Over the years there have been many inhabitants of the great halls of Digitiser. They all had some purpose, if only to fill up a bit of space at the end of a page, but they are a part of Digi nonetheless and must be acknowledged. This page pays homage to their greatness, visiting those that are still with us; and those which have long since been forgotten by most people. And... here they are, man:
- Al Capone
Renowned prohibition era gangster, taking a break from smuggling the boozes and the "liqor" into 1920s Chicago, to encourage you to visit the Digi website. Are you looking at him?
- Alien Queen
And you thought she perished after being ejected into the vacuum of space at the end. No, the matriarchal xenomorph is in fact running a charity shop for Romanian orphans in Bolton, who all seem to be big fans of the Digitiser website. Well, who isn’t?
- Anne Robinson
Not content with straddling both sides of the Atlantic hosting gameshow The Weakest Link while dressed like a SS granny, the scowling winker even found herself commenting on smaller news morsels on Digi, such was her ubiquity around the year 2000.
- Balls For Eyes
His parents named him Samuel Foxley, but people called him Balls For Eyes. This is probably because, you know - he had balls for eyes. And that. One-off host of the tips page back in Digi’s early days. "The balls... they are speaking to me".
- Batman and Robin
Yes, it's the once-Dynamic Duo, locked in a life of domestic drudgery together. Batman seems to be less interested in fighting crime in Gotham these days, instead taking "great pleasure" in calling "premium rate" phone lines, and visiting some of the more "interesting" web sites out there. The whole sordid mess is over here.
- The Beatles
That's right - the popular sixties beat-combo that inspired "Po-Fasis" used to host the tips page. Paul and George appeared to be infatuated with Ringo, while John was more concerned that people would think he felt anything but pure loathing for Paul. Variations included the Alien Beatles; Ironic Beatles; Baby Beatles; and best of all, the French Beatles, of whom you can see stuff: here.
- Benny Stevens
Cockerel custodian of weekend retrogaming feature Old Game: Here back in 1994. Benny just loved nostalgia, which is why he would he would encourage readers to send in their retro reviews. He was especially partial to nostalgia of the "fizzy" variety, but the less said about that the better.
- Bill Gates
Yes: the guy from off of computers and that! He really loves you, man!
- Bob Sweezely
Another host of tipsville from around 1999, Sweezely was a sort of parody of awful showbiz TV gameshow hosts. You know: with the saying-things-in-an-altogether-too-loud register and the insincere, OTT cheerfulness; all teeth, all the time. Bob introduced the tips as if he were hosting some cheesy daytime gameshow, complete with fake tension and extreme facts about stuff (extreme in that they weren't true).
The Fifth Teletubby. I bet you didn’t even know there was a fifth Teletubby? Well, that’s where you’re wrong, see, because back before they were famous Bronkowski was an intrinsic part of their act. That was before Tinky Winky arrived. You can find out what happened next over in this place. Gets royalties every time they say "Eh-oh".
- Bryan Adams
The famous Canadian soft-rock stalwart hosted the Digi news pages during its last months in 2003. Oddly, both his appearance and repertoire had taken on the form of a Chinese stereotype.
- Butch Jenkins
Some-time host of the news round-up, this crude heavy wouldn't look out of place in a biker gang. With his shades, 'tache and aggressive lingo, his presence on Digi was certainly concerning. "I gonna get me some of that stuff!"
Host of your favourite quiz - his quiz! The little guy with the squashed head just loved to ask you questions, which he did at weekends in the mid ‘90s. Based on Bamber Boozler. Except for the squashed head.
- BW's Wife
BW’s Wife was a quiz mistress in her own right, and sometimes (when Digi didn’t have any other material) weekend editions would be a "double header", with both spouses sporting their own quiz-me-do.
- Carol Hoover-van
Brainy cyclopean denizen of Countdown. Likes a good mystery, especially video game-related ones.
The Man’s Auntie Chapman first appeared in 1993, taking up permanent residence at the end of the charts pages – where she would in fact play host to "Chapman’s Charts". She may have been a greaser by trade, but she also derived considerable delight from wiping her dogs with readers’ charts of stuff, publishing all manner of contributions. Played a part in "Chinnygate", where she interrupted The Man during a compromising phone call with Dad’s Army.
- Chart Cat
Our urbane feline friend who introduced the weekly goings-on in chartland from 1993 until 1997, when he was usurped by Wired Child. Chart Cat was fond of giving us glimpses into his high society life - as well as the odd discreet proposition.
- Chester Fisho
The curious little fish-fella that used to live on the last page at the end of the news, Chester would give us his helpful comments and opinions in response to the bitesize news whilst blowing bubbles. Towards the end of his stay they’d been filled with sufficient innuendo to once again get Digi into trouble with "The People Upstairs". Either because of this, or simply because Biffo had grown bored of him, he was soon replaced by Zombie Dave’s masked expletives, so that worked out well for Teletext.
That's right - the Wookiee of Star Wars fame. He occasionally pops in to help out with the tips, although is clearly feeling smited by the lack of work that he's been getting, what with him being a classically trained actor and all. It didn’t help that he wasn't in The Phantom Menace, and he was quite the bitter walking carpet about it. His fellow stars came in for a fair amount of criticism - he had no time for Harrison Ford, who "smells", and was hurt than even Mark Hamill was getting more work than him.See for yourself on the reveal-o-page. Rrrruughh rrraaaa ruuughh-rrrrrurrrgh!
So intelligent that he's actually called "Clever" – he can do really big sums, spell stuff right, and knows loads about hist’, geog’, and socio’. Even video games. Which is why he hosted a feature about some that were good back in 1995.
- Computer Boy
Not the kid that used to be on Live & Kicking (Digi would refer to him as 'Computer Boy'), but an entirely different socially inept wretch. This repellent creature gave PC owners a bad name. Most likely an early adopter of the internet, and as such felt he was superior to all other users, leading to his constant denouncement of "nEWbiE SKuM!!!!". Has a pathological loathing of consoles and looks down on anyone who isn't willing to endure having to buy a brand new PC, just because they were naïve enough to think the latest hot new game would actually run on it.
