Letitia Cropley

Letitia Cropley

If Delia Smith was old, mad and fantastically untalented, she'd be a little like Letitia Cropley.

Dubbed the "Queen of Cordon Bleugh" by Geraldine Granger, Letitia has given the village such delights as Marmite cakes, lemon curd with ham and cheese, and a bewildering concoction of chocolate with cod's roe. Freddy Krueger himself could scarcely serve up a more terrifying feast.

Played by Liz Smith

Nobody can play dotty and/or slightly frightening old ladies like Liz Smith, who actually got her start in showbusiness very late in life. Toiling away as a single mum in her youthful years, she worked a variety of odd jobs while trying to make it as an actor.

It wasn't until she was 50 that director Mike Leigh cast her in a 1971 TV drama, and she's worked steadily ever since – becoming a national treasure thanks to The Royle Family and making time for the occasional hit movie as well (look out for her as one of the bed-ridden grannies in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).