Bob Carolgees

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Bob Carolgees (born Robert Johnson, 12 May 1948 in Birmingham, United Kingdom) is a comedy entertainer who appeared on the Saturday morning TV series Tiswas and then later in its adult versions O.T.T. and Saturday Stayback. He is best known for appearing with a puppet named Spit the Dog.

Career[edit]

In the early 1970s Carolgees ran a DJ and modelling school at 11A Lord Street in Liverpool. After a five-week course, DJs and models were tested in front of an audience at the Sportsmans Club in Central Liverpool. Carolgees first appeared in a guest spot on Tiswas on 31 March 1979.[1] Main presenter Chris Tarrant's first words to him were "I don't know who the f--- you are, but stand there, you're going to be on the telly, it's great!" Clowning around with a monkey puppet Charlie, Carolgees went down well with the viewing audience and after being invited back for several guest spots he soon became a team presenter.[2] Carolgees, in pyjamas and headband, was also the Tiswas character Houdi Elbow, a comedy 'psychic' and small time magician.

As well as gaining national fame with these and Spit the Dog, he was also part of The Four Bucketeers who made the UK Top 30 in 1980, even making a Top of the Pops appearance.[3]

Carolgees went on to work for eight years alongside Cilla Black in Surprise, Surprise and he was for nearly two decades entertained British armed forces around the world.[4] He also fronted pop/game show Hold Tight!, produced by Granada Television for Children's ITV and game show Concentration.[5]

In the 1980s, and at the height of his popularity, he featured in a series of Hellmann's Mayonnaise press and television commercials for eight years dressed as an overgrown schoolboy.

Carolgees was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1994 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel at the Lyceum Theatre (Crewe).

Carolgees now owns a candle shop — Carolgees Candles — in Frodsham, Cheshire.[6] He temporarily came out of show business retirement to appear with all his old colleagues in Tiswas Reunited on ITV on 16 June 2007.[7]

Carolgees made a surprise return to show business by agreeing to appear in pantomime at Hull New Theatre for the 2013 run of Jack and the Beanstalk. Carolgees was quoted as saying "What I had missed most was panto".[8]

Spit The Dog auction[edit]

An early Spit the Dog puppet raised over £5,000 at a Christie's auction in 2004.[9]

Stage name[edit]

The name Carolgees comes from friends Carole and George Dunmore who owned a record shop called Carolgees Records & Cassettes. Carole and George also operated a mobile disco called Carolgees Cabaret Disco which became extremely popular around Merseyside and was where Carolgees developed his act.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

Carolgess is mentioned in episodes of That Peter Kay Thing, and appeared in a couple of episodes.[11] He and Spit the Dog can briefly be seen hosting a Trisha style early morning discussion show in Peter Kay's follow up comedy Phoenix Nights. He can also be seen on the back of a leaflet in the toilets in the first episode.[12] He was mentioned in Series 3, Episode 7 of the BBC political satire, The Thick of It, with Steve Flemming being compared to Carolgees. Carolgees' name was mentioned in the March episode of the podcast WeReddit.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tiswas Online list of Bob Carolgees appearances". Tiswas Online. 2007-05-07. 
  2. ^ "'Later Magazine' Tiswas article". Tiswas Online. September 1999. 
  3. ^ "Top of the Pops Videoclips". BBC. 2007-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Spit the Dog sale fetches £5,000". BBC. 2004-06-05. 
  5. ^ "Bob Carolgees at ukgameshows.com". ukgameshows.com. 2007-05-07. 
  6. ^ Noble.R (2011) 'Two wheels - lots of tweets', The Guardian, Travel p.5, 2011-06-11.
  7. ^ "ITV Media — Tiswas Reunited". ITV. 2007-05-07. 
  8. ^ http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Christopher-Biggins-Bob-Carolgees-star-Jack/story-20019342-detail/story.html
  9. ^ "Spit the Dog sale fetches £5,000". BBC. 2004-06-05. 
  10. ^ "Totally Tiswas — Show One". Up And Happy podcast. 2007-06-16. 
  11. ^ "BBC Guide To Comedy — That Peter Kay Thing". BBC. 2007-05-07. 
  12. ^ "Bob Carolgees at IMDB". IMDB. 2007-05-07. 
  13. ^ "WeReddit Podcast". iTunes. 2012-03-01. 

External links[edit]