| C H A R A C T E R
Geoffrey Hughes as Vernon Scripps
Bernie Scripps (half-brother)
George Scripps (half-sister, deceased)
Vernon Scripps, was played by Geoffrey Hughes. He appeared in 87 episodes from 2001 - 2005 and a one-off episode in 2007. He took on the Claude Greengrasses role, after Claude left for the West Indies.
Small-time businessman and entrepreneur, and half brother to Bernie Scripps (though the two are entirely dissimilar in both appearance and nature). A rotund, colourful, larger-than-life character, he replaced Claude Greengrass as the author of the hare-brained schemes which drive the show's various sub-plots. Vernon, who owned a small share in Bernie's garage business, arrived in Aidensfield having not seen his half-brother for 15 years. The first episode he was seen in was Safe House. In Blind Justice Vernon became an expert on the Bentley car when Lord Ashfordly was forced off the road by Richard Finlay, the son of Sgt. Craddock's dance teacher. In Home Truths David saw a flyer for a concert and Vernon saw an opportunity to cater for the entire tour and saw it was being organised by Mickey Willis, the son of an old friend. In the episode, Not So Special he had an idea involving hot rods and he wanted Bernie to build one so he could race it. In The Long Weekend Lord Ashfordly was playing host to the Livonian Prince Nikolas and hired Vernon to be his guest's bodyguard. In Who's Who? Vernon revived the idea of a marriage bureau. In Gin a Body, Meet a Body, Vernon won a car in a poker game and decided to open a taxi business. In Killing Me Softly Vernon thought of the idea of selling classic cars and even sold one to Oscar Blaketon. In Unchained Melody Vernon decided to do all the work for himself for once when the post office in Whitby went on strike and decided to start a courier business. In Truth Games they discovered that David had not opened a bill for months so they got nothing delivered. During Consequences Vernon and David were hired to do work for Rev Meeks which represented a foundation so Lord Ashfordly could finance the renovation of the church on his land. In the episode Sweet Sixteen David and Vernon found they had an unwanted visitor. In She's Leaving Home he had an idea involving slot machine but soon found he had competition. In Russian Roulette Vernon found his past was catching up with him. In Legacies he tried running a taxi service. There was also another scheme involving guided tours in Old Masters and in The Rivals he organise a beauty pageant but came into contact with Joyce Jowett. So that meant that David had to get a proper job. He moved in with David Stockwell as a lodger in Greengrass's house (which he later bought). After numerous failed business schemes, he landed a windfall by discovering very valuable modern art and seemed set for life. But he became a Lloyd's "name" and agreed to insure an oil tanker (the real-life Torrey Canyon), which was lost at sea, and so lost all the money he had gained. He was devastated, but it didn't take long before he began with his get-rich-quick schemes again. Vernon finally left the series in dramatic style - faking his own suicide to escape the taxman (though the taxman himself was in fact a con artist). In Series 16 he made a brief reappearance in Aidensfield, hoping to claim an inheritance from the estate of his recently deceased sister. It was revealed that he had established a new life running a beach bar in Spain, and wanted David to return with him. Vernon also has a half-sister called George (Georgina), who appeared in the episode "Horses for Courses"; Bernie, Vernon and George all share the same father. In The Buxton Defence, Vernon did his best to put buyers off from taking an interest in the old Greengrass farm - and succeeded - as Claude had put the farm up for sale because he needed the money to buy a place over in the Caribbean. In Still Water, he teamed up with Dylis Powell, a neighbour of his, to go into partnership selling spring water, but that didn't work out. In A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Derek Ford was staying at the Aidensfield Arms and it turned out he was working for the Inland Revenue and Vernon was also on the area so Vernon did a runner. Yet the man himself was a fraud and was no relation whatsoever. In In Sickness and in Health he left plans for Dr. Liz Merrick and Ben Norton's wedding in chaos. He did not appear in The Long View. And he was not seen in Golf Papa One Zero. In Icon, Lord Ashfordly was having a banquet for true gormets and decided to go looking for truffles. In In the Bleak Midwinter Vernon was friends with the Frankie Rio Trio. In Sleeping Dogs his and Bernie's sister Georgina was killed in a car accident so they both stood to inherit. Yet David's Aunt Peggy had her eye on their inheritance yet Vernon sort of returned from the dead - Spain to be precise - in order to claim his share of the lot.
