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Chuckle Brothers

The Chuckle Brothers were an English children's comedy double act comprising Barry David Elliott (24 December 1944 – 5 August 2018) and Paul Harman Elliott (born 18 October 1947).[1][2] They were known for their work on their BBC show ChuckleVision, which celebrated its twenty-first series in 2009 with a stage tour titled An Audience with the Chuckle Brothers. The comedy of the Chuckle Brothers usually derived from slapstick, wordplay and other visual gags, and their catchphrases included "To me, to you" and "Oh dear, oh dear".

Chuckle Brothers
Alice 2008 and Chuckle Brothers 028.jpg
Barry (left) and Paul (right) in 2008
Born Barry David Elliott
(1944-12-24)24 December 1944
Paul Harman Elliott
(1947-10-18) 18 October 1947 (age 70)
Rotherham, West Riding of Yorkshire,
England
Died Barry David Elliott
5 August 2018(2018-08-05) (aged 73)
Medium Television and stage
Years active 1967–2018
Genres Slapstick and parody
Notable works and roles ChuckleHounds (1985–86)
ChuckleVision (1987–2009)
To Me... To You... (1996–98)
ChuckleMaths (2009)
Chuckle Time (2018)

Contents

Early lifeEdit

The brothers were born in Rotherham to Amy and James Patton Elliott, in 1944 and 1947. Their father was a Gang Show performer whose stage name was Gene Patton; he worked with the 18-year-old Peter Sellers in 1943 in The No. 10 Gang and gave performances in London, Orkney and the Hebrides, Iceland, the Far East, India, and Burma. Their two older brothers, Jimmy and Brian, are known professionally as the Patton Brothers and have appeared in ChuckleVision, Jimmy as the nameless character known colloquially as "No Slacking", and Brian as another unnamed character known as "Getoutofit".[3]

CareerEdit

TelevisionEdit

The Chuckle Brothers won the television talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967, followed by success on New Faces in 1974.[4] In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the two brothers began their television careers as a double act, making their debut in April 1979 on the BBC comedy series Lennie and Jerry, hosted by Lennie Bennett and Jerry Stevens.[5] They made two appearances on the game show 3-2-1, hosted by Ted Rogers, in January 1980 and April 1982,[6][7] and appeared on the long-running BBC programme, The Good Old Days, in June 1980.[8] In August 1983, the Brothers appeared on The Freddie Starr Showcase alongside the comedian Freddie Starr.[9]

Their primary work was mainly focused on children's television, beginning initially on Christmas Day in 1980 with them taking part in a televised children's show, A Merry Morning, in which the brothers entertained around 250 children from the Leeds area in Yeadon Town Hall.[10] In 1985, the brothers launched a pre-school programme on the BBC entitled Chuckle Hounds, in which they performed routines with no dialogue, while dressed up in giant dog costumes. Their success in children's television came in 1987, with the launch of their iconic children's show, ChuckleVision, in which their real-life siblings Jimmy and Brian Patton made occasional appearances.[11] The show proved a ratings hit with children, running for twenty-one series over a period of twenty-two years, and being nominated by public vote for the BAFTA Kids' Vote for best television series, as part of the British Academy Children's Awards in 2008;[12] the show's finale was aired in December 2009. The two men contributed further to children's entertainment, performing at the Children's Royal Variety Performance in May 1992,[13] and launching a children's game show titled To Me, To You!, run between 1996 to 1998 and named after their signature catchphrase.

Outside of children's entertainment, the brothers have made appearances in other programmes. In May 2008, the Chuckle Brothers appeared in the BBC documentary series Comedy Map of Britain,[14] and won the 2010 series of Celebrity Coach Trip.[15] In November 2011, the brothers starred in a series of TV advertisements for the UK-based van insurance comparison website, Van Compare.[16] In October 2012, they appeared on Comedy World Cup on Channel 4, while on 15 March 2013, they were featured in David Walliams' sketch for Comic Relief, in which Walliams knocked on the brothers' door with important information to give to them.[17] In 2013 to 2014, Barry made a number of appearances in the BBC comedy series Still Open All Hours as dog owner Mr Marshall, first appearing in the role for the 2013 Christmas special.[18] In April 2018, it was announced the brothers were in the process of filming a new Saturday night entertainment programme on Channel 5, entitled Chuckle Time;[19] it ran for one series during Summer of that year, though its future was put into doubt following the death of Barry Chuckle on 5 August 2018.