- Connis The Cow-bag
One of the first video game mascots, but sadly his legacy has been largely forgotten as kids were scared of his big udders - they didn't like it when he swung them in time to the beats. But if you had udders, you'd do the same! Anyway, shorn of his status, he found himself hosting the Digi tips page in 1994.
- Cornelius The Monkey
Not only the star of such films as Planet of the Apes and M*A*S*H, but an in-demand financial adviser as well. He doesn’t only advise you on things like mortgages and bonds, but how best to spend a fat wad of cash on video games as well. Then he tries to kiss you with tongues.
TV criminal psychologist, big fan of cake, and best friend of Lewis – but loathed by Morse. But then, Morse hates everyone: "I really hate you Lewis!".
Oi-oi! Cyber-X is the well safe games journo, who’s, like, way too much of a top geezer to actually play games and that! Naaaaa, mate! Spends his time clubbing, drinking beer, eyeing-up "birds", and talking about his quality social life in his columns (Digi’s mini-news page) instead of games. Based on a notorious real-life games journo from around 2000, who was spat out into the world by the lad mag boom, and later inexplicably became a self-help author.
- D. Hall
The best man in the world, and won’t let you forget it. Bestrode the 1995 tips page like Atlas.
- Daddy Cool
Semi-regular be-afroed reveal-o-guy, and one cool disco cat. Was eventually killed off due to Digi believing everyone hated him, meaning he was subjected to a full-body explosion, not far from the gaze of a bewildered Mr T, who he had been aggravating. We were then informed that we wouldn't have to put up with Daddy Cool’s disco-themed "Daddy Cool is cool-style" expressions any longer - though he was later resurrected with a new look, more like that bloke out of hat-wearing mid-2000s fools Orson than a Studio 54 disco-dancing champion.
- Danny Taurus
EastEnders character brought in to "spice up" plots featuring Pauline Fowler in early 1993, "TV's Danny Taurus", as he was billed by Digitiser, was a rock ‘n’ roll pub singer that sported an obvious and comical hairpiece. Unsurprisingly, Digi immediately took him to their hearts, making him a regular character - and even more unsurprisingly, making his hair the central feature of his look. The Digi depiction of Taurus appeared on their pages every day one week, with the drawing of his ‘hair’ becoming increasingly phallic with every day that passed. Eventually, the cock-n-ball-piece became so pronounced and overt that a viewer wrote in, having drawn a sketch of what they saw on screen – the face of Taurus, with a prominent gland-like protuberance of hair, and an arrow pointing to it with the question: "possible cock?" Realising their fun hadn’t gone unnoticed, and having already built a reputation for controversy, Digi quickly retired the character.
- Dennis : The Man Of Zinc
Daredevil stunt master, resident of Stunt Town, and Mr Nude’s immediate successor as host of the tips pages, which he took over after putting Mr Nude in a coma resulting from one of his stunts. Dennis does like his stunts - especially those involving pensioners - and believes himself to be indestructible. This has led to the loss of sight in his right eye, and only 30% vision in his left. His indestructibility is secretly down to there being five clones of him ready to step in, which was revealed after the original perished and had to be replaced.
- Derek Croft
Makes other cats look... raaaank!
- Dr. Derek Doctors
Unhinged, megalomaniacal dentist, and leader of a nasty religious cult which succeeded in recruiting The Man to its ranks, until he got bored and decided to do something else. Initially hung around on the diary and tips pages, but was later seen at the weekends introducing arcade reviews with increasingly sinister rants. It was one such disturbing voyage into the depths of his psyche that led to a mother complaining to Teletext, after Doctors had said something about "entering your minds" (she had interpreted it as a different sort of entering) - prompting Digi to "think better of it" and lock him away in a box marked "mollusc", or something. Later appeared as a character in the BBC Three pilot of Biffovision, albeit as Professor Derek Doctors, so he must have got tenure at the University of Dark Science by that point.
- The Devil
That's right, Mr David Evil himself. Except his infernal business seems mostly concerned with stopping you from messing around on his turf with your disrespecting punk-ass fool ways. Also, yes, he talks like a 90s gangsta rapper.
- The Digitiser Donkey
For the most part an unseen character, The Digitiser Donkey’s origins go right back to 1993, when – along with The Digitiser Leopard – Digi would make passing references to him on the letters page. However, after not being heard about since those earliest days, he made a triumphant return during the golden period of 2000, becoming a much more regular (although still largely unseen) character. Digi would feed readers’ letters to him, and talk about him to the extent that he finally made a handful of appearances, becoming a secondary mascot after The Man. Ever the nuisance to Teletext bosses, Digi were reprimanded for using the phrase "Snap! Snap! Snap! The donkey broke its back!", and had to remove it.
- Distracted Mike
Late-era mini-news comment guy – not that he was really paying much attention to what was going on. Always seemed to be in the middle of something else, and unable to concentrate fully on the news that was being reported. "Could we do this later perhaps?"
- DIY "Kelly"
Fishlike brother of The Man. Called DIY because of the home improvement tips he would dispense while The Man was on holiday and he was put in charge of his page. He was a bit of a "geezer", judging by the semi-cockney spiel that would come out of his most excellently-proportioned (huge) lips. He also had his own problem page, called, appropriately enough "DIY Kelly's Problem Page", where he would eject tips for better life and mental health (so perhaps he could have helped his Daddy before he went over the edge). He also gave advice for all your DIY needs - his best tip was how to do a shelf and that: "Right, blokes. Get your shelf, get your nails and stuff, and just do the shelf". Smart.
- DJ Ice Hockey
The host of DJ Ice Hockey's Arcade Show which appeared now and then at the weekends. According to Digi he died years ago. Spoke in the aggressive enforcer-speak of a typical chilly-hock’ guy, and seemed altogether unstable. Perhaps anger management classes would have saved him.
