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28 October 2014

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Chucklevision

The Chuckle brothers.

"Ch-ch-chucklevision, ch-ch-chucklevision": the mere sound of the theme tune sends a thrill down the spine of anyone under ten and a chill down the spine of many over it.

Whichever way you look at it, Chucklevision: featuring the comic misadventures of two eager-to-please, spiky-haired men with dodgy 'taches, is a TV phenomenon.

Paul and Barry Elliott had been touring the halls for 25 years as a double-act before breaking into TV in Chucklehounds: a show for toddlers in which they dressed up as fluffy dogs with oversized heads and engaged in the sort of slapstick antics that they had been honing for the previous two-and-a-half decades.

By 1987, Paul and Barry were allowed to drop the costumes and appear, at last, as themselves. 

The Chuckle Brothers

Adopting traditional double-act roles, Paul was cast as the more cunning, less scrupulously honest of the pair, overflowing with belief in his own ability, while Barry was the eternally put-upon sidekick: decent, helpful and much smarter than Paul lets him believe. 

From this basic idea, the pair set off on 20+ years of slapstick aimed at the 8-12 age group, often roping in their brothers: Jimmy Patton as irate boss "Noslacking" and Brian Patton as all-round no-goodnik "Geroutofit".


Chucklevision's plots are generally excuses for the Chuckles to engage in Abbott and Costello-style wordplay (often built up from Paul and Barry's catchphrase "to me", "to you") and extended bouts of physical comedy of the sort familiar to panto-goers for generations. 

Series 14 departed from the usual run, however, featuring an overall story-arc involving the theft of a ruby that saw episodes featuring everything from a trip to outer space to an extended James Bond spoof. 

It's been back to normal since then but nonetheless the Chuckle phenomenon rolls on.

Long may it last!

Cast

Paul Elliot
The Chuckle Brothers
Barry Elliot
The Chuckle Brothers
Billy Butler
performer
Simon Lovell
performer
Jimmy Patton
No Slacking
Rosemary Macvie
Gran
Peter Gale
Carrington-Smythe

Crew

John Sayle
writer
John Northover
director
Celia Thomson
director
Martin Hughes
director
Dominic MacDonald
director
Martin Hughes
producer
Dominic MacDonald
producer
Chris Bellinger
executive producer

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