Fiona studied hard to get a job at the Space Agency. Although she loved working at the cutting edge of space exploration, she began to get tired of tiptoeing around her difficult boss Larry. Not to mention the fact that there were never enough paper clips in the office. She dreamed of independence - building her own business, tinkering with machines in the hands-on fashion she loves, and ordering her own stationery. As well as being a technical wizz, she has respect for other people and a positive, can-do attitude to life. However, she has been known to suffer from uncontrollable fits of the giggles at inappropriate moments.
Mrs Armstrong is the owner and manager of a large bakery, specialising in all kinds of bread products and patisserie. She is nearing retirement age, but she loves her work and says that she'd rather be at the bakery any day than filling time with pointless hobbies. Something of a workaholic, a gentle, ladylike demeanour hides the shrewd business-woman underneath. According to gossip, she started off at the bottom of the ladder and clawed her way to the top, remorselessly pushing off anyone who got in her way. But we won't listen to gossip, will we?
This handsome, debonair zoologist finds Fiona irresistible, and if one were in a suspicious sort of mood one might suspect that he deliberately sabotages the machines at the zoo just so he has an excuse to call her... Still, we shall give him the benefit of the doubt. As well as animal welfare and behaviour, his main interests include fine wines, the cinema, and the life and work of Steve Irwin, his all-time hero. He likes to give the animals in the zoo different, secret names, known only to himself. His favourite is a wallaby named Dolores.
Martin Turnip was brought up in a travelling circus. His mother was a world yoyo champion, and a delightful woman apart from during full moons when she would inexplicably start hurling salad around. At the age of 23, after a brief stint as a traffic warden, Martin started his own fairground. It has grown from humble beginnings (wheelbarrow rides) into a sixty acre site employing over a hundred people, with some of the biggest thrill rides in the northern hemisphere. As he says himself, 'I am Great, the Great Martini. Nobody, but nobody, is as Great as me.
Stella deliberated for years about changing her surname because it wasn't chic enough. She considered adding an 'e' at the end, to give it a French ring, or even changing it altogether to something like 'Passione' or 'Constelatione'. But in the end, she decided it was more important to be true to herself. Besides, her Grandmother would never have spoken to her again. She's been into perfume since her early teens and was coached in the art of smellology by the famous master Louis de la Odourisophys III. She also likes haute couture and trying to get invited to celebrity parties.
Larry... Ah, what can we say about Larry? He got into his line of work by accident. He joined a queue at a recruiting fair that he thought was for wannabe vending machine salesmen, but a series of bizarre accidents, which I won't bore you with now, somehow ended up with him being head of a department within the Space Agency. Life is crazy, huh? Larry does not like people. His one passion is the history of international postal services, and his favourite bit is that critical moment in March 1959 when the rate for a standard letter from Denver, Colorado to Vienna in Austria went up to 27 cents.