Aidensfield village " bobbies "
PC Michael Dunstan " Mike " Bradley
PC Stephen " Steve " Crane
PC Robert "Rob" Walker
Ashfordly Police sergeants
Sgt Raymond Craddock
Sgt Dennis Ian Merton
Other Ashfordly Police
PC Alfred " Alf " Ventress
PC Philip " Phil " Montgomery Bellamy
PC Thomas "Tom" Nicholson
PC Geoffrey " Geoff " Younger
Dr Patricia " Tricia " Summerbee
Dr James Alway
Dr Liz Merrick
Other medical staff
Aidensfield Arms staff
Georgina " Gina " Ward
"Loveable rogue" lineage
Peggy Armstrong Aidensfield Garage staff
Bernie was Vernon's half-brother. They had not seen each other for fifteen years until he unexpectedly turned up out of the blue in Aidensfield in the episode "Safe House". It didn't take long for Vernon to pick up where Greengrass left off and get Bernie involved in all his mad moneymaking schemes - most of which ended in disaster. However, Vernon did appear to show affection for his brother. In one episode, "One Thing Leads to Another", the pair ended up having competition between them where they both entered for a poetry competition in order to see who was the better writer. It seemed that Bernie seemed to realise who was the better writer when he read Vernon's poem - until it turned out to be a work of someone else!
Vernon first met David in the episode Safe House, where he soon realised that David needed a lodger. From then onwards, David was roped into his madcap schemes in much the same way as Claude did. They made a great partnership.
Rosemary " Rosie " Cartwright
Other regular characters
Jacqueline " Jackie " Rosemary Bradley
Vernon's daily drive was the dark red Morris truck that had once belonged to Claude Greengrass in the series. Vernon's other main vehicle was a black Vauxhall Wyvern Taxi which he claimed he had won at a game of poker, the car naturally had seen better days, Vernon planned to use it for his venture 'Scripps Taxi Service' which was one of the few ones that actually got off the ground. The Wyvern Taxi stayed with David after Vernon left the series. When Vernon made his money from the modern art one of the first things he did was to go and buy himself a brand new Bentley this car was Vernon's daily drive until he lost all his money. David also drove this acting as Vernon's chuafer.
From Nicholas Rhea's website
As the eleventh series of Heartbeat began, Vernon Scripps had only been in Aidensfield six months. But within that time, among other things, he had set up his own courier service, dabbled in the used car business, launched Aidensfield's first dating agency, started a taxi firm, had a go at outside catering and tried to bottle spring water from source. Geoffrey Hughes was interviewed about his character as the series began.
"If Vernon thinks there's a shilling to be made he'll do anything", says Geoffrey. "He thought he was going to swan in and swan out again but he's seen opportunities in Aidensfield that he wasn't aware of and he thinks he can make his fortune there. I'd love him to make lots of money, but I doubt it'll happen."
Geoffrey was very keen to establish the character from the start as a likeable scallywag.
"There's nothing malicious about him whatsoever. The thing about the Vernons of this world is that there are a lot of them about and they quite often have to move from place to place. It's very rare that any of them come to anything and their grand plans, which make perfect sense to them, usually leave other people in the lurch and they have to move quietly on. I am sure that every time Vernon comes up with an idea he thinks 'this is it', only to be thwarted!"
Although we know little about Vernon's past there are clues, with the occasional appearance of an old associate with criminal inclinations, that it is decidedly shady.
"I'm sure he was not a totally savoury person in his earlier life", Geoffrey agrees. "He's calmed down from his earlier antics and is probably determined to keep those days a secret. He's not totally honest but that's more to do with his determination to succeed. There's a part of him who believes his little white lies are totally moral."
Vernon is so certain that Aidensfield is a potential gold mine that he has bought a house and looks like he's going to put down roots in the village. This has done nothing to lift the spirits of long suffering Bernie.
"When Vernon's plans end in tears they are usually Bernie's tears", Geoffrey laughs. "They haven't seen each other for years and probably don't know each other very well at all. Vernon's forever dropping him in it and using his business to launch yet another scheme. I do think however that they've grown a bit fond of each other and having Bernie around has certainly had a sobering influence on Vernon."
Vernon has also developed an excellent relationship with his lodger and erstwhile assistant David Stockwell.
"He uses David for his nefarious games," says Geoffrey. "David is the perfect ally because he doesn't argue. Bernard forever questions his schemes but David is just happy to go with the flow."
Whilst he's busy hatching new business ideas and money making schemes Vernon has little time for other pursuits, including women.
"I think any interest from women would have him running a mile", says Geoffrey. "He's too busy making the million. There are, however, very probably one or two female skeletons in cupboards all around the country."
Geoffrey has also settled into his new role and established himself as part of the Heartbeat team.
"I'm enjoying the job immensely," he says. "When I look back at Coronation Street, there were certain storylines I thoroughly enjoyed but lots of time was spent popping into the shop or propping up the Rovers' bar. In this they keep coming up with these fantastic ideas and wonderful situations. Together with David Lonsdale and Peter Benson I'm providing the light relief for the serious stories and having great fun doing so."