StageEdit

 
Paul and Barry Elliott, aka The Chuckle Brothers, on stage at the Futurist Theatre in Scarborough in 2013

As well as regular TV appearances, Paul and Barry have appeared on stage in venues across the UK. Their past comedy and parody shows have included The Blackpool Tower Circus (1974), a pantomime based on Aladdin (1985), The Adventures of the Chuckle Brothers, The Chuckle Brothers in – Trouble at Sea, Raiders of the Lost Bark, Barry Potty and his Smarter Brother Paul in the Chamber of Horrors, Star Doors, Pirates of the River Rother, Doctor What & the Return of the Garlics, Spooky Goings On and Spooky Goings On 2. Live recordings of Pirates of the River Rother and Spooky Goings On 2 were released on home video in 2007, the latter under the title The Chuckle Brothers – Spooky Goings On Live![20] From November to December 2006, they completed a nationwide tour of their Aladdin pantomime; Barry starred as Aladdin and Paul as brother Wishie Washee. The pantomime also starred dancing group The Chucklettes and illusionists Safire.

The brothers' 2008 tour, Indiana Chuckles and The Kingdom of the Mythical Sulk, set in Ancient Egypt, was a parody of the Indiana Jones films. Safire joined them again, making it their sixth outing with the brothers; the Patton Brothers also returned. It was released as a DVD, as with Pirates of the River Rother and Spooky Goings On 2.[21] For Christmas 2008, the brothers appeared in Aladdin at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend-on-Sea.[22]

A new show – Chuckle Trek – The Lost Generation, a science-fiction parody – toured in 2009.[23] For Christmas that year, the Chuckle Brothers toured with the pantomime A Christmas Chuckle. In 2010, the brothers toured the UK with a special 21st-anniversary show, An Audience With The Chuckle Brothers, which contained a selection of comedy sketches and a question-and-answer session with the audience.[24] In 2011, the brothers, along with the Patton Brothers and Safire, toured with Barry Potter and his Full Blood Brother Paul in The Ghostly Shadows, another Harry Potter parody.[25] In December 2011, they starred in the pantomime Cinderella in Hull.[26]

The brothers continued to tour theatres annually with their shows until 2015. Although, they still performed regularly in pantomimes, as well as at festivals, events and holiday parks.

Other appearancesEdit

More recently, the brothers had been making appearances at various nightclubs and student events, signing autographs and posing for photographs.[27][28][29]

In March 2016, the brothers appeared in a promotional video for the game Hitman.[30]

MusicEdit

In October 1995, the Chuckle Brothers released an album entitled To You to Me featuring eleven tracks.[31] Many of the tracks were based on their catchphrases, such as "To me, to you" and "Silly You, Silly Me".

In October 2014, the Chuckle Brothers collaborated with Tinchy Stryder to release a charity single "To Me, To You (Bruv)" to raise funds for the African-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust.[32]

In September 2015, the Brothers performed for twenty minutes at the music festival Bestival, citing it as the biggest crowd they had ever performed in front of.[33]

Mobile gameEdit

In July 2016 the Chuckle Brothers released their first mobile app for Android and iOS titled "Chuckle World". It is a quiz game with Tinder style sliding mechanics and endless style mobile gameplay.[34]

Critical receptionEdit

In November 2005 Jacques Peretti, a reporter for The Guardian, remarked on how "the appeal of the Chuckle Brothers remains a mystery to anyone over eight, but to anyone under eight, they're the ultimate entertainment experience". "The little people think they're hilarious, and if you add up all the little people across the country who think they're hilarious, you'd think it's ChuckleVision that should have the 28 comedy gongs, not Little Britain or The Office."[35]

On 31 January 2007, Rotherham United chairman Denis Coleman announced that the brothers had both been made honorary presidents of the football club.[36] In 2008, they were honoured with the Special Award at the British Academy Children's Awards.[37][38]