- Don Palmer
The dentist who appeared on Digi courtesy of the European Dental Advisory Panel. Loved what he did – teeth weren’t just his job, they were his life – but absolutely could not abide nervous patients. Any that sat in his chair were in for a bad time.
- Ducky Duckson
The campest duck you ever met, Ducky Duckson was the Charles Hawtree of the waterfowl world, sitting on the news roundup page and exclaiming at any potential innuendo. Whoops!
The Man's pet, Duncan is a jar of about six prawns with a collective intelligence. When they first launched, Digi asked for letters guessing what kind of creature Duncan was. Suffice to say that none of them were right. Nobody knows what happened to Duncan, as after he was stowed in his slim yet long yellow carrying case, he didn’t make another appearance. You can, however, see more of him as he accompanies The Man to the Lard Jamboree for Super Control.
- Edward Lear
That's right, kids - it's popular 19th Century "bird fancier" (ornithologist) and inventor of funny poems, Edward Lear! Made his debut on Digi in late 2000, and spent his time indulging in writing the "humorous" rhymes which he probably thought up while off his head on a cocktail of absinthe and snuff, allowing Digi the privilege of publishing them. Unfortunately, the fact that he's been dead for over a century doesn't appear to have done his writing any favours, as his new material has a tendency to lose the plot in puzzling fashion towards the final couplet. See his rhymes: here!
- Enigmatic Pete
A mysterious (enigmatic, if you will) guy, who appeared once on the news round-up. As is the usual MO with these newsy-peeps, Pete sprayed the page with generous amounts of brain-mulch regarding the day's less-important fragments of information. What he actually says would suggest one of two things: 1) He's an extremely enlightened font of wisdom, or 2) He has absolutely no idea of what he's talking about. Judge for yourself with this Pete-up: "The future is hidden in the past..." Deep...
- F. Zealot
Closely related, F. Zealot is the console-owning counterpart of Computer Boy in terms of mentality, and also in other terms as well. As Computer Boy gives a bad name to all PC owners, so his cousin shames the weary, forsaken followers of the once-mighty Sega, still believing them to be as formidable as they were before they cut their own feet off in a fatal attempt at proving they could walk on water. Zealot is never able to accept bad news relating to his special friends, convinced that it's all part of an anti-Sega conspiracy orchestrated by the Sony-loving media (in which he often included Digi). He seeks out like-minded idiots online, developing the many conspiracy theories and faked news stories - claiming Sega still loves them - which keep them from collapsing in stark realisation of the truth. Does this remind you of a specific era in Digi history at all, man? Yes: the Crimean War!
- Fat Nost
Famous and highly dead sooth-saying prohpet who briefly replaced Fat Sow (see below) in January 1997, giving his opinionated gaming predictions for the year ahead. Chiefly among them, that it's impossible to predict what will happen with the games industry, as the games-playing public are stupid idiots.
- Fat Sow
"The angry pig that reviews the week's news", Fat Sow is Digi’s furious resident porcine demagogue. Making her debut in 1995 and virtually ever-present for the rest of Digi’s Teletext run (and beyond), she was used as a way of causing controversy, and provoking letters outraged at her opinions on topical gaming issues. Nothing that ever happened was positive as far as Fat Sow was concerned, and she would pore forth with all manner of compound-verb insults and declarations of the extent of her anger. Most of the time this was to comically exaggerated lengths, but she had her insightful moments too and would often say what the rest of the industry was too scared to. Many readers were so goaded into apoplexy by her comments that they seemed to think she was real. Also, Mr Biffo once claimed she was his wife.
The original egg-shaped template for a popular egg-shaped video games character, that can't be mentioned due to a court injunction that his former wife had taken out. Popped up on the tips page once in 1994.
- Frank Butcher
That’s right, sweetheart. Albert Square’s number one used car salesman and "Pat-Man" returned from being missing, presumed dead, to grace the 1995 Christmas Day edition of EastEnders – but not before he’d stopped by the Man Diary page on Digi first. Where had he been? That’s simple, sweetheart – sitting in a pub carpark in Lancaster, subsisting on a diet of petrol and tyres. Subsequently made another surprise appearance to mark his final episode appearing in the cock’ soap. Ruuuuuuuuuunaround!
- The Funny Dancers
Foynt, Toynbee, Gilliam II, Roly, and Tot are The Funny Dancers. Those kids really are the greatest funny dancers around. They must be, because they won the 1999 Funny Dancing Competition! And then immediately had to fight off the lusty intentions of the contest’s judge. Pump up the jam!
- Gary Barlow
Ecky thump! It’s "taxually-challenged" Take That star and lover of pies, that Gary Barlow, and he’s back for good – back for good on Digitiser. One of the new characters brought in after the return of Digi’s humour in 2003, Barlow took up position requesting letters and regaling us with tales of his none-more-northern life. Twangy-braces, whippets, dripping and all. Eeeee, that’s reet good Hovis, our Jason.
- The Good Samaritan/The Evil Samaritan
Odd-looking host of the tips page around 2000, that came in both good and evil varieties. Informs us that he's a great guy, as he kindly helps out all the idiots out there by giving them the obligatory chips 'n' teats on request. Had a tendency to classify people by their names: "hybrid", "human", etc. Strangely the evil version still helped out the hopeless with their chip 'n' teat needs.
