Very good at spelling, as long as it is the word Mississippi.
She suffers from OCD - and insists on flushing the toilet - very unusual in a youngster. Missy eats a macro-biotic diet except for Sundays where she allows herself a single Tunnocks whilst watching Antiques Roadshow.
In an emergency she can memorise the Radio Times.
Young and cheeky, Betsy is often found exploring the shelves in the kitchen. She was featured on the cover of Vogue in 2016 and voted the "Face of the Homebase" in Trade Counter News, April edition.
Special skills: Mopping up liquids, and slowing down circular saws with her fingers.
Ike was a successful doubles table-tennis champion but his career collapsed when he split from his long term partner Alan Quay.
He re-invented himself in 2009 as a DJ - playing at high-profile gigs in Ibiza, but since the advent of the iPhone has claimed disability benefit because of his inability to operate a touch screen.
He doesn’t smear on glass.
A continual dreamer, Claire likes to look out of the window and hum pretty tunes. Whilst very shy she can be more vocal if she drinks too much Cream Soda.
Special skills: Winning staring contests
A little known fact is that she accompanied Amelia Erhard on her World Record flying escapades, tucked into the breast pocket of Amelia’s flying suit. She is the only stuffed toy ever to circum-navigate the globe in a radial engined aircraft.
Goes black if she sits near a banana.
Mable is very able in the kitchen, and holds a Masters degree in Quantum Physics from Keele. She likes cooking with extra virgin olive oil and Angel Delight. She is currently a Beta-tester for Call of Duty on the PS4.
Special skills: Scandinavian Flicks in a Renault Clio
Originally from the USA, Ken worked for Boeing and pioneered research in Avionics and Fly-by-Wool technology, only to be made redundant when the slightly more successful Fly-by-Wire systems were adopted. Since that time Ken has concentrated on his passion for Squash - he has the biggest collection of vegetables outside of the US.
Talking to himself convincingly.
Harry is a loner, but once you get to know him he is a charming chap. Plays the penny whistle and can hop (an essential skill as he has no legs). He is also very good at incorrectly answering every question on University Challenge.
Special skills: hopping and reprogramming SkyHD boxes.
Speaks German with a French accent and skilled in martial arts and defensive knife techniques. She works in a creche in Godalming.
Crochet, Choux pastry, and the Half-Nelson.
Another of the Soft Lads’ band of day-dreamers. Belle is fond of writing short stories. She has a yearning to go to sea, and is currently studying to take her lighthouse keeping exams, although she says she is not interested in Bouys. In anticipation, she has bought herself a 140dB fog-horn and a year’s supply of Jelly-Babies.
Underwater Photography and Oyster shucking.
He’s a dealer, and a player.... the Mr. Big in the village. If there’s a deal going down, he’ll be part of it. He’s a little bit whooo, and a little bit whaaay, and has his own brand of aftershave: “Wide-Boy for Men”
He works in the Oxfam Shop.
Latest Update: Tom has gone missing - he slipped out on Thursday at a supervised sport event and has not been seen since, contravening his bail conditions. A search of the immediate area was abandoned at midnight.
Good with money, mainly other people’s.
Hayley doesn’t say much, but when she does it is above the audible range for humans. Dogs love her. Her favourite pastime is brushing corduroy trousers whilst watching the DVD box-set of “The Professionals”.
Playing just the black keys.
Yo! He’s a dude. He’s a mover and shaker, and he’s always on the phone, making deals. He has a crazy eye for the ladies.
In 2017 Leon had a restraining order issued against Louise Botting from BBC Radio 4's MoneyBox.
He has a comprehensive knowledge of the history of the Palmerston Follies, and squeezing between the Spin Dryer and the wall.
Fleur gave up University to return home to care for an elderly mother of pearl necklace.
As the result of gangland turf wars Fleur had to go "off grid" in 2014. She was given a false identity created by the Witness Protection Programme, but she lost it at the Guildford Park and Ride.
Making daisy chains and signing La La La
The leader of the Lads, Hugh is an accomplished violist, but prefers to be picking blueberries in the Dordogne. He has a very low carbon footprint and has just signed a sponsorship contract with Nike. However he was distraught to learn he hadn’t been selected for Fabio Capello’s England World Cup Squad.
Everything, and modesty.
The creative one of the Soft Lads, Alice can build wonderful inventions and paint, despite having no paint brushes nor hands. Last year she spent two weeks holidaying down the back of the sofa.
Going in washing machines without pilling.
Hip and streetwise, Fig is often found hanging with his crew, but says he doesn’t know why. He has no added sugar.
Update: Fig has now emigrated to the North Carolina, USA and currently working with youth groups. He lives with Miles, Hugo and Esme, in a commune.
Wearing trainers in a dangerous manner.
His real name is not Gary, and he is not bald, but Gary Baldy is sweet, as becomes a Soft Lad with a biscuit obsession. Often to be found prising open the biscuit tin. Favourite: Eating Ginger Nuts with Lime Pickle whilst listening to MoneyBox Live.
Base jumping without a parachute. Bouncing.
Betsy Co-Ed’s elder twin sister, by 3 days, Martha is a culinary whizz, and is writing her second book: “1000 Ways with Mash”. She hopes it will exceed the disappointing sales of her first book: “How to Grow Your Own Hair”. Martha and Betsy are very close, mainly because they can’t get out of the kitchen.
Training Doberman Pinschers, and testing the garlic press.
Despite being the youngest, Felix is 3 times the height and weight of the other Soft Lads but nobody mentions it. His name means “Lucky” but so far he has been used as a door stop and a windscreen de-mister, then sent abroad in a shoe-box by mistake. He has just started school, but doesn’t know the way back so is still there
Stopping doors closing and being an effective sun shade.