|Richmond Felicity Avenal|
Second-in-Command of Reynholm Industries (formerly)
Richmond Felicity Avenal was once the Second-in-Command of the UK business giant Reynholm Industries. He was demoted by Denholm Reynholm to working in the IT Department after he became a goth. There, he was banished by his colleagues Maurice Moss and Roy Trenneman to work in the back room of the department (the server room), as he, due to his gothic and pessimistic outlook on life, was 'bringing everyone down.' However, when Jen Barber joined the department, she campaigned for Richmond to come out of isolation and to return to his original job. Richmond soon became accustomed to normal life again and began socialising a lot more and even got a girlfriend; but he had gotten so used to being trapped inside the tiny room behind the department that he was rarely seen leaving it.
In 2008, Richmond was diagnosed with scurvy and had to leave Reynholm Industries. Around this time, Richmond began to turn away from his gothic lifestyle when he realised it wasn't making him happy. He subsequently turned his back on the subculture and founded his own business, From Goth2Boss, which helped goths in the same position as him turn their lives around. He was later seen giving evidence at the divorce trial of his former boss, Douglas Reynholm. Richmond claimed that Douglas's then-wife, Victoria, was, in fact, an imposter and was really a From Goth2Boss client of his. However, on closer inspection, Richmond realised he had mistaken Victoria for someone else and proved useless at the trial.
In the final episode, Richmond was seen again, wearing the same gothic clothes and makeup that he wore in his first appearance. He admitted that although Goth2Boss didn't work out, he had been given the job of a voiceover actor because he had a "beautiful voice."
Early life and career
Richmond was hired by Denholm Reynholm to work for Reynholm Industries sometime before 2001. Slowly, Richmond was promoted more and more until he eventually became second-in-command of Reynholm Industries. He worked extremely hard and was a valuable asset to Reynholm Industries until he started listening to the heavy metal band, Cradle of Filth. Richmond's work didn't suffer, but his fellow colleagues were distracted when he dyed his hair very dark and started wearing gothic makeup.
In 2001, Denholm's father died, and many Reynholm Industries employees were seen at his funeral, including Richmond. When Richmond approached Denholm and his grieving mother, he was seen to be wearing white makeup with a black tear rolling down his cheek and gave Denholm's mother a Cradle of Filth CD recommending she listen to the track "Coffin Fodder." Denholm was extremely furious and, now unable to cope with having a goth as second-in-command, demoted Richmond to work in the IT Department, where he was now the lowest-ranked employee in all of Reynholm Industries.
Work in the abandoned storeroom
When Richmond was demoted to work in the IT Department, he met Maurice Moss and Roy Trenneman. Roy and Moss eventually grew tired of Richmond's depressing and pessimistic outlook on life and made a unanimous decision to banish him into a tiny storeroom behind the office to look after some abandoned mainframes without any briefing to what he was meant to do. Richmond did what he was told and worked night shifts, guarding the monitors in the abandoned storeroom alone.
Eventually, Jen Barber joined the department and when she discovered that Richmond was lurking in the storeroom the whole time she had been there, she campaigned for him to return to his original job. She succeeded and Richmond was not forced to stay in the storeroom any longer. Despite this, Richmond had grown fond of his room and often stayed there despite Jen's work to get him out, although he did make occasional appearances outside.
Work in the IT Department
Despite working for the IT Department, Richmond is never seen on or using a computer. Richmond was briefly affected by Jen's menstrual cycle, despite not showing any visible signs. However, he did comment that he was not his 'usual cheery self.'
When Denholm committed suicide in 2007, Richmond did not go to his funeral but did ring Roy to see if everything was going well. Douglas Reynholm, Denholm's son, succeeded his father as Head of Reynholm Industries. It is unknown how Richmond reacted to this or what relationship he had with Douglas.
Departure from Reynholm Industries
- "Well, my life wasn't really going anywhere. I was part of the whole goth/death metal subculture, but it wasn't making me happy. It was all a bit gloomy. It was around about that time I developed scurvy."
- —Richmond on his reasons for leaving the goth subculture
due to both his health and his view that his life wasn't going anywhere. He has said that getting scurvy was the best thing that had ever happened to him as he was forced to 'take a long hard look in the mirror.' He came to the conclusion that the gothic lifestyle he was living was not for him, and subsequently abandoned it and founded his own company, From Goth2Boss, to help goths like him turn their lives around and become successful businesspeople. This had ended by 2013, where Richmond was seen in the same gothic clothes and makeup that he wore in his first appearance and admitted that Goth2Boss had not worked out.