- Gossi The Dog
Gossi is the awfully discrete pooch who constantly has an ear to the ground for gossip and rumblings from the games world. Debuting in 1995 and becoming a permanent fixture ever since, he's been known to break some very big stories in his time, Sega cursing him on a couple of high-profile occasions. Gossi is a very good dog, but he has managed to get his Digi masters into hot water a few times - one such occasion saw them hauled over the coals by the ITC due to a viewer complaining about animal cruelty (despite him being, y’know – made up and that). Another actually lead to the sacking of Mr Hairs from Teletext. While Mr Biffo was on paternity leave in the spring of 1996, word reached Gossi that Dave "Games Animal" Perry had been reprimanded by his publisher for the mag he was running’s poor sales. Gossi relayed the juicy story to readers, only for Perry to threaten legal action after seeing the report on his TV. Teletext were furious, and with Biffo temporarily out of the picture, used the opportunity to eject the freelance, "troublemaking", Hairs from the premises. Poor Gossi probably got the slipper that time (except: he didn’t). Digi would often find themselves having to point out to readers bleating away on the letters page when Gossi’s news was untrue, and, in fact, "a joke". Pulling in a million and a half readers sadly always did seem to subject Digi to a high proportion of mess-up-prone idiots.
- G'rn M'chl
The friendly alien ambassador to our planet who is constantly falling foul of misunderstandings. Despite his name resembling that of a certain meat-headed EastEnders character, G’rn M’chl is a peaceful envoy who wants nothing more than to foster galactic co-operation. Unfortunately, the words of his language sound rather a lot like requests to euthanise him.
- Dr Heinous
Mysterious, evil reveal-o-dude that, true to type, wants to destroy the world. Has an entire secret organisation at his disposal for the doing of the bad stuff, but so far hasn't been especially successful in his schemes. He's become quite the proud villain as a result of his sitting atop the badness tree, which would probably explain his feelings of shame and humiliation at having to claim unemployment benefit. Like all bullies he's a coward at heart, and tends to shrink from situations where there is the potential for personal injury - specifically big, burly thugs from the local housing estate, come to dispense retribution for him shoving their kids around. See more of him on Bubblegun.
- Mr. Hurlie and his Curly Pearlies
"Did" the tips a total number of one times. As his name would suggest, he had massive, curly, brilliantly white teeth. And that's about it.
- Insincere Dave
Inspired by David Gibbons, the press release-regurgitating writer of BBC Ceefax’s games section, Insincere Dave was another host of the mini-news page, arriving in 1999. The little dude with the red face and the killer blonde quiff commented on the news with the most OTT enthusiasm you’ve ever seen, though – as his name suggests – whether he meant any of his seemingly-positive comments was highly doubtful. Played by Stuart Ashen in Digitiser The Show. "Well done to all concerned!!!!!!!??!!!"
- Jensen 5
One of The Man's old acquaintances that popped-up in his diary one time. In truth he didn't do much, and was only mentioned the once, but I simply had to include him on the strength of his distinctly Digi name alone.
- Le Chef
Oh, oui! Le pompt du chef les Frenchie, ist les dompt-la-pompt, du mein gott! Hahahaha! For those of you that aren't fluent in French like Digi and myself, this little guy is a slightly theatrical little French chef-dude, who set his "stall" "out" on Digi's news round-up page, and also made the odd multi-page reveal-o-show appearances over the weekend. While he's no doubt a great chef, or something, he doesn't exactly have a great working relationship with his restaurant's manager. Indeed, he would often be chased by his enraged boss all over the food-me-do, thanks to unsatisfactory batches of eat-stuffs cooked up by Le Chef. Always somehow managed to escape scrapes such as this and find time to "eject" his Gallic "charm" all over the expectant face of Digi's news stoat. Ach du lieber!
- Lex Luthor
Luthor loves you, baby! Luthor loves most babies!
- The Man Who Taunts Fear
The Man's arch enemy, sometimes also referred to as The Fear Taunter. Responsible for our hero's kidnap and torture in early 1993, the diary page was left vulnerable and commandeered by this nefarious cad, who proceeded to gloat about his evil "doings", and detailing his guide to monster-hunting. It remained hijacked and under the villain’s control until The Man escaped, and unsurprisingly needed cheering up. Sports mandatory sinister villain handlebar moustache, smart 1920s attire and flying helmet. Also due to his being a "goodness lacker", he was obliged to have a menacing verbal trademark catchphrase - the dreaded tones of "Nun-nun-chal!", or variants upon it, such as "Chal-na-ha!", or "Chal-ning-ning!". Inspired one of Digi's correspondents to go by the name of The Man Who Flaunts Tears, causing the two to feud via the medium of the letters.
- The Man/The Man With A Long Chin
Digitiser's mascot and figurehead. Debuted shortly after its launch in 1993 as "The Man With A Long Chin", but later became known simply as "The Man". Wears a striking pink beret and once clutched a slender carrying case for his pet, Duncan. Originally introduced as a means to solicit letters from readers, his creators were completely unprepared for how popular he became, with viewers writing in wanting to know all about him.
As a result, nearly every day on Digi he would chronicle the latest developments in his fascinating life for us in his diary, getting up to all manner of surreal adventures, and going through successions of increasingly bizarre jobs quicker than Moses, or something. He never stayed in one for more than a week at a time.
When he first arrived on Digi he would speak in strange monosyllabic tones like a caveman: "Man like", "Man nubs Golden Gamegirl"; and would also impart spoof news at weekends - getting Digi a tabloid-baiting reputation in the process.
Has a knack of blagging his way into strangely glamorous/odd posts that take him all over the country (specifically: Leeds), and is curiously fond of daytime TV, especially anything featuring Richard & Judy or Kilroy. This may explain his early gifts of autographed photos of ITV weathermen to people writing to the letters page.
Shortly after his introduction we began to meet an extended cast of characters centred around him, both allies and antagonists – his brother, DIY "Kelly", Auntie Chapman, and arch enemy The Fear Taunter. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that we were introduced to the most significant of all – The Man’s Daddy, teller of the greatest jokes in human history. No one knows exactly how old The Man is, but we do know that he spent time in a German prison in 1976 for painting pretend windows on the hull of a boat.
