Drawn by Tom Lavery
103 appearances (over 103 pages) from issue no. 1
(20/01/73) to no.103 (04/01/75).
The story in issue no.103 was printed in red/black, the rest in colour.
Bank robbery, bag snatching, burglary, smash and grab - Fred will have a go. And fail dismally. Complete with sharp suit, trilby and 'tash, Fred is reminiscent of a spiv from the 1940s. "Crime does not pay" was the message as the incompetent crook was inevitably marched off to the cop shop or languished in the clink.
Fred's biggest job?
"PRICELESS ROYAL JEWELS STOLEN FROM EXHIBITION! MULTI-MILLION POUND ROBBERY!" exclaims the newspaper advertising board that Fred walks past in the last frame of the story in issue no. 61. Fred had been the culprit, having stolen a crown, sceptre and ermine coat the previous night from what he thought was a costume hire shop, in order to wear at the underworld's Fancy Dress Ball. Not knowing they were real, he had dumped them in a dustbin when he saw Joe King ("the king of the underworld") entering the venue also dressed as a king, not wanting to upstage him. "I never pinch anything important" mutters Fred.
Fred's smallest job?
Stealing a packet of chewing gum (issue no.86). Fed up with "no grub, no telly", Fred declares "I'd be better in clink", duly commits the above crime and ends up in the local nick. While there he unwittingly knocks out Mr Big ("the gang boss" and also his fellow prisoner). Believing Fred has stopped him escaping, the cops 'reward' Fred by releasing him.
A character called Fredus the Floppus appeared in Nero And Zero in issue no.16. Presumably he was one of Fred's ancestors.
Jimmy Jinx has a Fred the Flop poster on his bedroom wall in issue no. 43.
In issue no. 45, Big Fat Flo's Dad made a life-size cut-out of Fred (as well as Wig And Wam) for the family to shoot a toy gun at.
Fred was an ever-present in BUZZ and appeared in colour (on page 10) in every issue but the last one, when he appeared in red/black (on page 14). He had been shunted off his usual page by Sleepy Ed, himself moved because of a full-page colour advertisement for the following week's edition of THE TOPPER AND BUZZ. Fred appeared in that edition along with five other former BUZZ strips.