Edith Melba Artois (Edith spelled Édith in French), also referred to as Madame Edith, is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!, which ran from 1982 to 1992. The character was played by the late actress Carmen Silvera.
Edith is the wife (and subsequently, sister-in-law) of her husband René Artois
. After Rene's 'execution
' and fake death, she became the legal owner of the cafe
, which gave her greater influence over her husband's actions than she had had before. She does however dream of the day when René will remarry her (as his own false twin
Madame Edith, despite being tone deaf, fancies herself a cabaret singer, and insists on treating cafe customers to displays of her talents. Her concerts usually clear the cafe; those who remain stuff cheese in their ears to muffle her wails. While one of the waitresses, Mimi Labonq, actually does have talent, Madame Artois will not usually permit her to entertain the customers with music. She has no problem with the waitresses taking favoured customers upstairs, though.
Madame Edith is a jealous wife, but very easy to hoodwink, and whenever she catches her husband in a clinch with one of the waitresses, she swallows whatever transparent lies Rene chooses to tell her. Since she is thought to be a widow, she occasionally has suitors of her own, who flatter her enormously. They include Monsieur Alfonse, the local undertaker; and
Bertorelli, an Italian captain.
Edith appeared in the pilot episode and every subsequent episode. She is sometimes the butt of several jokes about her looks and exaggerating her age.
Madame Edith attempts to sing in her café, to no avail. Later, she delivers a message to René. Her mother upstairs, Madame Fanny La Fan
, interrupts during the radio transmission.
Edith's accent is greatly exaggerated in this episode. It nearly bears no resemblance to the voice she quipped in later episodes. Also, she is less of a pushover.
Edith is later shown to be adopted, that Madame Fanny is not her birth mother. Edith was delivered to Madame Fanny in a basket. She could also have been a gypsy
princess: a Gypsy read her palm, and all clues pointed to her being a long lost princess. However, none of the Gypsies could take her voice, so they forced her away.
She appears on the last episode of 'Allo 'Allo!
. But René elopes with the serving girl Yvette Carte-Blanche
, so she is left alone in Nouvion.
- "René! What are you doing in the arms of that Serving Girl?"
- RENE: "Has she said listen very carefully?" EDITH: "Oh yes, she has already done that bit."
- "How dare you!"