Barry David Elliott (born 24 December 1944) and Paul Harman Elliott (born 18 October 1947) are English children's entertainers, better known as Barry Chuckle and Paul Chuckle as the double-act the Chuckle Brothers. They are known for their work on their BBC show ChuckleVision, which celebrated its 21st series in 2010 with a stage tour titled An Audience with the Chuckle Brothers. The comedy of the Chuckle Brothers usually derives from slapstick and other visual gags, and their catchphrases include "To me, to you" and "Oh dear, oh dear".
The brothers were born in Rotherham to Amy and James Patton Elliott, in 1944 and 1947. Their father was a well-known 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. They have two older brothers called Jimmy and Brian, who are known professionally as the Patton Brothers and who have appeared in Chucklevision, Jimmy as the nameless character known colloquially as "No Slacking", and Brian as another unnamed character known as "Getoutofit".
The Chuckle Brothers won the television talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967, followed by success on New Faces in 1974. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the four brothers appeared as a quartet on TV. In April 1979, they appeared on the BBC comedy series Lennie and Jerry hosted by Lennie Bennett and Jerry Stevens. They made two appearances on the game show 3-2-1, hosted by Ted Rogers, in January 1980 and April 1982 respectively. On Christmas Day in 1980, they took part in a televised children's show which saw the Brothers entertaining around 250 children from the Leeds area in Yeadon Town Hall.
They did not have further success until the launch of the BBC television show, Chuckle Hounds, in 1985. These short programmes, which were aimed at pre-school children and contained no dialogue, had the brothers dressed up in giant dog costumes. In 1987, the Brothers began their most famous show, ChuckleVision, which lasted for twenty-one series over twenty-two years. The series ended its run in December 2009. In 1998, ChuckleVision was nominated for a Children's BAFTA Award in the category "Best Children's Television Series". Real-life siblings Jimmy and Brian Patton also made regular appearances in the show.
From 1996 to 1998 the Chuckle Brothers also presented a children's game show titled To Me, To You!, named after their signature catchphrase. The format, which incorporated a "treasure island" theme, involved two teams who participated in rounds competing for prizes on a shopping trolley (which was made to resemble a bamboo structure). By rolling a die, the teams had to draw the trolley to their end of the playing board; the "squares" on the path to both ends represented challenges. When this was achieved, new prizes were added to the trolley, which was reset to the middle of the board.
In May 2008, the brothers appeared in the BBC documentary series Comedy Map of Britain. They appeared in the TV series Celebrity Coach Trip in November 2010 and won the show, lasting the whole trip. In November 2011, they starred in a series of TV advertisements for the UK-based van insurance comparison website, Van Compare. In October 2012, they appeared on Comedy World Cup on Channel 4. 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; Paul responded with "To me?"
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!
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, with Simon Harvey appearing as Abanazar, Luke Jasztal as Widow Twankey, Charlotte Sullivan as So Shi and Amanda Poyner as Princess Jasmine. Choreography for the show was devised by Debbie Baggott, the Chuckle Brothers' niece and director of the Debonair Dance Academy, of which the Chucklettes are members.
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. For Christmas 2008, the brothers appeared in Aladdin at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend-on-Sea.
A new show – Chuckle Trek – The Lost Generation, a science-fiction parody – toured in 2009. 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. 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. In December 2011, they starred in the pantomime Cinderella in Hull. On 7 April 2013, they opened The Chuckle Brothers Meet The Phantom at the Theatre! at Cliff's Pavilion, Southend.
- Opportunity Knocks (1967)
- New Faces (1974)
- Lenny and Jerry (1979)
- The Good Old Days (1980)
- 3-2-1 (1980-1982)
- The Freddy Starr Showcase (1983)
- ChuckleHounds (1985)
- ChuckleVision (1987–2009)
- To Me... To You... (1996–98)
- Pantoland (1997)
- The Demon Headmaster Takes Over TV (1997)
- Blue Peter (2003)
- The Saturday Show (2003-2004)
- Championship Goals (2004-2009)
- The Weakest Link (2007)
- Chute! (2007)
- Comedy Map of Britain (2008)
- Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (2009)
- The Paul O'Grady Show (2009)
- ChuckleMaths (2009)
- Come Dine With Me (2010)
- Celebrity Coach Trip (2010)
- Britain's Got More Talent (2010)
- Van Compare TV advertisements (2011)
- The Gadget Show (2011)
- Pointless Celebrities (2012, 2013, 2015)
- Comedy World Cup (2012)
- Celebrity Juice (2012, 2014)
- Comic Relief (2013, 2015)
- Still Open All Hours (Barry only - 2013-2015)
- Josh (2014)
- Comic Relief: National Treasures (2015)
- To You, To Me (1995)
- Live And In Trouble (1996)
- The Chuckle Brothers Summer Roadshow (1997)
- The Adventures of the Chuckle Brothers (1998)
- Trouble At Sea (1999)
- The New Adventures of the Chuckle Brothers (2000)
- Spooky Goings On (2001)
- Raiders of the Lost Bark (2002)
- Aladdin (Christmas pantomime, Stoke-on-Trent, 2002)
- Star Doors — The Chuckles Strike Back (2003)
- Barry Potty and his Smarter Brother Paul in The Chamber of Horrors (2004)
- Pirates of the River Rother (2005)
- Doctor What & The Return of the Garlics (2006)
- Spooky Goings On 2 (2007)
- Indiana Chuckles and The Kingdom of the Mythical Sulk (2008)
- Aladdin (Christmas pantomime, 2008)
