Bob Carolgees

Bob Carolgees (born Robert Frederick Johnson; 12 May 1948[1]) is a British comedy entertainer who appeared on the Saturday morning TV series Tiswas and then later in its adult versions O.T.T. and Saturday Stayback. He is best known for appearing with a canine puppet named Spit the Dog. Carolgees also worked for eight years on the TV show Surprise Surprise and on children's game show Concentration. In popular culture he has cameo roles with Spit the Dog.


In the early 1970s Carolgees ran a DJ and modelling school in Liverpool. After a five-week course, DJs and models were tested in front of an audience at the Sportsmans Club in central Liverpool. He first appeared in a guest spot on Tiswas on 31 March 1979.[2] Main presenter Chris Tarrant's first words to him were "I don't know who the fuck you are, but stand there, you're going to be on the telly, it's great!"[citation needed]

Clowning around with a monkey puppet named Charlie, Carolgees went down well with the viewing audience and after being invited back for several guest spots he soon became a team presenter.[3] Carolgees, in pyjamas and headband, was also the Tiswas character Houdi Elbow, a comedy psychic and small-time magician.[citation needed]

As well as gaining national fame with these and Spit the Dog (plus Cough the Cat), he was also part of The Four Bucketeers who made the UK Top 30 in 1980, even making a Top of the Pops appearance.[4]

Carolgees went on to work for eight years alongside Cilla Black in Surprise Surprise and for nearly two decades he entertained British armed forces around the world.[5] He also fronted pop/game show Hold Tight!, produced by Granada Television for Children's ITV and game show Concentration.[6]

Carolgees was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1994 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel at the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe.[citation needed]

Carolgees used to own a candle shop, Carolgees Candles, in Frodsham, Cheshire.[7] He temporarily came out of show business retirement to appear with all his old colleagues in Tiswas Reunited on ITV on 16 June 2007.[8]

Carolgees appeared in pantomime at Hull New Theatre for the 2013 run of Jack and the Beanstalk, replacing an unwell Keith Harris. Carolgees was quoted as saying "What I had missed most was panto".[9] In 2017 Carolgees again came out of retirement for pantomime.

Spit the DogEdit

Spit the Dog is a puppet best known for his spitting. An early Spit the Dog puppet raised over £5,000 at a Christie's auction in 2004.[5]

Stage nameEdit

The name Carolgees comes from friends Carole and George Dunmore who owned a record shop called Carolgees Records & Cassettes. Carole Gee was his assistant in an earlier stint as a youth leader in what is now the MAC Midlands Arts Centre mac (Birmingham) in the late 1960s. Carole and George also operated a mobile disco called Carolgees Cabaret Disco around Merseyside and was where Carolgees developed his act.[10]

In popular cultureEdit

Carolgees received a mention in every episode of That Peter Kay Thing, and appeared in the episode 'Leonard'.[11] He and Spit the Dog can briefly be seen hosting a Trisha style early morning discussion show in Peter Kay's follow up comedy Phoenix Nights. He can also be seen on the back of a leaflet in the toilets in the first episode.[12] Carolgees and puppet Spit the Dog appeared in a 2015 episode of ITV series Who's Doing the Dishes?


  1. ^ "MR ROBERT FREDERICK JOHNSON director information. Free director information. Director id 901327564".
  2. ^ "Tiswas Online list of Bob Carolgees appearances". Tiswas Online. 7 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2006.
  3. ^ "'Later Magazine' Tiswas article". Tiswas Online. September 1999. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Top of the Pops Videoclips". BBC. 7 May 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Spit the Dog sale fetches £5,000". BBC. 5 June 2004.
  6. ^ "Bob Carolgees at". 7 May 2007.
  7. ^ Noble, Ross (11 June 2020). "Ross Noble's Twitter tour of Britain". The Guardian Travel section. p. 5. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  8. ^ "ITV Media — Tiswas Reunited". ITV. 7 May 2007.
  9. ^ "Christopher Biggins and Bob Carolgees are to star in Jack and the Beanstalk at Hull New Theatre". Hull Daily Mail. 1 November 2013. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Totally Tiswas — Show One". Up And Happy podcast. 16 June 2007.
  11. ^ "BBC Guide To Comedy — That Peter Kay Thing". BBC. 7 May 2007.
  12. ^ "Bob Carolgees at IMDB". IMDB. 7 May 2007.

External linksEdit