|'Allo 'Allo! character|
Michelle of the Résistance
|First appearance||"Pilot: The British Are Coming"|
|Last appearance||The Return of 'Allo 'Allo!|
|Portrayed by||Kirsten Cooke|
|Occupation||Leader of the Resistance|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2007)|
She is a tall, thin, dark-haired young woman who usually dresses in the unofficial "uniform" of the Gaullist French Resistance, a tan trench coat and black beret (usually with a silk scarf and a dress underneath). Unlike the other French characters, she speaks fluent English, and is the only local person in Nouvion who can communicate with the two downed Royal Air Force men who are hidden in the town (the only other character to do this is Officer Crabtree). Her undercover alias is that of the post mistress in the other village, who has a lisp. During Series 5 she also poses as a window cleaner and a builder.
Her recurring catch-phrase (delivered in a faux-French accent) is: "Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once." She also has a habit of jumping out on Rene with her gun drawn, and asking him "are we alone?", even when in a crowded cafe, and has an obsession with secrecy and disguises. Her usual manner of entering René's café is through the window in the back room, but on occasion she has also used the back passage and the front door, albeit disguised as an old woman, a German soldier, a pregnant woman, a window cleaner and once in plain clothes when she "urgently" needed René and Edith to help her (she had not had time to do her washing).
Although, unlike most of the other women in the show, she is not even remotely attracted to René Artois, she pretends to be in love with him at one point to get him to co-operate with her schemes but explains this to Yvette (following a scene in which Michelle walked in on Yvette in René's arms, called him a "faithless deceiver" and René was forced to tell Yvette that "Michelle ze ice-cold untouchable 'ead of ze Resistance turned out to 'ave ze 'ots for me") and promises to "do to 'im something very 'orrible" so that Yvette can have him back when the Resistance no longer needs him. René himself is not enthusiastic about the Resistance or the Germans, and would much prefer, given his own inclinations, to just run his café and have affairs with his waitresses.
Although Michelle is devoted to the Resistance, there have been episodes when her morals are doubtful. In one episode she shoots the ceiling of René's café to make the customers pay 400 francs for a bottle of wine instead of 200. In Series 7 she takes some money from the till of the café and takes wine and cheese. In another episode she even threatens René and Edith with a gun for money. She has also been known to spend Resistance money (or money intended for the Resistance) at the hairdresser's. In Series 5, she was prepared to let Mimi die so she could have one million francs.
Her catchphrase "Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once" was the most used catchphrase in the show and had several variations, including "Look very carefully, I shall show this only once", which was first used when showing one of her legs to René and Monsieur Alfonse, "listen very carefully, we shall sing this only once" when singing a song in René's café with Officer Crabtree and "get out of my way, I can spray this only once" when using a fire extinguisher at General von Klinkerhoffen's chateau, and even Rene once said, "Listen very carefully, she shall say this only once" just before Michelle was giving a briefing. Due to the show's popularity "Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once" has also been used infrequently on other shows, especially those set in World War II France. A notable example is a fifth season episode of Goodnight Sweetheart when the main character Gary Sparrow, disguised as a French General, made contact with a member of the French Resistance.
In "The return of 'Allo 'Allo" Michelle was asked by Rene if she ever said anything twice, her reply "I have, but only once."