|Janette and Ian Tough|
Janette Tough as "Wee Jimmy Krankie" (looking at camera) and Ian Tough at a public event in the 1980s.
16 May 1947 |
Queenzieburn, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
Ian: 26 March 1947
The Krankies are a Scottish comedy duo who enjoyed success as a cabaret act in the 1970s and on television in the 1980s, featuring in their own television shows and releasing their own music single. They have regularly appeared in pantomime. The duo comprises wife Janette Tough and her husband Ian. As the Krankies they portray schoolboy Wee Jimmy Krankie (Janette), and paternal figure Ian Krankie (Ian), though in their comedy act they also portray other characters. Beginning in the 1990s, they regularly appeared as The Krankies in episodes of the BBC comedy series French and Saunders.
They began their career as a comedy duo performing various characters, working the comedy circuit. In 1978 they got their big break when they were given a place at the Royal Variety Performance.
- Crackerjack (1980–1982)
- The Krankies Klub (1983–1984)
- The Joke Machine (1985)
- The Krankies Elektronik Komik (1985–1987)
- K.T.V for Border Television (1989–1992)
In early 1981 they released a couple of singles.
- "Fan – Dabi – Dozi", their catchphrase, peaked at number 46 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1981.
- "Wee Jimmy Krankie" which only charted in Scotland.
The pair made recurring appearances in various series of French & Saunders. Janette played, for example, Anadin Skywalker in the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace parody "The Phantom Millennium", and they both appeared in several other movie parodies throughout the series. Her most recent appearance was on the 2005 Christmas Special, in which she appeared in the mock theatre trailers for The Graduate and Chicago. She also appeared in the fifth series of Absolutely Fabulous playing both a midwife and nightmare baby in the episode "Book Clubbin."
In 1999 Janette Tough made a cameo appearance in a season 4 episode of Murder Most Horrid ("Elvis, Jesus, and Zack"). The episode concerns an artist who fakes his death to gain popularity. Janette is seen at the end of the episode, calling Dawn French's character for help faking her own death. Also in 1999 she appeared as Janice, friend of Petula in an episode of Dinnerladies entitled 'Christmas'.
In 2003, "Wee Jimmy Krankie" was voted "The Most Scottish Person in the World" by the readers of The Glasgow Herald. In 2004, Janette was badly injured in a fall during a performance in the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, but has since made a full recovery.
The Krankies appeared in a widely seen advertising campaign for 'stv Bingo'. In 2007, The Krankies appeared in the video for the Comic Relief remake of The Proclaimers' song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)", which featured Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin (fictional characters portrayed by Peter Kay and Matt Lucas respectively).
On the 12 June 2008 they appeared as guests on The Paul O'Grady Show, where they appeared in character at the beginning, before coming on later in the show as themselves. They were promoting a forthcoming tour in which they performed with other "semi-retired" acts such as Frank Carson, Brotherhood of Man, and Jimmy Cricket (all best known in the 1970s and 1980s).
In a 2008 interview, David Tennant (jokingly) suggested that he would like Wee Jimmy Krankie to take over the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who. In 2009, 14 December, they once again were on the Paul O'Grady show for the pantomime special of 'Sleeping Beauty' where Janette played a hooker and Ian played a rampant camel. The duo appeared on ITV's daytime show Loose Women on 25 February 2010.
During the 2010 panto season, the Krankies made a re-appearance to Scottish panto alongside John Barrowman at the SECC for Aladdin. They appeared as the Police, with Janette parodying Susan Boyle and Lady Gaga, and making an appearance as Wee Jimmy Krankie. The Krankies returned alongside Barrowman in 2011 and soon became SECC Veterans, after Five Years Barrowman announced he would not return. David Hassellhoff joined the Krankies for the 2015 Pantomime. In 2016 The Krankies joined Barrowman again in panto at Birmingham Hippodrome, and in 2017 at Manchester Opera House.
In December 2011, during an appearance on BBC Radio Scotland's Stark Talk programme, Ian Tough revealed the couple had enjoyed a colourful sex life at the time when their profile was at its highest in the 1980s, admitting to episodes of swinging. He told the story of one amorous incident where the pair almost sailed off course to France in a small boat while partaking in a sex act.
In December 2015, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie sparked controversy and accusations of racism when it was announced that Janette Tough would be playing a male Japanese character named Huki Muki. Korean American comedian Margaret Cho accused Janette Tough of "yellowface", which she described as "when white people portray Asian people. And unfortunately it's happening in this film." Upon release of the film it became apparent that the character was not, in fact, Japanese but Scottish. When asked about the controversy Jennifer Saunders replied "the whole film is about people being what they're not, Huki Muki is a brand, she is the designer and she looks a bit Japanese, but the moment she opens her mouth she's from Glasgow. There's no yellow makeup..."
- "''The Krankies Klub'' – BFI entry". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- "''Krankies Elektronik Komic''". BBC.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 January 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- "''Krankies Television'' – BFI entry". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 307. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "French & Saunders - Christmas Special 1999". Frenchandsaunders.com. Retrieved 2011-07-16.
- "Krankie hurt in beanstalk tumble". BBC News. 2004-12-15. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- "Soap stars save Krankies panto". BBC News. 2004-12-16. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- "Payout after beanstalk accident". BBC News. 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- stv Bingo Archived 29 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "David Tennant discusses his exit from Doctor Who". Guardian. London. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
- Wardrop, Murray (19 December 2011). "The Krankies: 'We used to be swingers'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- Blumsom, Amy (December 16, 2015). "Ab Fab movie accused of racism". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Lydia Smith (December 16, 2015). "Absolutely Fabulous movie and yellowface: Why offensive racial stereotyping still blights Hollywood". International Business Times UK. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Denham, Jess. "Absolutely Fabulous: Jennifer Saunders dismisses yellowface accusations as 'ridiculous nonsense'". The Independent. Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 5 August 2016.