By their own admission, Digi’s relationship with The Man wasn’t always easy – they tried to kill him many times, succeeding within his diarised life on a number of occasions. The first attempt to slay him came in November 1993, when he was seemingly assassinated by a gunman furious about the recent "Chinnygate" scandal involving salacious phone calls between The Man and Dad’s Army. An election was held to find his replacement, which was won by Pat Walker – who strangely was revealed to be The Man himself in early 1994, seeing him take up residence on his diary page once again (though now speaking in more than monosyllables). Famously, many years later, when Digi’s humour was restored following the Digigate era, The Man’s first appearance back on their pages saw him choking on a chrysalis and dying – again, only for him to re-appear to us from the afterlife a few weeks later.
Digi and The Man were seemingly inseparable. Whenever their readership were asked if he should be axed from their pages, he would always have more than enough support to see him comfortably survive. The Man With A Long Chin is a Digitiser institution – and rightly so. Nubby nubby nubby!
- The Man's Daddy
We may not know quite what kind of creature he is (elephant-insect-man?), but there’s one thing that there’s no doubt about the tutu-wearing Man’s Daddy – that he’s one funny guy!!!!! Yes, The Man With A Long Chin’s very own daddy is a renowned stand-up comedian of some pedigree, and he just loves gracing Digitiser with his latest material.
First took the stage on The Man’s diary page in 1995 for a glorious but all-too-brief run with his hilarious non-sequitur jokes - jokes that make absolutely no sense unless you’re attuned to the excellent Digi mindset, in which case they’re very likely to render you prostrate with riotous laugh-me-dos.
After this short run Digi’s readers clamoured for his return, but had to wait months for their Daddy-itch to be scratched with another batch of funneees. Following more praise for this new stint, Digi announced that he would be returning in the New Year of 1996 – but that he wouldn’t be telling any more jokes. True to their word, he in fact featured in a series of entries in The Man’s diaries, where we found, tragically, that The Man’s Daddy had been institutionalised, and was being treated for his delusions.
It wasn’t long before he was well enough to be strapped to a giant fibreglass Chewit, though, and he emerged his old self, telling his amazing jokes once again. Sadly, that was the last we saw of him for two whole years, as he failed to make another appearance until – following pleas on this very website – he triumphantly returned in 1998.
After that, he was a frequent, key visitor for the rest of Digi’s run on Teletext and beyond (even making live action appearances on Digitiser The Show), telling so many classic jokes that numerous editions of his joke books have been published.
The Man’s Daddy is a fan favourite character, his jokes boasting certain celebrity admirers, and making it into both Biffovision and Mr Biffo’s Found Footage. He truly belongs in the Digitiser Hall of Fame. Aww, guy!
From 80s indie hero to today’s far right-sympathising disappointment, Manchester’s foremost miseryston had another, less well-documented period: as a Digitiser reveal-o. Yes, during his wilderness years following the critical mauling of 1997’s Maladjusted album, he was at such a loose end that he would pass the time by appearing on the Digi letters page of 2003, replying to readers with dry put-downs and ruminating on what it was like now he was a giraffe and that. Raaaaaaas!!!
- Inspector Morse and Lewis
There have been many TV-related reveal-o-characters to appear on the Digitiser letters pages over the years, but Inspector Morse and his sidekick Lewis were among the very first.
Perennial favourites, the stars of the ITV police procedural drama had regular outings all the way through Digi's run, debuting in 1994 and continuing right to the end. They were the original characters to feature in multi-page reveal stories, laying the groundwork for the likes of The Snakes years later, and became an early calling card for Digi's strange humour.
They would pop up giving us advice, or offering a glimpse of the duo's complicated relationship - it's fair to say that Morse had a love/hate relationship with his investigative partner. The pair were often deeply antagonistic, and jealous of each other's friendships with the likes of fellow TV personalities Cracker, Mr T, Inspector Gadget, and others, but when it came down to it they were always inseperable. Apart from when Morse died. "I really hate you, Lewis."
Some of their adventures have been collected for your enjoyment.
- Mulder and Scully
Yes, it’s all over the front page, paranormal investigating FBI agents Mulder and Scully brought a touch of X-Files mystery to Digi’s letters page as reveal-o-feds. One mystery they haven’t solved is how their 2016 comeback season managed to be recommissioned. Rrrrrrrrroad rrrrrrrage!!!
- The Nice Valentine Rusk
Succeeded Bob Sweezely on the tips page. Would regale us with stories of how naughty he had been. The Nice Valentine Rusk was very naughty.
- Mr. Norman
Pleasant robotic servant dude, there to cater to all your tips-based needs.
- Mr. Nude
Long-time host of the tips page and purveyor of double entendres, which he did whilst wearing absolutely nothing. Ran a nudist colony which was once under siege at the hands of mutinous nude Omni. "Love, help me be more nude by sending in your chips and teats".
- Mrs. Nude
Mr. Nude's flirtatious nude spouse and former co-host of the tips page with him. She contradicts everything he says, but hey it's a marriage that works, apart from Mrs Nude's spell of infidelity with young nude usurper Omni.
You’re off the case! Not really - I don’t have that kind of power! But NYPD does - he’s the truncheon-polishing New York City police chief that took time out from eatin’ "donuts" and catchin’ crims to review the Amiga public domain software for Digi's PD Files. Do you see? Was originally known as LAPD until the well-known PD archives of the same name that advertised in Amiga and Atari ST mags asked Digi very "nicely" if they would please cease and desist. Roseanne - you don't have to put out that damned red light!
- Oberon Talc and Dogson Dogg
Titular Rabid Racers of the Flash game that sat on the Digitiser website from 1996. Later renamed O.B. Talc and Dagson Dagg, for some kind of reason or something, I don’t know.
- Onion Owl
Funny little guy that worked in a zoo feeding onions to the owls (it’s a known fact that owls love onions). Inadvertently played a significant role in the feud between Digitiser and Mean Machines Sega, his presence being the spark that finally made an MMS reader crack and draw the anti-Digi comic strip that stepped the battle up a few notches.
- Mr. Paranoia
The creepy reveal-o-dude who knows what's in your bottom drawer.
