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Claude Jeremiah Greengrass

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Claude Jeremiah Greengrass

Claude Jeremiah Greengrass
Bill Maynard as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass



First Episode

Changing Places

Last Episode

Cold Turkey


Cyril Isaiah Greengrass (brother)

Isabelle Christie (sister)

Norman (nephew)

Brenda Bowman (daughter, introduced in The Royal)

Claude Jeremiah Greengrass, played by Bill Maynard. Appeared in 155 episodes from 1992 - 2000.


Dishevelled and curmudgeonly yet lovable old rogue, always getting into scrapes, poaching game from Lord Ashfordly's estate and engage in dubious dealings with local low-lives. In the episode "Bringing It All Back Home", Greengrass is investigated by the Inland Revenue, and it is revealed that he had sold a piece of his land to the Ministry of Defence for £25,000 which explains his financial security, although he hadn't paid any Income Tax for at least the previous 12 years! He was usually to be seen accompanied by his faithful dog Alfred, a lurcher. Although he often had troubles with the police, he did come to have a (slightly grudging) respect for Nick Rowan (or "Ronan" as he habitually mispronounced it), who would often warn him in advance to keep a low profile if there was any kind of trouble brewing. His reputation as a borderline criminal appeared to be common knowledge among the villagers and police but nobody in particular showed any real dislike towards him. Sergeant Blaketon was the one exception as he utterly despised Greengrass and went to great pains to permanently put a stop to the latter's activities. He would often call Nick's replacement, PC Mike Bradley, by his full name, Michael, whenever they sometimes met. At first, Greengrass was used as a comic relief character, but after some time Greengrass became a central character with his own intrigues and schemes. Claude had a brother called Cyril Isaiah Greengrass, who appeared a couple of times, and a sister, Isabelle Christie, widow of a West Indian cricketer Vivian Christie. Bill Maynard reluctantly left the series due to poor health, with the producers unwilling to take the risk of insuring him to be on set. The producers offered to have a departing episode written for him, but he declined and so the character's exit (to join his sister on a cruise in the Caribbean) was explained without his appearing. Maynard went on to reprise his popular role of Greengrass in the first series of The Royal. While Heartbeat is well-known for quickly forgetting characters who have departed, Greengrass is unusual in continuing to be mentioned by his former sidekick David Stockwell in subsequent series, as both Vernon Scripps and Peggy Armstrong have tried to use Greengrass's old tricks in their schemes. When Vernon first appeared in the episode Safe House he said that Greengrass had a lot to answer for. Greengrass's schemes often went wrong when it came to making money but he always managed to come up with another idea or two.


Greengrass was best known for driving a maroon 1956 Morris truck that he would use for his day to day buisness, he later left this vehicle to David Stockwell. Claude also briefly owned a bright pink Chrystler Imperial which he bought after making the money off the land he sold to the MOD, this car was later stolen and torched. Claude later said he had had some problems getting the insurance money off the car apparently it was only covered for third party fire and theft he went on to say that he told them 'It was the third party who nicked it and set fire to it'.

It was Claude Greengrass that was clearing out an old barn belonging to a friend when he stumbled across a red MG TA that he sold to Nick Rowan in a sorry looking state. Nick rebuiilt the car and used it frequently in further episodes.


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