Personal lifeEdit

The brothers regularly appeared at events and openings, an example being the unveiling of the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre in North Anston in July 2013, which Barry attended.[39] Supporters of Rotherham United Football Club,[40] they were made Honorary Life Presidents of the club in 2007.[41]

Both brothers were married – Barry was married to Ann and Paul is married to Sue.[42] Both brothers seem to have been smokers, although Paul had apparently stopped the habit by 2000.[43] Paul lives in Serlby, Doncaster,[2] whilst his brother Barry lived in Ravenfield, Rotherham, before his death.[1]

In April 2007, whilst on holiday on the Greek island of Cephalonia, Paul broke his nose and suffered cuts and bruises when he lost control of his motorcycle after suddenly braking to avoid a goatherd and herd. Instead of helping him, tourists who stopped at the accident shouted the Chuckle Brothers' catchphrase, "To me, to you."[44]

An urban legend surrounding Barry Chuckle's supposed death from a heart attack has circulated since at least 2008. In 2010, the brothers issued a statement on their website stating that the story was "complete and utter rubbish".[45] The BBC reported that the death hoaxes had upset young viewers, and had shocked Barry when they re-surfaced.[46] The hoax was said to have initially spread via Facebook in 2008, but re-surfaced in 2010 via Twitter.[46]

In December 2015, Paul was caught speeding in a 40 mph zone. As a result of his actions he chose to undertake a speed awareness course, as opposed to accepting three penalty points and a fine. He reportedly stated at the time that he was "a careful driver" who had previously never "been done" in the fifty years that he had been driving.[47][48]

ControversyEdit

In December 2010, Barry announced his support for a proposal that one of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government's planned free schools, a taxpayer-funded school independent of the local authority, should be established in Rotherham.[49] In January 2011, it was announced that Barry had planned to incorporate a 100-pupil free school named Rotherham Central Free School in his hometown of Rotherham. His son's partner was to serve as the head teacher of the school.[50] By February 2012, no premises, staff or pupils for the school had been confirmed, despite announcing an intention on opening in September of that year.[51]

In February 2014, the Chuckle Brothers attended the trial of Dave Lee Travis. Paul stated that it was a "complete shock" that such an attack had occurred in their presence.[52] After giving evidence, the Brothers posed for a selfie outside Southwark Crown Court with Paul tweeting it[53] to thousands of followers on his Twitter account.[54] The Brothers had smiled whilst taking the photograph, and later some deemed their actions as inappropriate.[55]

In March 2016, Barry received condemnation for sharing a Facebook post from the far right-wing political party Britain First. The post, originally shared in June 2015, called on politicians to strip migrants of their citizenship if they left the country to join a terror group. Following the unearthing of the post, Tommy Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League (EDL) came to Barry's defence, calling on people to "leave the man alone".[56] Britain First subsequently described the incident as a "non-story".[57]

Barry's deathEdit

On 5 August 2018, Barry died after a period of ill health.[58][59] Paul grieved Barry's death stating "I've not just lost my brother, I've lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend."[60]

