Drawing: Blackadder’s BOB (Gabrielle Glaister sketch)

Gabrielle Glaister

British actress Gabrielle Glaister was a school friend of Ben Elton and both appeared in a stage production of Oliver. Gabrielle in the lead role and Ben as the Artful Dodger. One of her first major TV appearances was in Blackadder II, which Ben co-wrote with Richard Curtis.

Her most memorable role in the Blackadder series was as ‘Bob’, a pseudonym used by her two female characters pretending to to be male. ‘Bob’ was one of the first characters to appear in the Blackadder II series. ‘Kate’ disguises herself as a man and is hired as a manservant by Lord Blackadder (turning Baldrick out into the street). He points out that ‘Kate’ is a girly name and calls her ‘Bob’ for short. Eventually her true gender is revealed and they become engaged, only for her to run off with Blackadder’s best man Lord Flashheart at the alter.

In the Blackadder Goes Forth episode “Major Star” Gabrille is General Melchett’s driver, Bob Parkhurst. Captain Blackadder recognisers her gender, but she begs him not to give her away. All her brothers are fighting and she wants to, “see how a war is fought so badly”. In the “Private Plane” episode, Melchett seems to know her true gender and she goes by the name of “Bobbie” only to be seduced and run off with Squadron Commander Lord Flashheart once again.

Gabrielle signed and dedicated this portrait and “Bob” montage drawing in London last week.

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