Roger Mellie

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Roger Mellie ("The Man on the Telly") is a fictional character featured in Viz magazine. His catchphrase is "Hello, good evening and bollocks!", satirising David Frost's catchphrase of "Hello, good evening, and welcome". The character (like many of the other characters in Viz) is a foul-mouthed and obnoxious misogynist, who manages to maintain a career as a television presenter. He is shown working on various TV networks and channels with the fictional Fulchester Television (FTV) and the BBC being his primary employers. He is the ostensible author of Roger's Profanisaurus (ISBN 1-902212-05-3), a pun on Roget's Thesaurus.

Viz's founder and main contributor Chris Donald has said that the character of Roger Mellie was inspired by the off-screen behaviour of Rod Griffiths, a 1980s Northern UK regional TV presenter. However, Donald also states that Roger Mellie is actually nothing like Griffiths in fact, and other presenters have also been worked into the character, including Look North presenter Mike Neville. One occasion featured Roger's full name being given as "Roger Michael Neville Mellie".

Roger's long-suffering straight man is Tom. In early strips, Tom is a director or sometimes a producer. In later strips, he appears as a portmanteau figure, often appearing to act as agent for Roger, or a television executive, to suit the needs of the script. In one issue, he even has a sign reading 'Tom - Straight Man'. Tom's catch phrase is 'Where the Hell is Roger?'. Roger invariably arrives at Toms office announcing 'Sorry I'm late, Tom' - which is later revealed to be the title of Roger's autobiography. In one strip, Tom imagines Roger has arrived on time for once, only to discover that it is merely a life-size cardboard cut-out. Both Roger and Tom have crossed over into Billy the Fish on more than one occasion, realising they are in the wrong comic strip and then leaving. They are also used in other Viz strips when a reporter or narrator is needed, and on these occasions Roger is generally (although not always) played straight, with none of his usual lecherous and/or violent behaviour.

Born Roger Edward Paul Mellie in 1937 in North Shields, Roger was educated at Fulchester Mixed Infants, Bartlepool Grammar School, and the Oxford Remand Centre. Roger was hopeless at school, and was bottom of the class for every subject. He began his broadcasting career as a cub reporter on the news with Robert Dougall and shot to fame doing genital mutilation routines at the London Palladium. He was soon recruited by Fulchester Television, and became a popular TV personality. He also established his own production company, MellieVision, and it snowballed from there. He now spends most nights in Acton, where he often stays at his favourite lap-dancing club until gone three in the morning. He now lives in Fulchester with his 17-year old Thai wife, and 15 Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Roger is quite a colourful character: He has had five past wives (Two of which were 'accidentally' murdered), is an undischarged bankrupt; a convicted rapist; a hopeless alcoholic; a right-wing bigot, and a recovering cocaine addict, among other things. On one occasion in 2006, while requiring a liver transplant (due to chronic alcoholism), Roger became a hit-and-run driver: he ran over and killed a motorcyclist without stopping, later receiving the dead man's liver for himself, then celebrating the successful liver transplant with a booze-up at the nearest pub.

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