Uncle Ted is Jean's husband. At the beginning of the novel he owns a central heating business, which is questionably successful. Regardless, he and Jean can afford to live in the upscale neighborhood of Chiselhurst. Ted and Dad like each other a lot and Ted often fixes things around Dad's house in exchange for Dad's wise counsel. When Ted and Jean become aware of Dad's relationship with Eva, Jean forces Ted to step in and try to stop it. Dad, however, "frees" Ted by insisting he works too hard. After this experience, Ted quits his job, embraces Dad's Eastern philosophy, and insists he must enjoy life. He begins working again for Eva, which makes Jean furious. However, the work pays well and Ted is happy to get to see Dad and Eva. Despite Ted's outwardly kind demeanor, Karim recounts an experience that suggests Ted is secretly racist: on a train coming home from a football match several years before the start of the novel, Ted smashed windows, lights, and cut train seats as they passed through a black neighborhood. He told Karim to throw a bulb out the window. Karim uses this experience, which Ted kept secret, to blackmail Ted into taking his side when Jean tries to butt into Dad's relationship with Eva.
Uncle Ted Character Timeline in The Buddha of Suburbia
The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Ted appears in The Buddha of Suburbia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 4
...marriages anymore. Karim can't believe the things he's seeing people do all of their own accords—Ted's breakdown, Dad's relationship with Eva, and now Anwar's hunger strike—things that had nothing to do... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 7
Part 1, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 10
Part 2, Chapter 16
Part 2, Chapter 18