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ChuckleVision title card
Genre Physical comedy
Created by The Chuckle Brothers
Written by John Sayle, Rory Clark, Chuckle Brothers[1] and others.
Directed by BBC[2]
Starring Chuckle Brothers
Theme music composer Dave Cooke
Opening theme "ChuckleVision"
Composer(s) Dave Cooke
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 21
No. of episodes 292 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) Martin Hughes
Location(s) Rotherham, England (series 3-21)
Running time 20 minutes (1987-1989, 1991-2001)
15 minutes (1989-1990, 2002-2009)
30 minutes (2008)
Production company(s) BBC
Original channel BBC One (1987–2009)
CBBC (2002–2011)
Picture format 4:3 (1987-2000)
16:9 (2000-2009)
Original release 26 September 1987 (1987-09-26) – 18 December 2009 (2009-12-18)
Related shows To Me... To You... (1996-1998)

ChuckleVision is a British children's comedy television series created and written by John Sayle and its stars Barry and Paul Elliot for the BBC. It ran for 292 episodes over twenty-one series, running from 1987 to 2009.


Episodes of ChuckleVision are usually independent. The basic plot to each show is the brothers undertaking a job, task or adventure. They are often employed by a character known as "No Slacking", who is a different character in every episode he appears in; however, he is always known by this name owing to the catchphrase he always says to get the bumbling brothers to work properly ("And remember, No Slacking!"). No Slacking usually appears several times in each series, although in recent years this number has been reduced to once or twice a series. In each episode his life is either ruined or otherwise inconvenienced by Paul and Barry. He is always played by one of their real life brothers, Jimmy Patton, who was also a comedy act called The Patton Brothers with his brother Brian who also appeared in various episodes mostly playing a villain with the catchphrase "Getoutofit!". A large amount of the comedy is based on slapstick.

On occasion, the jobs they carry out can be somewhat surreal or put them in surreal circumstances, this was very much enforced in the recent years of ChuckleVision. Once, they babysat for a boy who got out of his bed, leaving a football on his pillow, leading them to believe that his head had come off. Another episode involves Barry being able to see an invisible leprechaun which Paul cannot see.

The duo also often carry out jobs and tasks given to them by "Dan the Van", who is never seen, except in one episode where the Chuckle brothers take it upon themselves to make sure he arrives to a special meeting, However, Dan the Van's face cannot be seen, as he is covered in bandages all over, and wearing dark sunglasses. In other episodes we hear of, or sometimes see, relatives of Dan the Van, for example Grandmother Lettuce the Van appears in Chuckle and the Pea and his niece can be seen in "Dim Waiters".

The format of the first two series (1987–1989) consisted of each episode focusing on a certain topic, a sort of humorous Blue Peter. These episodes had rarely, if ever, been seen by the public eye since their original transmission, until the series was released onto DVD in Autumn 2011. The opening title sequence was different too, with rings coming from the centre of the picture flashing in dark blue, mid-blue and light blue in a psychedelic fashion with yellow lettering "ChuckleVision" on a red rectangle repeatedly jump-zooming in and out and tilting from side to side as it does this, while the original mono version of the ChuckleVision theme tune plays. These opening titles are then followed by clips of the programme.

The brothers' main mode of transport is "The Chuckmobile". It is a quadracycle with a red-and-white striped roof. Barry is usually relegated to driving, whilst Paul puts his feet up on the front bar. Paul only pedals as well as Barry very occasionally in the whole series, in "Safari Park Keepers", at the very start and when they are running away from lions and - though it is not shown very well. Paul also pedals at the end of "Plumb Crazy", when the pair have wrecked Mrs Blenkinsop's garden, and drive away before she comes back; and at the end of "Optical Illusions" whilst being chased by Mr. Matthews and the Weather Man. The registration plate is Chuckle 1, although this does not change when a new Chuckmobile is used from 1997.

An exception to the usual format of stand-alone episodes came with Series 14, broadcast in 2002. This used a continuous storyline involving the brothers’ hunt for a missing ruby. They continued a similar trend in the next two series, with two 3-part stories in Series 15, entitled "The Purple Pimple" and "Magnetic Distraction". A two part story called "Incredible Shrinking Barry" appears in Series 16. From Series 17 onwards, this trend hasn't been repeated.


Character Actor Episodes Years
Paul Chuckle Paul Elliott 292 episodes 1987–2009
Barry Chuckle Barry Elliott 292 episodes 1987–2009
No Slacking Jimmy Patton 47 episodes 1990–2009
Get Out Of It Brian Patton 21 episodes 1995–2008

Paul is the dominant of the two; it's often due to his blind confidence that the two end up in bother. When he realises he has made a mistake, he often blames Barry and also tends to make Barry do the hard work and takes the credit for himself. Neither brother is particularly bright, however Paul appears at times to possess more common sense than Barry, and Barry seems to have more overall intelligence and is more aware of the fact their work is not appreciated by other people. Normally when a third party character is on screen the two brothers display an equal lack of intelligence. However, by the end, poetic justice is usually done and if either brother is to come out on top at the end of the episode, it will invariably be Barry. However, this war between the brothers only happens in about half the episodes. The classic episodes of the show often ended with the brothers running away from some angered third party they had been trying to help.

