Alexander "Xand" van Hoogenhouck-Tulleken and Christoffer "Chris" van Hoogenhouck-Tulleken (born 18 August 1978),[5] known as "Dr. Chris" and "Dr. Xand' are British doctors, television presenters, and identical twin brothers.[3][6] They are best known for presenting the children's series Operation Ouch!.[7][8] Chris has become well known for his two-part television special for BBC One entitled The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs.[9][10] Xand has also presented shows without his brother.

Dr. Xand van Tulleken
Dr. Chris van Tulleken
Child interviews Alexander and Chris Van Tulleken at British Academy Children's Awards 2015
Alexander Gerald[1] and Christoffer Rodolphe van Hoogenhouck-Tulleken[2][3][4]

(1978-08-18) 18 August 1978 (age 45)
EducationKing's College School, Wimbledon
Alma materSt Peter's College, Oxford
Somerville College, Oxford
TelevisionOperation Ouch!
Trust Me, I'm a Doctor
The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs
What Are We Feeding Our Children?
Children3 (Chris 2, Xand 1)

Early life and education


Chris and Xand van Tulleken were born to Anthony van Tulleken, an industrial designer, and his wife Kit, a publisher.[11] Their younger brother is the film director Jonathan van Tulleken.[12]

They are descended from Dutch Rear-Admiral Jan van Hoogenhouck Tulleken [nl] (1762–1851; originally Jan Tulleken [nl], of a family traced back to the 15th century, who changed his name in 1822 and was raised to the nobility in 1842 with the rank of Jonkheer, the lowest tier of nobility.[13] The family name is officially without a hyphen, and in the Netherlands the usage of the name "Van Tulleke" is considered wrong (the "van" belonging to the name Hoogenhouck).[citation needed]

The Van Tulleken twins were educated at Hill House preparatory school, then King's College School,[14] an independent day school for boys in Wimbledon, southwest London, followed by St Peter's College (Chris) and Somerville College (Xand) at the University of Oxford.[14]

In June 2023 the twins were the subject of the BBC genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?, in which they learned that they were descended from a wealthy slave-trader who had a plantation in Demerara in The Guianas. [15]

Life and career


Both Chris and Xand van Tulleken presented Channel 4's Medicine Men Go Wild,[16] and BBC Two's Trust Me, I'm A Doctor alongside Michael Mosley.[17] Chris was the expedition doctor for BBC Two's Operation Iceberg,[18] and has appeared in Top Dogs: Adventures in War, Sea and Ice (BBC 2),[19] Holiday Hit Squad (BBC One),[20] Museum of Life (BBC Two),[21] The Secret Life of Twins (BBC One),[22] as well as Celebrity Mastermind and The Wright Stuff.[23] Chris was also doctor to a team led by Bruce Parry which recreated the 1911 race to the South Pole in the BBC documentary Blizzard: Race to the Pole.[24] The brothers presented What's The Right Diet for You? A Horizon Special.[25]

Chris van Tulleken was named as an emerging British talent in "The Brit List 2013" by ShortList magazine.[26]

In 2015, the pair presented another Horizon episode, titled Is Binge Drinking Really That Bad?, in which Chris and his identical twin brother Xand tested the effects of drinking moderate amounts of alcohol daily (Chris) and bingeing weekly (Xand).[27]

Chris and Xand appeared on Series 5 of Hacker Time.[28]

In 2016, alarmed by the steep rise in prescription medicine in Britain and dubious as to its efficacy, Chris was featured in the BBC One television show The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs. It was a two-part social experiment in which he aimed to take over part of a GP surgery and attempt to find practical ways to treat patients and stop patients' prescription pills.[29][30]

In January and February 2019, they presented a documentary series called The Twinstitute, repeated in 2020.[31]

In Surviving the Virus: My Brother & Me, after contracting COVID-19, Xand was left with an irregular heartbeat.[32][33]

Personal life


Chris's wife Dinah gave birth to a second daughter in June 2020.[34] Xand has a son from a previous relationship.[35] On 18 May 2023, Xand married Dolly Theis — the former Conservative Party candidate for Vauxhall in the 2017 general election — in London.[36]

