her bad experiences with German soldiers (she implied that she was raped by German soldiers) during the first World War. In fact, when someone merely says the words "German," "Gestapo," or the like, she will spit in defiance, even if food is in her mouth, and generally always in the face of whoever happens to be standing nearby, even including German army officials and the Gestapo.