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The Challenge that is Tony

Dramatis Personæ

The following is a list of the major characters used in these linked stories, nominally in order of frequency of appearance. All the characters of school age are in the same year group unless otherwise shown.




The youngest in his class.


The Narrator’s more intellectual boyfriend. Slightly older and bigger than the Narrator. Father’s name is Bert.


A blond boy who both the narrator and his boyfriend would fancy if they weren’t together. Straight, but getting desperate as he has no girlfriend. One of the oldest in the class, but was small for his age until a growth spurt at the end of year ten made him one of the tallest.

Melanie (Mel)

A friend of the Narrator, Tony and Paul. Apparently not interested in having a boyfriend.


A senior, three years above the main group. Very good looking, but prone to plain speaking. Since ditching her boyfriend, spends a lot of time with Melanie.Cousin to Bruno


He and brother Naveem are the boys from the corner shop, with a large extended family in Birmingham, all of whom have some sort of business. Both have been threatened with arranged marriages to cousins. Raj has the family's eye for a business opportunity.


Brother to Raj.Has his father’s eye for a pretty girl. Lusts after Virginia, but knows he has no chance.


Another smaller boy, useless at football and other team games, and consequently sometimes picked on. Likes running and swimming and the new offering of wrestling. Can be an instigator of mischief.

Mr Meryn Sproat

Games master, also does drama. Nicknames: Brussels and Merv the Perv. Gay and single. He is professional in his approach to his job but finds it a hard struggle to maintain that detachment with all the boys about. Outed to boys in narrator’s year in ‘Revenge’ (reprised in ‘LiveLong & Prosper’). Did some of his training in the USA.


The school cat. A black female.

Mrs O’Reilly

Art Teacher. Does fortune telling at the school fete under the watchful eye of Merkin. Nickname: the Wicked Witch.

Miss Rutherford

Popular old hand teacher, teaches geography, economics etc. Helps run youth group in town.

Lilat & Sabhya

Raj & Naveem’s Uncles. Run the Durbar Indian Restaurant. Family outcasts


Cute waiter at the cafe in the shopping centre. Son of the owner. Goes to the Catholic School in the next town. Also member of Miss Rutherford’s youth group.Uses pseudonym Zander. Mother: Maria, father: Tom, Brother (younger): Thomas.


Bruno’s girlfriend.


Son of the owner of the local Italian restaurant.Boyfriend to Cath.Cousin to Virginia.

Melanie’s Sister

A senior in the same year as Virginia and has a crush on Mr Sproat in spite of his known preferences.

Roger Prescott

Sporting type, same year as Virginia, his one- time girlfriend. Excessively handsome with a narcissistic and bullying streak. Nickname ‘Presscock’

Samantha (Sam)

Mrs O’Reilly’s niece from Massachusetts.


Paul wanted the role of boyfriend but was told to forget the idea.

Mr David Morgan

New physics master, fresh out of college.

Uncle Veejay

Another of Raj & Nav’s uncles. Has a market stall selling clothes.

Aunt Doris

The Narrator’s unmarried maternal aunt.Sometimes lacking in personal hygiene.

Mr Butterman

History teacher.


Boy who looks like Paul, in Limburg, Netherlands


Girl raised as a boy. Three years below the main group.

Other parts played by parents and relatives of the cast.

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