Van Tulleken brothers

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Dr Xand van Tulleken and Dr Chris van Tulleken
Alexander and Christoffer van Tulleken[1]

(1978-08-18) 18 August 1978 (age 41)
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
Children1 each

Alexander 'Dr Xand' van Tulleken and Christoffer 'Dr Chris' van Tulleken (born 18 August 1978)[2] are British doctors, TV presenters and identical twin brothers.[1][3] They are best known for presenting the series Operation Ouch!.[4][5] Chris has become well known for his two-part television special for BBC One entitled The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs.[6][7] Xand has also presented shows without his brother.


The van Tulleken twins were educated at Hill House preparatory school then King's College School,[8] an independent day school for boys in Wimbledon, in South West London, followed by St Peter's College (Chris) and Somerville College (Xand) at the University of Oxford.[8]

Life and career[edit]

Both Chris and Xand van Tulleken presented Channel 4's Medicine Men go Wild,[9] and BBC Two's Trust Me, I'm A Doctor alongside Michael Mosley.[10] Chris was the expedition doctor for BBC Two's Operation Iceberg,[11] and has appeared in Top Dogs: Adventures in War, Sea and Ice (BBC 2),[12] Holiday Hit Squad (BBC One),[13] Museum of Life (BBC Two),[14] The Secret Life of Twins (BBC One),[15] as well as Celebrity Mastermind and The Wright Stuff.[16] 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.[17] The brothers have also presented What's The Right Diet For You? A Horizon Special.[18]

Chris van Tulleken was named as an emerging British talent in 'The Brit List 2013' by ShortList magazine.[19]

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).[20]

Chris and Xand appeared on Series 5 of Hacker Time.[21]

In 2016, alarmed by the steep rise in prescription medicine in Britain and dubious as to its efficiency, Chris completed a television show for BBC One called "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 stops patients' prescription pills.[22][23]

In January–February 2019, they presented a documentary series called The Twinstitute.[24]

Personal life[edit]

It was revealed in an episode of Operation Ouch! (Series 6, episode 9) that Chris van Tulleken has a wife and a daughter. In a 2016 episode of Horizon titled How To Find Love Online, presenter Xand stated that he was single and a user of online dating.[25]

Humanitarian aid[edit]

Until February 2018, Alexander and Christoffer were Patrons and Board Members of the medical aid and healthcare charity Doctors of the World UK,[26] 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 [1].

Van Tulleken was a patron of the medical aid organisation Medical Emergency Relief International (Merlin),[27][28] which merged with Save the Children in 2013 [2], and reported for BBC Two in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Burma, in 2008.[29]


  1. ^ a b "About Chris". Van Tulleken Brothers. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Blizzard: Race To The Pole - The British Team". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Chris van Tulleken". Roar Global. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Operation Ouch!". CBBC. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Operation Ouch! Hardback". The Guardian Bookshop. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  6. ^ "The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs". BBC One. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b "King's College School Boat Club - Roll of Honour". King's College School, Wimbledon. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Medicine Men Go Wild". Channel 4. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Trust Me, I'm A Doctor". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Operation Iceberg". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Top Dogs;Adventures in War, Ice and Sea". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Holiday Hit Squad". BBC One. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Museum Of Life". BBC Two. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  15. ^ "The Secret Life of Twins". BBC One. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  16. ^ "IMBD Filmography Chris van Tulleken". IMDB. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Blizzard: Race to the Pole". BBC. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  18. ^ "What's The Right Diet For You? A Horizon Special". Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  19. ^ "The Brit List 2013". ShortList. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
  20. ^ Todd, Sophie (20 May 2015). "Is Binge Drinking Really That Bad?". Horizon. Series 51. Episode 11. London. BBC. BBC Two. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  21. ^ "BBC iPlayer - Channel Schedule - CBBC - Monday 18 April 2016".
  22. ^ "The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  23. ^ Michael Sheffield (26 September 2016), The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs Season 1 Episode 1 | 15 September 2016., retrieved 18 January 2018
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ "Horizon: How To Find Love Online". BBC. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "The Eye of the Storm". ABC News. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  28. ^ "Hands Up For Healthworkers". Merlin UK. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  29. ^ "Unseen Burma". BBC Newsnight. Retrieved 12 January 2013.

External links[edit]