Officer Crabtree

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Officer Crabtree
'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
Nationality British

Officer Crabtree is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, which ran from 1982 to 1992; he was played by actor Arthur Bostrom.

In The Return of 'Allo 'Allo!, it was revealed that the character was partly based upon Edward Heath, who spoke fluent French, but with an obviously English accent.

Character overview[edit]

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, such as his catchphrase, "Good moaning!". Crabtree is occasionally heard speaking his maternal English, mostly when speaking to Fairfax and Carstairs, the British airmen. 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").


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.

Running gags[edit]

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.

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)

External links[edit]