- Pat Walker
Took over from The Man on his page after he was assassinated in November 1993, changing its name to "Walk On, With Pat Walker". He was a groovy Smashy ‘n’ Nicey-style DJ who used to regularly utter the catchphrase "Got and Gamechin!" at the end of his diary tales. Ascended the Digi throne having won the poll for The Man's replacement under suspicious circumstances (ie they admitted rigging it so he'd win). Further intrigue abounded, as he bizarrely turned out to actually be The Man himself. This was discovered one day in early 1994, when he stood too close to a radiator and his face melted off - revealing Digi’s erstwhile long-chinned mascot. The Man was back and reclaimed his page once more. It’s still unclear how he managed to survive a gunshot wound to the head in this way, or if he had in fact faked his death, but none of this mattered - we had The Man back where he belonged.
- Pat Walker 
Not the same P. Walker that was the reincarnation of The Man, this guy is a London cabbie with "The Knowledge". Not as in knowing the way to the off-licence, or whatever, but more like knowing which irascibly self-important celebrities are in need of a good smack-up. He popped up from time to time as a reveal-o, letting us know the latest on which media whores are currently on his list, for whatever reason. Made the move over to Bubblegun, where he hosted the Smack Clinic - the place for all your smack needs, where you could suggest celebs that Pat should give a good smacking to.
It’s the tree-dwelling brother of that famous Wookiee from out of Star Wars! You know the one - Tobacco. Definitely a Wookiee, and definitely doesn’t resemble an "unsheathed" male "member", oh no ("Peelbacca" - do you see? Don’t tell Teletext...). A notorious character that has enjoyed a cult following in recent times, Peelie’s origins date back to Mr Biffo’s school day doodles, his name being coined by a friend. Has made numerous appearances, all slightly different, all still resembling a cock. Rrrrl rrrll-rrrl-really!
- Phoning Honey
The notorious prankney that performed those great "semi-hilarious" (actually: fully hilarious) prank phone calls "semi-regularly" at the weekends as part of the Ring-Sir feature. Nice moustache. Debuted early in Digitiser’s life and lasted right up to end, with his final Teletext prank transcript going out on Digi’s legendary climactic edition. It was as fittingly epic as the occasion demanded. Had a facelift around 2000, transforming him into the incarnation on the right, up there. In his own words, it made him look "cute in a Dennis Waterman kinda way". The funny little guy phoned the games shops and pretended to enquire about games in typically surreal Digi manner. Honey would kick up such a stink that he was forced to change the names of the shops, in order to avoid so-called "Honey-bash". Only one of the unsuspecting saps ever suspected that it could have been Digi pranking their chain. The calls were all genuine, and amused Mr Biffo and Mr Hairs so much that they even took to conducting them for non-Digi purposes, just for the hell of it. A number of Phoning Honey's visits to Prankington have been collected together for you to admire.
Guesting in place of The Man for an extended period over the summer of 1995, the "purple-headed" pixie of "pop", Prints, was an unexpected and memorable addition to the Digi character roster. Complete with unpronounceable name-symbol and acrimonious record company disputes, he would inform us of the latest goings-on in his world, and about his love of baths (he would bring them on stage with him). His life was a glamorous one, but it wasn’t without its challenges - Prints struggled to record new material, had a disastrous performance at Bath Aid - "All the world’s a bath, and we like it!" - and was fraught with constant battles against tabloid gossip and the paparazzi. It was quite a sign of some times!
- Puckles The Cuckold
Poor downtrodden little guy that featured in Digi’s early days, his name being a play on Sonic’s then-foe Knuckles The Echidna (fresh from a bombshell 72% review score for Sonic 3). Years later appeared in animated form in an episode of Mr Biffo’s Found Footage to tell us about his dream drawings (and unhappy marriage).
- The Pun-Meister
Another little guy that was found at the end of the news page. Small, yellow, and with a big green top hat, he lived up to his name by proceeding to make godawful puns incorporating phrases from the news that had just been read. Except that they had absolutely no relevance to the news whatsoever - he really stretched his punning ability to the limit to find something to say using the medium of the pun.
- Quaker Jones
Possibly named after the fact that he resembles the guy on cereal boxes (joke).Yet another brief inhabitant of the news round-up, and only appeared about twice. Quaker Jones is a prude. He holds repressed Victorian values, sports a prize-winning handlebar moustache and wears traditional Quaker garb. The oat-eatin’ idiot.
- The Quoon
Your designated reigning monarch, with her husband Prance Phalop, the Drake of Uttinghuffer by her side. She presides over this gaming dominion, and addresses her gaming subjects every yule, wishing them a traditional gaming Christmas. At that time of year she finds it especially uplifting to think of those less fortunate than herself, and having a good laugh about it.
- R2D2 and C3PO
The robotic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern popped up from time to time as reveals, most notably with Threepio declaring his undying love for R3. Only to rebuffed and announce he would be taking out his frustrations in an insane droid killing spree.
- The Rapping Shoe
Totally fresh and fly, fo’ real, The Rapping Shoe is one lovable brogue. Originally taking to the Digi stage in October 1997, but not a regular fixture until mid-'98, his popularity quickly took off once he got a few reveal-o-appearances under his laces. He never disappoints with his great raps about life being a gangsta shoe, and counts The Snakes as big fans of his badass flow, who went to see him live. His lisp seemed to be a slight impediment to his credibility at times, but at least he was keeping it heel. The shoe-raps can all be enjoyed in this place.
The sickest snake around. Relapse is da freshest, guy - beatbox king, the snake that all the other snakes want to be like, and will happily buy your brand new Nokia off you for 50 squids.
- Robot XB-427
One of the candidates for The Man's replacement when he was shot. Part of his election manifesto was that all carbon-based life would be razed from the planet, so that may go some way to explaining why he wasn't rapturously received by the Digi electorate.
