ChuckleVision is a British sitcom created by Martin Hughes and Rotheram-based brotherly comedy duo the Chuckle Brothers for the BBC. It starred Barry and Paul Elliott as the Chuckle Brothers and occasionally their older brothers Jimmy and Brian Elliott (known professionally as the Patton Brothers). It ran for 292 episodes from twenty-one series on CBBC from 26 September 1987 to 18 December 2009.
Paul and Barry, the Chuckle Brothers, get up to all sorts of mischief by undertaking a job, task, or adventure, and end up always making a mess.
Why It Rocks
- The main characters, the Chuckle Brothers, are very likeable, with the older but smaller brother Barry being the innocent, self-aware, and logical one, and the younger but taller brother Paul being the more ambitious and imaginative, but lazy and selfish one.
- Great supporting characters such as No Slacking, Getoutofit, and Dan the Van, with the former two being played by the Chuckles' real-life half-brothers Jimmy and Brian Patton.
- Very brilliant and funny humour, which takes great inspiration from Laurel and Hardy, with a little bit of the Marx Brothers thrown in.
- Wonderful music, as composed by Dave Cooke.
- So many fun episodes revolving around the Chuckles' many escapades, such as setting up rival market stalls, turning a bingo house back into a cinema, buying a caravan and having to tow it everywhere, flying in a hot-air balloon, working as stewards on an airline, getting stranded on a desert island with another shipwrecked man, competing with two soldiers in an outdoor survival trek, going to a western town to be challenged by an outlaw, facing rich cousins in a game of golf, being on the run from a mobster over coffee, trying to retrieve Dan the Van's grandmother's ruby from thieves, helping the Purple Pimple fight evil in the French Revolution, participating in a cross-country run, etc.
- Lots of quotable lines, such as "To me! (To you!)", "Silly me! (Silly you!)", "Oh dear! (Oh dear, oh dear!)", and "And no slacking!"
- The first two series (1987-1989) felt a little boring due to being a Blue Peter-esque variety show, with the Chuckles having to share their screentime with magician Simon Lovell and Liverpool actor Billy Butler (who hosted a segment called "Armchair Theatre" where he told stories to the audience).
- The final four series (2006-2009) were when the show began to lose steam.
- When Paul Chuckle was interviewed in The Panto Podcast on 28 February 2019, he confirmed that he and Barry were never informed about the BBC's choice to stop commissioning new series of ChuckleVision, despite the assurance that they had a "lifetime contract" with the BBC, as the then-Head of CBBC, Lorraine Heggessey, confirmed to them in the 1990's. By the time Series 21 had wrapped up production in 2009, crew members were expressing their love for working on the show and how much they were going to miss doing so, with it being the last series, something which Paul and Barry were oblivious to. However, in 2010, when production time came for Series 22, the new Heads at CBBC were ambivalent about producing another series of ChuckleVision, convinced that showing the repeats rather than making new episodes was more justifiable as they received the same number of viewing figures as the new episodes. Similarly, the new Head of CBBC, Damien Kavanagh, refused to make a new series, despite the Chuckles' protestations, claiming that with 292 episodes in the archive, enough had been made. However, repeats ceased completely in 2012, which the BBC cited to a struggle to find actors who had appeared in the episodes to pay them royalties. However, Paul disputed this, suggesting the trade union Equity would be able to sort that out efficiently. Paul also suggested that the popularity of ChuckleVision wasn't declining, and the show was as popular as it had ever been on CBBC before its unjustified cancellation.