Black Books Wiki
Fran KJ
Enid Francesca 'Fran' Katzenjammer
Biographical information
  • Auntie Milliscent
  • Doctor Death

British (has relatives in Eastern Europe)

Physical description




Hair colour


Eye colour


Skin colour


Family information
Family members


Former Occupations

Nifty Gifty (formerly)


Francesca "Fran" Katzenjammer (born Enid Katzenjammer) is an alcoholic and a heavy smoker and the former owner of Nifty Gifty, a gift shop on Little Bevan Street. She shares a friendship with Bernard Black, the owner of the shop next to hers, and Manny Bianco, an employee in Bernard's shop.


Early life[]

Not much is known about Fran's early life. However, it is known that her grandfather taught her to play poker in her childhood, while her grandmother taught her how to cheat, before she got shot in Reno. After her school days, she attended university with her friend Howell Granger, a man with an erotic voice that seduces Fran to a point where she is panting loudly. During her early life, she changed her name from Enid to Francesca, which was then shortened to Fran.

Life as a shop owner[]

At one stage in her life, Fran bought a small building on Little Bevan Street, Bloomsbury. It is unknown what purpose the shop was serving then; however, once Fran had bought it, she converted it into Nifty Gifty, a gift shop that sold many, and some bizarre, items. Fran was not very professional with her job, and usually bought merchandise without actually knowing what it did. She eventually took a disliking to her shop, and admitted that she sold a lot of "wank".

After she had bought Nifty Gifty, she met Bernard Black, the drunken and pessimistic owner of the shop nextdoor. Bernard and Fran took a liking to each other, and usually closed their shops early to share a quiet glass of wine, their favourite beverage. Some time after, the pair had sexual intercourse whilst drunk and Fran 'forced' Bernard to forget what had happened. Bernard and Fran did not continue a sexual relationship together and just remained as friends.

In 2000, Bernard hired Manny Bianco to work as an assistant in Black Books. Fran took an immediate liking to Manny and showed him around Bernard's spare room in case he wanted to move in. Bernard, who had hired Manny whilst drunk and had no recollection of the night before, fired Manny despite the fact that Manny had sold more than half the merchandise in the shop. Fran was furious when she heard the news that Manny was leaving and forced Bernard, hitting and shouting at him, to re-hire Manny. She succeeded and Manny moved in the next day.

Life after Nifty Gifty[]

Between 2000 and 2001, Fran was forced to shut Nifty Gifty down, probably due to low income. She went through a period of depression during this stage, saying that, despite the fact she had hated her shop, she felt bored now that she was unemployed. Although going to many job interviews and trying out various occupations, including working for a company without knowing what she had to do and working in Black Books itself, Fran could never hold onto a job together and her working life never lasted more than a few days.

Loss of Manny Bianco[]

In 2004, Fran went on a holiday to Cornwall,Upon her return, she found that Manny had resigned from Black Books after Bernard shoved his hand into a toaster. Manny had decided to work in the bookshop next door, Goliath Books. Fran was furious that her two best friends had separated and decided to protest and persuade Manny to return. Manny did eventually return to Bernard asking for an apology, however, Bernard refused and Manny returned to Goliath Books, only to find that his new boss, Evan, tried to take what is most precious to him, his appearance.

Manny decided to return to Black Books rather than obey his cruel boss, only to find the shop in the worst state it was ever been in, overflowing with books and filled with hermit crabs and dead badgers. Bernard, delighted to see Manny, defended him when Evan comes looking for him, and agreed that his attitude towards Manny needed to change. Fran was finally satisfied and life returned to normal for all three.

Personality and traits[]


Fran is independent and assertive, and one of the few who has a certain amount of control over Bernard. She can be very rude and obnoxious at times, and drinks heavily, although not as much as Bernard. Despite taking up yoga to try to rid her of her obnoxious personality and to get her off drinking and smoking, however, this was short lived and Fran quickly returned to her original state.

She is quite eccentric, and has been described as crazy in the past. In her shop, Nifty Gifty, she usually bought merchandise and stock which she either did not need or did not know what purpose it served, and her shop was full of useless and pointless products.


Fran has had many unsuccessful relationships, and seems to attract a very strange variety of potential partners. She has dated Kurt, a violinist who is "very gum diseasey", Raymond, who lives with his mother in a car, The Cleaner, a worker who works for Anall Cleaning Ltd, who is obsessed with cleaning and Ben, a homosexual. When Fran does have a successful relationship she usually does something to end it. She once saw her then-boyfriend Peter, sitting opposite a woman in a restaurant. She told Peter that he was a "scum-bag", and the woman he was sitting with was a "slut". The woman turned out to be his sister, and he was consoling her as she had lost her job. Fran has had a sexual encounter with Bernard, however, she has forced him to forget it, as they were probably drunk at the time.

Skills and abilities[]

  • Card skills: Fran is a very talented card player, particularly at poker, and is also capable of rigging the deck to make sure she gets good cards [1].

Physical appearance[]

Fran: "You never look at me."
Bernard: "You're my oldest friend, besides you look like you've just fallen out of a tree."
— Fran asks Bernard why he does not find her attractive

Fran dresses fashionably and in good taste, unlike Bernard and Manny. She has short, black hair which is styled by her stylist, Gianni, and she usually wears make-up and carries a black leather handbag. She has been compared to the panther-like goddess of the people of Mugumbi by Jason Hamilton, who complimented her on her jet-black hair, pale skin and slumberous eyes. She has been described as beautiful in the past, however, she cannot hold a relationship together. She occasionally wears glasses, however, she uses contact lenses more often. She has her ears pierced and can often be seen sporting a small earring.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Fran is played by Olivier Award-winning actress Tamsin Greig.
  • Tamsin Greig was pregnant during the filming of Series One.
  • Fran was originally going to be a philosophy teacher called Valerie.


  • Fran, a variant of Francesca, is a multi-gender name of Latin and Italian origin, meaning 'from France'. This may be a reference to the fact that Fran has her roots in other parts of Europe.
  • Katzenjammer comes from the old German slang word for a hangover, literally meaning 'the howling of the cats'.
  • Enid, Fran's original name, is a feminine given name of Welsh origin, and translates to 'soul' or 'life'.
  • In an earlier script, Fran's name was Valerie, a feminine given name of Latin origin, meaning 'strong' and 'healthy'.

External Links[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named LF

|- style="text-align: center;" | width="30%" |Preceded by:
Unknown | width="40%" |Owner of the building in which Nifty Gifty is situated
? - Between 2000 and 2002 | width="30%" |Succeeded by:

|} |- | style="text-align: center" | |}