- Rollo Benny
Disturbingly, this mega-tached reveal-o, is Germany's answer to Noel Edmonds. He models himself on that crazy guy of light entertainment from about circa 1976, complete with a 'tache that a 70s porn star would be proud of. He continually tries to convince "the kids" that he's hip, attempting to entice some hollow, broken individual to take part in his zany family-oreinted show. "Freak out und parteee!" Unfortunately, being German, he is an obligatory Nazi, and once the pleasantries are dispensed with he reveals his true agenda in attempting to glean information from the English pig-dogs. "YOU VIL OBEY MEIN ORDERZ."
- Roth Drakewind
A funny little Viking guy, that seems to have lost his way and wandered onto Digi. He stumbled onto the news round-up page, but appeared baffled by the new-fangled speak of modern life. His attempts to cope, and make sense of the strange things that are going on around him stretch to him offering up the odd slab of Viking philosophy for modern-day folk. Has also been known to cry out to the Norse gods for guidance, as well as calling upon the supposed magical power of his people in order to make his brain understand better. It hasn't helped.
- S. Arcasm
Brief resident on Chester Fisho's old mini-news spot. Arcasm is a bloodhound that comments on the news by ridiculing it and the people involved in it. He did this in a similar way to Insincere Dave (who followed S. Arcasm), by using saracastic tones to get his point across: "sounds like THEY know what they're doing" etc.
- Shigeru Miyamoto
The Nintendo legend dropped in on Digi in 2003 to give us some sneak previews of upcoming titles he was working on. For instance, the GameCube version of Mario Kart apparently featured him doing a voice-over saying such things as "Chutney-daddy!" and "Guff this way". A drop of his blood is mixed into every Nintendo cartridge, meaning he can never die.
- Smilin' Peter
The much-misunderstood chicken that briefly replaced Fat Sow’s Friday rantings briefly before she was reinstated. This was mainly because a number of the idiots that gravitated towards Digi didn't "get" him, and took offence at what they thought he was saying. You see, Smilin' Peter employed something called irony, which many stupid people still fail to understand today. Irony, n. use of words to mean the exact opposite of what is said. Maybe that'll help, but I doubt it. Anyway, Peter reviewed the week's goings on in an editorial much like Fat Sow. Except that whereas Fat Sow was angry, Smilin' Peter was incredibly happy. Give him the worst news possible and he’d talk about it in the most enthusiastically glowing terms - albeit with the requisite hints that all was not what it seemed.
- Smokin' Glenn Miller
The mag monkey that arrived on Digi in 1994, with a remit to "review" other games magazines at the weekend. Coming at a time when Digi were often getting into inter-publication disputes and making on-air jibes at other mags, Smokin’ Glenn Miller’s presence showed that they were more than happy to continue to "rub" their peers up the "wrong way".
- The Snakes
The biggest ever craze to hit Digi, The Snakes are genuine superstars. Something of an accidental hit, these teenage Kiss FM-loving, street slang-spewing serpents first appeared on our screens in August 1998, popping up as a humble lone reveal in response to a reader questioning Digi's latest page move on Teletext. They were quickly promoted to multi-page reveal stories, though, with their rise - and fan mail - simply rocketing from there.
They've been responsible for some of Digi's most memorable moments with their class bantz and beatboxing performances, and the junior puffy-jacketed reptiles always bring the flava with the cussingest cuss to any skanks in the area. They even graduated to their own full-blown cartoon strips on Bubblegun, had puppets made of them for a Fox Kids pilot that was voiced by Phil Cornwell, featured briefly on Digitiser The Show, and inspired the alt.digitiser.snakes newsgroup offshoot (dubbed by Biffo as the 'official' Digi newsgroup - though probably only to annoy the alt.digitiser regulars).
The Snakes have featured in dozens of reveal-o-stories, including a string of appearances in which everything they said was in Digi-style "French" and "German", entitled "le snakes du Francais" - "Ich bin eine lichtenstein!"
Now you can enjoy some their appearances in full, many of which are right from the very beginning, guy. Bo!
- Soccerman 2001
A long-forgotten weekend-o-guy from Digi’s very early days. A little man with long arms and his very own song, which went a little something like this: "I play upon a ladle, a ladle, a ladle. I play upon a ladle and my name is Soccerman 2001 - That's my song!"
- Socky The Sock Puppet
A brief host of the "Web-Up" page over the weekends, Socky was a hand-puppet owned by a childrens' entertainer, who would regale us with tales of how sad his life had become, disguised within the kiddie-speak of Socky. But no matter how bad his life seemed, "you could always visit the Digitiser website - it's not run by fools really" and other such self-publicising interjections were how his "piece" would end.
Oooh, he could smash some crepes - Ed "Stewpot" Stewart of TV's Crackerjack fame, appearing on Digitiser to introduce you to a feature about the worst games of 1995 for some reason.
- Strangelove The Tramp
Strangelove is the embodiment of the affection that Digi feel towards trampkind. He sat on the tips page around the turn of the Millennium, unselfishly imparting his wisdom on obsucre subjects, providing you with his philosophy on life - including such insights as "trousers are rubbish", and "beware women". Best not to ask...
- The Sun
Yes that's right, the actual sun - the star around which the ball of mud that we call home revolves. He made a few appearances here and there on the news round-up page, with typically "sunny" comments that had seemingly nothing to do with the news. "Happy happy! I give you life! Happy happy!"
- Mr. T
You'd better stay away from his bins, kids - it's the one and only Mr T! That's right: B.A. Baracas from The A-Team, you crazy damn fool.
Mr T has championed the causes of kids everywhere ever since his 1980s cartoon series. Coming from a tough background himself, he felt that he had to use his position as a popular muscle-bound, gold chain-lovin', mohicaned "baaadass", to help his semi-formed fans be all they could be. He did this by kicking seven bells out of bad guys and telling viewers to "stay in school" and "don't do drugs".
Somehow he found his way onto Digi in the mid '90s, and was gifted a platform from which to dispense his worthy advice once again. Having spent a few years out of the spotlight, this now mostly seemed to involve yelling at the local youths on the estate to stay away from his bins - sometimes even his garage - inspired by real life events wherein Mr Biffo was the "bin-warner".