- Chuckle Trek — The Lost Generation (2009)
- A Christmas Chuckle (Christmas pantomime, 2009)
- An Audience With ... The Chuckle Brothers (2010)
- The Twelve Days of Christmas (Christmas pantomime, 2010)
- Barry Potty And His Full Blood Brother Paul in The Ghostly Shadows (2011)
- Cinderella (Christmas pantomime, Hull, 2011)
- Phantom At The Theatre (2013) (The Phantom of the Opera)
- Aladdin (Christmas pantomime, Darlington, 2013)
- In A 2014 Space Oddity (2014)
- The Chuckles Of Oz (Christmas Pantomime, Darlington, 2014)
- Peter Pan (Christmas pantomime, Wolverhampton, 2015)
The 2005 tour, Pirates of The River Rother, the 2007 tour, Spooky Goings On 2 and the 2008 tour, Indiana Chuckles and the Kingdom of the Mythical Sulk, have all been released on DVD. An edited version of the 1996 tour was also released as The Chuckle Brothers In Trouble; the DVD features a rehearsal performance of the show. Pirates of River Rother was revived in 2012 as Pirates of River Rother 2: In Stranger Tights. The 2010 tour, "An Audience With ... The Chuckle Brothers", adopted the format of a variety show with classic sketches, audience questions, musical performances, puppetry, film clips, magic and an audience participation version of To Me... To You..., in commemoration of 21 years of the ChuckleVision TV series.
More recently, the Brothers have been making appearances at various nightclubs and student events, signing autographs and posing for photographs. On 3 October they attended a freshers event at the University of Leeds students' union. On 5 October, they attended the Halo Nightclub in Bournemouth and on 9 October, they attended the Kasbah Nightclub in Coventry.
In October 1995, the Chuckle Brothers released an album entitled To You to Me featuring eleven tracks. Many of the tracks were based on their catchphrases, such as "To me, to you" and "Silly You, Silly Me". The album was originally released onto CD and cassette, before being sold digitally on the Chuckle Brothers' website prior to its demise.
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.
In November 2005 Jacques Peretti, an investigative 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."
On 31 January 2007, Rotherham United chairman Denis Coleman announced that the brothers had both been made honorary presidents of the football club. In November 2007, Loaded magazine launched a campaign for the brothers to be knighted, calling for its readers to write to the Queen. This was picked up by a group on the social networking website Facebook. In 2008, they were honoured with the Special Award at the Children's BAFTA Awards.
In Series 5, Episode 5 of Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe broadcast 16 December 2008, Kirsten O'Brien dedicated a segment of the programme to the Brothers' most well-known series ChuckleVision. In this, she professed to liking the Chuckle Brothers as there "aren't that many people doing what they do anymore. It's real end of the pier, completely innocuous, fun, innocent stuff. The way they look is not your standard kids telly fodder, these two people look like they've been on remand in 1989."
The brothers regularly appear at events and openings, an example of which was the unveiling of the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre in North Anston in July 2013. They are supporters of Rotherham United Football Club.
In January 1998, the Brothers were involved in a Sheffield based Christmas tree recycling campaign, which encouraged people to recycle their Christmas trees for reuse in gardens. During Christmas 1999, the Brothers visited Bradford Royal Infirmary alongside Yorkshire Television presenter Gaynor Barnes to hand out toys to children patients. In July 2003, the Brothers worked alongside Rotherham General Hospital to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of its opening.
In April 2007, while 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 goat herder and his flock. Instead of helping him, tourists who stopped at the accident shouted the Chuckle Brothers' catchphrase, "To me, to you."
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". The BBC reported that the death hoaxes had upset young viewers, and had shocked Barry when they re-surfaced. The hoax was said to have initially spread via Facebook in 2008, but re-surfaced in 2010 via Twitter.
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. 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. 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. In March 2012, plans on opening the school were halted by educational ministers, citing that it was not "progressing sufficiently". After the decision was announced, Stephen Twigg MP jokingly stated "Michael Gove should have thought twice about approving plans being fronted by one of the Chuckle Brothers."
In February 2014, the Chuckle Brothers attended the trial of Dave Lee Travis, who had been accused of molesting a stage hand whilst performing at a theatre in Crawley during the early 1990s. The trial had been part of Operation Yewtree. Travis had been performing with the duo when it was said the incident had occurred; however, the brothers could not recall such an attack taking place. Paul stated that it was a "complete shock" that such an attack had occurred in their presence. In September 2014, it was reported that the attack had been "interrupted" by the Brothers as they walked by a dressing room, containing Travis and the victim. After giving evidence, the Brothers posed for a selfie outside of Southwark Crown Court with Paul tweeting it to thousands of followers on his Twitter account. The Brothers had smiled whilst taking the photograph, and later some deemed their actions as inappropriate.
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 Defense League (EDL) came to Barry's defense, calling on people to "leave the man alone".
Paul is understood to have had his moustache since the age of 23.