ChuckleVision. Image shows from L to R: Paul Chuckle (Paul Elliott), Barry Chuckle (Barry Elliott).

ChuckleVision

BBC One sitcom about mishap-prone brothers. 293 episodes (21 series), 1987 - 2009. Stars Paul Elliott, Barry Elliott, Jimmy Patton, Brian Patton and Billy Butler.

ChuckleVision. Image shows from L to R: Paul Chuckle (Paul Elliott), Barry Chuckle (Barry Elliott). Copyright: BBC.

20 ChuckleVision facts

1. ChuckleVision is the second longest-running British sitcom by episode count, accumulating a stonking 292 episodes between 1987 and 2009. Only Last Of The Summer Wine, which totalled 295 episodes, beats it.

2. "To me, to you", the brothers' famous catchphrase, was something that Paul and Barry and their family used to say at home when they were growing up and was thus incorporated into the show.

3. Russell T Davies, the former Doctor Who executive producer, wrote three scripts for ChuckleVision credited as Russell Davies - they are Rich For A Day, A Lazy Day and Spooks And Gardens.

4. Paul is often shown in ChuckleVision as being the older of the two, as he talks about his memories as Barry as a baby. However, in real life Paul is younger than Barry and the youngest of the six siblings in their family.

5. Paul and Barry's real life brothers, Brian and Jimmy, played the Chuckles' regular adversaries No Slacking and Getoutofit!. The pair, themselves a comedy double act as The Patton Brothers, have performed alongside names such as Ronnie Corbett and Barbara Windsor. They are often credited or referred to as Jimmy or Brian in ChuckleVision, with a hotel in the episode Put Up Job named Jimmy's Inn. The only time Jimmy was actually called 'No Slacking' was by Paul in Galloping Grandads.

6. The Chuckle Brothers and Patton Brothers only appear together as a foursome in five episodes, which are Smugglers, I Scream Men, The Purple Pimple - Mutiny, Optical Illusions and The Shout. However, they are always together in the Chuckles' live stage shows.

ChuckleVision. Image shows from L to R: Barry Chuckle (Barry Elliott), Perry Champagne (Paul Shane), Paul Chuckle (Paul Elliott). Copyright: BBC.

7. Famous faces to make guest appearances on the show include Greg Davies, Dave Benson Phillips, Bernie Nolan, Debra Stephenson, Ted Rogers, Ted Robbins, Paul Shane and Harry Hill.

8. There was also a spin off game-show called To Me, To You, set on a tropical island. Star guests included Steps, Richard Bacon, John Barrowman, Bodger & Badger and Mr Blobby. Barry Killerby, the man who played Mr Blobby, also appeared in ChuckleVision in a different guise, as Sir Percy in The Purple Pimple Trilogy.

9. In 1995, the brothers released an album entitled To Me, To You featuring 11 tracks, which they often performed in their live shows. The songs were occasionally featured in ChuckleVision too - for example, in the episode Stargazing Barry plays Eat Your Greens from the album on the record player, and in Chuckles In Charge a woman is listening to songs from the album on her Walkman.

10. They also made a music video for Comic Relief to the main track, Silly You, Silly Me, which can be watched here:

11. Dan The Van is an unseen character. He was originally known as 'Dan McGan, the man in the van' in Series 1. His outline or body parts, such as an arm, are often seen and he made an appearance covered head to toe in bandages in one episode, but he was never fully shown. It is stated that he was in the same class at school as Paul and Barry and has a great-grandmother called Lettice The Van. He is regularly cast as the manager of Jimmy - aka No Slacking - and can often be heard screaming or shouting down the phone, as well as setting the brothers unusual tasks to keep them out of his hair.

12. The only episode to have no dialogue at all is Silence Is Golden, where the brothers are working as maintenance men at a hospital.

13. Prior to ChuckleVision, the brothers appeared on both Opportunity Knocks and New Faces, having been Butlin's Red Coats in the past. The boys' first TV show was called ChuckleHounds, a preschool format that involved them being dressed as giant dogs.

14. There was later a spin off show called ChuckleMaths, which was broadcast on the BBC Two's maths strand. It involved the brothers running a hotel, with Paul telling Barry how to work things out using sums.

15. In the episode The Hunt For Chalky White, the titular character of Chalky White is based on Lobby Lud, invented by the Westminster Gazette in the 1930s. Like Chalky, people would win £5 if they spotted him.

ChuckleVision. Image shows from L to R: Barry Chuckle (Barry Elliott), Paul Chuckle (Paul Elliott). Copyright: BBC.

16. In On The Radio, a "Dave Cooke FM" jingle is sung. Dave Cooke was the composer for ChuckleVision, so this is a nod to him. Similarly, a lot of the sitcom's writers have had minor guest roles in their episodes.

17. Up In The Air is one of the only episodes written by the brothers themselves. They wrote 11 in total and others include Goofy Golfers, A Clean Sweep, Runners And Riders, Caravan Capers, Romany Days, Café Chuckles and Steeple Chucks.

18. Paul only pedals the Chuckmobile, a quadricycle, occasionally, preferring to put his feet up and let Barry do the hard work. He can be seen pedaling in In The Doghouse, The Hunt For Chalky White, The Barge, and Safari Park Keepers. Paul still owns one of the original Chuckmobiles.

19. The episodes were almost all stand-alone, but in 2001's Series 14 all the episodes were part of a single story arc involving the brothers' hunt for a missing ruby. The following two series each included two 3-episode stories. In Series 15, these were The Purple Pimple and Magnetic Distraction.

20. The famous title sequence involved a lot of hard work. Original creator Ian Bate explained how they were made: "Paul and Barry did an amazing job of pretending to push and shove the letters into place. They were shot against a white background, with only a monitor to look at whilst performing. (the monitor had the complete logo keyed over them, so that they knew where to stop pretending to push) The logo was then split up in the edit and keyed over a clean shot of the brothers doing their thing. The action was sped up to fit the music and the only bit that didn't work for me was the dots on the letter i. The edit suite animation looks wrong. All in all though, considering the technology available at the time, the final sequence really works, thanks mainly to the Brothers."

Published: Monday 6th August 2018