In 2010, Richmond noticed that his former boss, Douglas Reynholm, was going through a difficult divorce as his wife was suing him for £220 million. Richmond felt he needed to help his former boss and decided to send him a letter saying that he had the evidence to win his case. Richmond was invited to the trial and gave evidence that Denholm's wife, Victoria, was, in fact, a former From Goth2Boss client of his, Melanie Crawford. However, on closer inspection, Richmond realised he had mistaken Victoria for someone else and proved useless at the trial.
Richmond later became a voiceover artist. He completed an advert for Reynholm Industries, although it is unknown if it was ever released to the public.
Richmond was most famous for his gothic personality and was often pessimistic and gloomy. Despite this, he has described himself as cheerful and is often seen smiling. During his gothic stage, he was always very vampiric, suffering from phengophobia (fear of daylight) and making a bat-like fluttering noise whenever he jumped.
He has had suicidal thoughts in the past, talking about how easy it would be to kill himself; but he has never actually self-harmed. Despite his scary and gothic appearance, he was relatively cheerful and quite gentle during his time at Reynholm Industries. Before becoming a businessman, he had low self-esteem and said that he has a 'tiny little mind.' Richmond has a habit of staring into space whenever he wants to be dramatic, turning away from the person he is talking to and making melodramatic hand gestures. Doing this confused his fellow workers, who are baffled by what he is looking at.
Richmond is fascinated by all things dark and strange, including skulls, spiders and (during his gothic stage) the heavy metal rock band, Cradle of Filth. Despite this, he found the idea of an actual cradle of filth disgusting. He has also said that he would be more than willing to eat a live spider.
Richmond is likely bisexual. He references reading Heat magazine after Roy had mentioned that he doesn't know any heterosexual men who read it. It is implied that he slept with Denholm Reynholm, but both were highly drunk at the time and both were horrified when they discovered what they had done the following morning. He also had a sexual relationship with Jessica, a girl he had met at a party. Despite the pair varying in personality, they were attracted to each other very quickly. It is unknown if the relationship continued, but Richmond did not pursue any other relationships, possibly suggesting that they stayed together.
Skills and abilities
- Psychic Abilities: Richmond correctly predicted that Roy, Moss and Jen's trip to the theatre would be disastrous, and, despite having strange methods of predicting this (hearing a crow and stepping on a piece of lego), he was correct.
- Acrobatic Skills: Richmond managed to climb a wall with surprising ease and grace and remained there for a considerable amount of time without any visible foot or hand holds.
- Business Skills: Although it is unknown exactly what role Richmond played when he was second-in-command of Reynholm Industries, Richmond obviously had the skills needed to be worthy of the title. He exhibited these skills once more when he founded From Goth2Boss.
Richmond first met Roy when he was demoted to work in the IT Department. Roy treated Richmond like vermin, once threatening him with a sweeping brush. Both Roy and Moss felt Richmond was depressing them and 'bringing everyone down' and made a unanimous decision to banish him to look after the hardware in the server room at the back of the office. When Jen joined the office, she campaigned for Richmond to be brought out of isolation and to return to his original job.
After this, Roy got to know Richmond a bit more, and their relationship improved to the extent that they were nearly friends. Roy once asked Richmond to come with them to the theatre, but he declined. When Richmond was diagnosed with scurvy, Roy inquired about his whereabouts, but he did not seem too concerned.
- "But Roy's not a desk rabbit, he's my best friend, and unless you do something it's just gonna be you, me and Tim Burton over there"
- —Moss comparing Richmond to Tim Burton
Like Roy, Moss first met Richmond when he was demoted to work in the IT Department. Moss' treatment of Richmond was somewhat better than Roy's, but he and Roy agreed that Richmond should be separated from society. Moss did somewhat care about Richmond's health, and occasionally asked him how he was.
However, Moss strongly believed that Richmond should stay in the storeroom. When Jen joined the office, she campaigned for Richmond to be brought out of isolation and to return to his original job. Moss, like Roy, got to know Richmond a bit more, and their relationship improved to the extent that they were nearly friends. When Richmond was diagnosed with scurvy, Moss was the only person who knew what had happened to Richmond.
- "Well, we're happy to have you."