A prominent character in Digitiser The Show, Mr T is a major Digi star and loved by all - especially Lewis. He has a wife - Mrs T - and a son - Mr U - who pops up when he's indisposed. Which is probably when he's eaten a drugged hamburger or chasing off a rogue Murdock.
You can see much T-stuffs: here.
- T. Hadley
The Spandau-bloke arrived on Digi in 1994, busily baking his "teat wafers", and was very keen for you to send in your own sweet-cheat goodness.
- The Tin Man
The metallic "woodsman" of Oz fame may not have a heart, but he certainly has his share of a certain other organ. A staple of Digi’s post-restoration days of 2003, he would regularly appear as a reveal-o to tell us about his innuendo-laden exploits - most notably describing his rusty chopper that needed rubbing so hard that the head would fly off. Even in a more lenient mood than usual as Digi neared its end, the sub editors of 2003 very much had their "hands full" with this "member" of the cast, and couldn’t help but get the red pen out on at least one occasion. One of Biffo’s favourite characters, he featured prominently in Digitiser The Show some 15 years on his from his debut.
- Dr. Tina
Hosted the weekend round-up page in 1994. What with being a doctor and all, Tina gets to looks at loads of special pictures - pictures of people with ailments and disease. On the downside, though, she has to pefrorm like a dancing horse. So who's laughing now? Not her, that's for sure! Was recruited to the evil cult of Dr Derek Doctors, briefly becoming his assistant.
- Top Cat
Don’t be alarmed - he’s been in a fort! TC’s sole Digi credit came in 1995, when he hosted Research Show, a special feature that he had to make up so many lies for that he was forced to do the whistling.
- Dr. Triv
Prepared to be cured, it’s the robot doctor from the future! Dr. Triv has travelled back in time to save his world by posing the question: the game question; which were in fact cures for various earthly ailments, developed in the future of medical science. Afflictions known to be cured of the Earthmen thanks to the game question include the rickets, the bladder contortions, and Polins’ Disease (no one knows who Polins is). Triv appeared at the weekend after the round-up, with three such poser-cures relating to the world of games, and looked kind of like a futuristic, metallic version of Dusty Bin from unpopular 80s ITV game show "3-2-1" with "Ted" Rogers. "Damn you, Dr. Triv!"
Don’t mess about, it’s ‘90s sensation Turps - from everyone’s favourite yellow cartoon family, The Thompsons! Made a lone appearance in 1994 requesting your tips, and was probably paid handsomely for it too.
- "Virtual" Eric
Funny little fat blue guy who looks a bit like that bloke from the future out of K. Reeves-me-do, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. It turned out that he was actually computer generated, created in order to host the quizzes which occasionally popped up at the weekend. This afforded him many excellent and impressive features, such as not needing to sleep. No - he simply downloads his waking self into a special "buffer" and is therefore able to simulate the uselessness of sleeping without strictly doing it. Dude!
- Wally Bong
Leader and emissary of the dreaded Space Gents, who are intent on invading our lovely planet. Only games-related-type people can hope to survive, as he asks the question on the questionnaire to see who is worthy. Any winners (of which there were none) were allowed to sit-out the invasion in Digi's underground Cumbrian bunker. Except they probably wouldn’t have got in anyway, what with it being stuffed to the guts with Bisto and orange Fruitangs, and stuff.
- Warren Herring
During The Man's Daddy's stay in a mental institution he became quite delusional, the result being hallucinations of the manifestation of Warren Herring within a plastic penguin. Daddy suffered increasing fits of dementia due to the torment that Herring put him under with his cruel taunts. It ended with him begging The Man to help him to roll Warren Herring against a radiator and end the torture by melting his aval oppressor. We later learned that the true Warren Herring was a neighbour of The Man’s, and a fearsome rival in local giant veg-growing circles.
- Wired Child
Naaaaaaah, mate, naaaaaah! It’s the Puffy Jacket that hosted the chart page from 1997 to 2000, taking over from Chart Cat. Forever hanging around arcades, playing the games, harassing strangers and trying to impress girls. Proceeded to tell you all of the latest puffy developments in his puffy life, whilst simultaneously managing to inform you of the week’s chart movements. It's quite a skill, especially for someone so constantly out of his head on alcopops and that. Daaaaaaark!
- Wyatt Earp and Josef Engels
Schoolboy hosts of the chips 'n' teats a long ol' time ago. They were a pair of public school boys that would get into all manner of "scrapes". And subsequently much trouble, too.
- Yellow Samuel
This jolly yellow fellow came to us from the land of the Bumble-Wumblies with an important message: read the Digi website. The happy laughsters of his country love it so much that their civil servants are forced to read it an gunpoint.
- Commander Zark Flynax
Highly deadly black tarantula! Don’t worry - it’s just a song!!!!!!!??!!! And as a member of the Altair IV Community Steel Band, one that Commander Zark Flynax no doubt loves to play while on tour all over the galaxy. If he gets to destroy the Digitiser website with his solar death ray in the process, well, so much the better.Zombie Dave
Zombie Dave is among the most legendary - and infamous - of Digitiser characters. Debuting in 1998, he replaced Chester Fisho on the mini news page after his aquatic predecessor had been deemed to have veered too close to innuendo. In a subversive masterstroke, Mr Biffo used Zombie Dave to get even stronger filth past the unwitting Teletext sub-editors and on the air.
As a decaying member of the zombie horde, his strangulated, mournful moans were employed to pass comment on the day's news - outwardly they seemed like the innocent brainless vocalisations of the living dead, but on closer examination seemed to have some strange, deeper meaning. Can you decipher what he was saying? The Teletext subs certainly couldn't! "Zmbr Drrvv srrzzz shrtt thrrr frrgg rrrpp."
A number of examples of Dave's disguised profanity have been compiled for your amusement.