Paul later claimed that his brother had been diagnosed with bone cancer, but had kept it secret from his fans.[61][62] His funeral was held on 17 August at the Rotherham United stadium and was attended by a number of show business friends; about four hundred fans waited outside to pay their respects.[63]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Mr Barry David Elliott director information. Free director information". Company Check. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Mr Paul Harman Elliott director information. Free director information". Company Check. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Harman, Len (7 December 1981). "A Showbiz Dynasty". The Stage. Retrieved 12 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Preview: The Chuckle Brothers at the Apollo, Oxford – April 19". The Oxford Times. 18 April 2001. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Collections Search | BFI | British Film Institute". collections-search.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Collections Search | BFI | British Film Institute". collections-search.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
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  8. ^ "Collections Search | BFI | British Film Institute". collections-search.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  9. ^ "The Freddie Starr Showcase". The Radio Times. 28 July 1983. p. 39. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  10. ^ "Collections Search | BFI | British Film Institute". collections-search.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "The Chuckle Brothers: Life after television for Barry and Paul Elliott". The Independent. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "2008 Children's BAFTA Kids' Vote | BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "Children's Royal Variety Performance". The Radio Times. 21 May 1992. p. 78. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  14. ^ "Chuckle Brothers bring theatre to the BBC". South Yorkshire Times. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  15. ^ Fletcher, Alex (16 September 2010). "Celebrity 'Coach Trip' lineup revealed". Digital Spy. 
  16. ^ "Chuckle Brothers Help Make Cheap Van Insurance a Wheeze!". Van Compare. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "David Walliams confronts celebrities he's been 'intimate' with including an abtastic Gwyneth Paltrow and leather-clad Kate Moss in hilarious skit for Comic Relief". Mail Online. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Still Open All Hours review: It was a w-w-worthy effort – but". The Independent. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "BBC". 
  20. ^ "The Chuck Brothers: Spooky Goings On Live!" (Press release). Liberation Entertainment. Archived from the original on 31 December 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2007. 
  21. ^ "Spring Tour". Official website. The Chuckle Brothers. Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2007. 
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  29. ^ Rodger, James (9 November 2016). "The Chuckle Brothers are coming to a Coventry nightclub". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  30. ^ Skrebels, Joe (11 March 2016). "Watch the Chuckle Brothers Play Real-Life Hitman". IGN. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  31. ^ "The Chuckle Brothers – To You To Me". Discogs. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  32. ^ Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (23 October 2014). "Tinchy Stryder's track with the Chuckle Brothers becomes internet sensation". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  33. ^ "Chuckle Brothers had a 'brilliant' time at Bestival and can't wait to do it again!". BT.com. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  34. ^ "Chuckle Brothers: Chuckle World". fasnastic.com. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016. 
  35. ^ "Jacques Peretti: Down with the Kids". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  36. ^ "Millers Make Two Big Signings". The Chuckle Brothers Official UK Website. 7 February 2007. Archived from the original on 23 August 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2007. 
  37. ^ "Bafta honour for Chuckle Brothers". BBC News. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  38. ^ "2008 Children's Special Award | BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  39. ^ "Chuckle brother to open tropical butterfly house". ITV News. Retrieved 7 July 2017. 
  40. ^ "Famous Fans: The Chuckle Brothers". The Football League. 27 November 2008. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  41. ^ "Entertainer Barry Chuckle has died at the age of 73 – latest tributes". Manchester Evening News. 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018. 
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  43. ^ "Paul Chuckle on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 18 July 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
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  45. ^ "News On Barry". The Chuckle Brothers. 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  46. ^ a b "Barry Chuckle's shock over death rumours". BBC News. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  47. ^ "'Silly me' moment for Chuckle Brother caught speeding in South Yorkshire". South Yorkshire Times. Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  48. ^ "Chuckle Brother Paul Elliott Is Caught Speeding". Retrieved 10 July 2017. 
  49. ^ "Free school "a brilliant idea" says Barry Chuckle". The Rotherham Advertiser. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  50. ^ "Barry Chuckle to set up Rotherham school". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  51. ^ "Exclusive: Mystery of a Chuckle Brother's 'ghost' school with no staff or pupils". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  52. ^ Association, Press. "Chuckle Brothers' 'shock' at Dave Lee Travis sex assault claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  53. ^ "ITV News on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  54. ^ "Chuckle Brothers take selfie outside DLT court". ITV News. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  55. ^ "Is this the most inappropriate selfie of all time?". i100. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  56. ^ "Chuckle Brother Barry's Britain First Controversy Defended By Tommy Robinson". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  57. ^ "Chuckle Brothers star "outed" as Britain First supporter". Britain First. 21 March 2016. Archived from the original on 24 June 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  58. ^ "Entertainer Barry Chuckle dies at 73". BBC News. 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018. It is with great sadness that the family announce that Barry passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Ann and all his family. 
  59. ^ Dixon, Stephen (5 August 2018). "Barry Chuckle obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2018. 
  60. ^ "Barry Chuckle of the Chuckle Brothers duo dies aged 73". Sky News. Retrieved 2018-08-07. 
  61. ^ "Barry Chuckle kept illness secret from fans before he died, brother claims". Retrieved 14 August 2018. 
  62. ^ "Barry Chuckle was fighting bone cancer before his death, brother says". Standard. Retrieved 14 August 2018. 
  63. ^ "Chuckle Brothers star Barry's funeral held in Rotherham". BBC News. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 

External linksEdit