Paul and Barry both have iconic northern accents and have a number of catchphrases, some of which involve one brother replying to the other brother's line. Thus "To me" receives the reply "To you", and "Silly you" is met with "'Course it is, silly me". The line "Oh dear" is regularly followed by "Oh dear, oh dear", and sometimes by "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear" when something goes wrong. This was inspired by the BBC comedy Hi-de-Hi!, in which the character Spike used to say "oh dear, oh dear, oh dear" when something bad had happened.[citation needed]

There are often references made to Rotherham United F.C., whom the brothers support in real life.[3] In "Football Heroes", Paul and Barry play for Rotherham and Paul scores an own-goal and thinking it was a genuine goal, celebrates with Barry.


Series 14 saw ChuckleVision feature a continuous storyline for the first time in its history. The main writer is John Sayle, who writes the majority of each series, however the series has featured episodes written by Russell T Davies and The Chuckle Brothers themselves. Also, for Series 14 onwards, the runtime was reduced from 20 minutes to just 15, with the BBC editing series 12 and 13 to match the new runtime. This series and Series 17-21 used the film look, Series 15 and 16 used a semi-film look and the 2008 Christmas special reverted to the video look.

In the 8th episode of Series 4, entitled "Bowl-derdash", the theme tune was changed from mono to NICAM stereo. This theme tune has remained ever since, but was shortened in Series 17 and also edited for the shortened versions of Series 12 and 13. All the episodes in Series 14 display the BBC logo on the title scene centred, and the original versions of Series 13 display the BBC logo on the bottom left-hand corner, but none of the episodes from other series show this logo. Since Series 14 during the end credits, outtakes and goofs are usually shown instead of images from the episode.

Series twenty and twenty-one only featured six episodes due to the BBC 's commissioning.

After twenty-one series and over twenty-two years in production, ChuckleVision finally ended its run at the end of 2009 with the final series airing over Christmas 2009. No reason was given to the Chuckle Brothers as to why the BBC decided not to continue with ChuckleVision or why they stopped repeating the programme. Repeats occurred regularly until the end of 2011, with now only the 2008 Christmas special being repeated annually (at least until 2013).


ChuckleVision is one of the longest running British children's television programmes, surpassed only by Blue Peter and Grange Hill. Throughout the twenty-one series that were produced, the Chuckle Brothers remained the main protagonists. The series ran between 1987 to 2009, being repeated regularly until 2011. The Brothers also tour the country yearly with regular stage shows and television appearances and have been entertaining family audiences since 1963.


  • Barry/Paul: "To me." "To you."
  • Barry/Paul: "'Course it is, silly me." "Silly you."
  • Barry and Paul: "Hellooooo"
  • Barry/Paul: "Oh dear" "Oh dear, oh dear" (sometimes followed by "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear")
  • Paul: "Adadadadada!" (usually said to Barry to stop him from doing something)
  • Paul: "Stupid thing!" (when something he is using breaks or doesn't work)
  • Paul: "Leg it!" (usually said to Barry to get away from someone chasing them)
  • Paul: "Now look what you've done!" (to Barry, although it is usually Paul's fault and Barry usually responds with "Me?")
  • Paul/Barry: "It isn't!" "It is!" "It isn't!" "It is!" "Is it?"

Done by Jimmy and Brian when they star in the shows:

  • No Slacking: "And remember... no slacking!"
  • Get out of it: "Hey, stop doing that!"

DVD releases[edit]

Delta Music released three DVDs in 2011. There has been one VHS released entitled "Goofy Golfers" featuring three episodes.

TV Series[edit]

DVD Title Discs Year Ep. No, DVD releases Notes
Region 2
The Complete Series 1 4 1987-1988 13 24 October 2011 Includes Christmas Special
The Complete Series 2 4 1988-1989 13 29 October 2012

In 2014, Dave Cooke, composer throughout the entire series, released 'Volume 1.' of ChuckleVision soundtracks and cues. These were released as a digital download, with a Volume 2 underway.[4]

Stage Productions[edit]

There have been four DVD releases of the brothers on stage: Pirates of the River Rother, Spooky Going's On, Indiana Chuckles and the Kingdom of the Mythical Sulk and The Chuckle Brothers In Trouble. All these feature live performances of the brothers, one filmed at Blackpool, one at Scarborough, one at Darlington, and the other at York. The Chuckle Brothers In Trouble DVD filmed at York was a "rehearsal" performance. There is also a box set of Pirates of the River Rother and Spooky Goings On released in 2008, and an annual is due to be released in 2012 (another was published in small amounts, supposedly, in 1995).


External links[edit]