Humanitarian aid


Until February 2018, Alexander and Christoffer were patrons and board members of the medical aid and healthcare charity Doctors of the World UK,[37] which is a member of the international Médecins du Monde network. In 2015, Alexander and Christoffer ran the London Marathon for Doctors of the World, raising over £3,400.[38]

Xand van Tulleken was a patron of the medical aid organisation Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin),[39][4][40] which merged with Save the Children in 2013,[41] and reported for BBC Two in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Burma, in 2008.[42]


  1. ^ "Alexander Gerald VAN HOOGENHOUCK-TULLEKEN - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)".
  2. ^ "Christoffer Rodolphe VAN HOOGENHOUCK-TULLEKEN - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)".
  3. ^ a b "About Chris". Van Tulleken Brothers. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b "About Xand". Van Tulleken Brothers. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  5. ^ "The British Team". Blizzard: Race To The Pole. BBC Press Office. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Chris van Tulleken". Roar Global. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Operation Ouch!". CBBC. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Operation Ouch! Hardback". The Guardian Bookshop. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  9. ^ "The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs". BBC One. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  10. ^ Hogan, Michael (15 September 2016). "The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs was an eye-opening insight into our pill-popping culture". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  11. ^ Agostino, Josephine (16 January 2020). "24 surprising facts about the Operation Ouch stars". Kidspot. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Jonathan van Tulleken: Biography". IMDB. Retrieved 20 December 2022.
  13. ^ Nederland's Adelsboek, 95th edition, Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, 2010, pp. 393-404
  14. ^ a b "Roll of Honour". King's College School Boat Club. King's College School, Wimbledon. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Who do You Think You Are? - Series 20: 5. Chris and Xand van Tulleken".
  16. ^ "Medicine Men Go Wild". Channel 4. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Operation Iceberg". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Top Dogs; Adventures in War, Ice, and Sea". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Holiday Hit Squad". BBC One. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Museum of Life". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  22. ^ "The Secret Life of Twins". BBC One. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  23. ^ "IMDb Filmography". Chris van Tulleken. IMDb. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  24. ^ "Blizzard: Race to the Pole". BBC. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  25. ^ "What's The Right Diet for You? A Horizon Special". Horizon. BBC. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  26. ^ "The Brit List 2013". ShortList. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  27. ^ Todd, Sophie (20 May 2015). "Is Binge Drinking Really That Bad?". Horizon. Series 51. Episode 11. London. BBC. BBC Two. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  28. ^ "BBC iPlayer". CBBC Channel Schedule. BBC. 18 April 2016.
  29. ^ "The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs". BBC One. BBC. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  30. ^ Sheffield, Michael (26 September 2016), "The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, 15 September 2016", The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs (video documentary), season 1, episode 1, BBC, BBC One, retrieved 18 January 2018 – via YouTube
  31. ^ "What time is The Twinstitute on TV? What's it about and how does it work?". Radio Times. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  32. ^ Mangan, Lucy (5 August 2020). "Surviving the Virus: My Brother and Me review – a rigorous dispatch from the Covid frontline". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  33. ^ "BBC viewers sob as doctor recovering from covid has heart restarted". Manchester Evening News. 6 August 2020.
  34. ^ Mangan, Lucy (5 August 2020). "Surviving the Virus: My Brother and Me review – a rigorous dispatch from the Covid frontline". The Guardian.
  35. ^ "I'm a long-distance dad so Covid was terrible – but it helped me let go of my guilt". The Guardian. 12 December 2021.
  36. ^ Clarke, Chloe (21 May 2023). "Dr Xand Van Tulleken married: Operation Ouch! presenter marries partner Dolly". Banbury Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  37. ^ Doctors of the World UK (21 April 2015). "Van Tulleken brothers running for DOTW in the London Marathon". Doctors of the World. Doctors of the World UK. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  38. ^ "Dr. Chris & Dr. Xand van Tulleken".
  39. ^ "The Eye of the Storm". ABC News. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  40. ^ "Hands Up for Healthworkers". Merlin UK. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  41. ^ Cook, Stephen (30 July 2013). "Analysis: Merlin and Save the Children". 1193125. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Unseen Burma". BBC Newsnight. 18 June 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2013.