- —Jen after bringing Richmond out of isolation
Richmond first met Jen shortly after she joined the department. After being told by Moss and Roy that she should not open the red door leading into the storeroom, her curiosity got the better of her and she discovered the existence of Richmond. When she discovered the living conditions that Richmond was forced to endure and his treatment from Moss and Roy, she campaigned for him to be brought out
of isolation. She succeeded, and she treated Richmond well.
However, it seemed that she shared the idea that Richmond was depressing and once Richmond frightened her so much that she screamed. Although she would never tell him, she finds Richmond depressing and never considered him a true friend.
- "It sounds like you two had a good relationship at one point"
- —Jen on Denholm and Richmond's relationship
Richmond and Denholm once had a very good relationship, so much so that Richmond became his Second-in-Command. They were even seen skipping through corridors holding hands. However, when Richmond started listening to Cradle of Filth and became gothic, Denholm began to reconsider Richmond's position.
Denholm demoted Richmond to work in the IT Department, where he was put in charge of some abandoned monitors. When Jen brought him out of isolation, she convinced Denholm to allow Richmond to return to his original job of second-in-command, but Denholm quickly reconsidered. Richmond was put back in IT, but he was no longer forced to work in the abandoned storeroom.
In 2007, Denholm committed suicide. Richmond, despite previously having a very good relationship with Denholm, did not attend his funeral. However, he did ring Roy to inquire if everything was going well.
Richmond met Jessica in 2007 at a dinner party hosted by Jen and her new boyfriend. Despite having varying personalities, Richmond and Jessica were immediately attracted to each other and were soon seen kissing at the dinner table. Later on, at the dinner party, Richmond and Jessica made love in Jen's house and did it again at the office, in Richmond's storeroom.
It is unknown whether the relationship continued, but Richmond did not pursue any other relationships, which suggests that they remained together.
During his gothic period, Richmond was nearly always seen in classic goth attire, wearing a black waistcoat and trousers and a purple necktie. He wore a silver, bat necktie with high leather boots. His make up varied on occasion. He was usually seen wearing make up that made his face look pale and his eyes droopy, but on special occasions, he painted a tear on his cheek or made his face resemble a skull. He had straight black hair below his shoulders and blue eyes but occasionally wore a milky contact lens in one eye, distorting its colour and shape. With all these combined, he looked extremely haunting and vampirish.
However, when Richmond turned away from his gothic lifestyle, his appearance changed back to what it was before, no longer wearing makeup and black hair.
Behind the scenes
- Richmond is portrayed by British comedian and actor Noel Fielding.
- Richmond is the only character to have his middle name revealed on the show.
- Due to Fielding's commitments to his own show, The Mighty Boosh, he was unable to portray Richmond in the third series and so Graham Linehan had written Richmond out of the script, thus leading the "scurvy" excuse. However, Noel managed to make a one-off appearance in the last episode of the fourth series, Reynholm v Reynholm, where he was shown to have abandoned his gothic lifestyle and to have started his own business.
- Richmond's character was originally going to be called Gully, who was a pale, rat-like man who used to scamper around inside the walls of the IT Department fixing things. However, Linehan found it hard to write him into the script and eventually the character was dropped. Despite this, Linehan kept the concept of a strange, pale character and eventually came up with the idea of Richmond.
- As of June 2010, Richmond is the third most popular character in the show according to a poll conducted by Channel 4, receiving 10%.
- Richmond is a masculine given name of Old French origin, and means "rich hill."
- Felicity is a feminine given name of Latin origin, and translates to "happy." As Felicity is a feminine name, it is unknown why Richmond has it as his middle name.
- Avenal is a city in California. It is similar to the surname "Avenel" which is of Old French origin and means "old pasture." It is also similar to the word "Avernal" which means infernal, hellish, poisonous or stygian - referencing something from the underworld (Named after Avernus, a lake in Italy famous for its poisonous vapors mythologically said to be an entrance to the netherworld) - a rather "goth" sounding similarity.
- Richmond does not appear in season 3, making it the first and only season where Richmond is absent, this was due to he's actor Noel Fielding was unable to portray Richmond in the third season and so Graham Linehan had write Richmond out of the third series.
- The Red Door
- Aunt Irma Visits
- The Work Outing
- Return of the Golden Child
- The Dinner Party
- Reynholm v Reynholm
- The Internet is Coming