The performer “passed away peacefully at home”, his manager has said in a statement. He was 73.
ChuckleVision aired on CBBC for 22-years
Chuckle – real name Barry Elliott – was best known for his double act with younger brother Paul with whom he won ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967. The Rotherham-born pair continued their success on ATV’s New Faces in 1974.
“I’ve not just lost my brother, I’ve lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend.” – Paul Elliott
The late 1970s and early 80s saw the Chuckle brothers pop up on many light-entertainment shows of the time including the beeb’s The Lennie and Jerry Show and ITV gameshow 3-2-1, but it was for their long-running children’s BBC series that they became best known. The BBC first brought the duo to younger audiences in 1985 with three episodes of Chuckle Hounds. Aimed at a pre-school audience, it saw the pair dressed up in giant dog costumes.
ChuckleVision followed in 1987 and became one of the beeb’s most enduring children’s television programmes, lasting 22 years and 292 episodes. Each self-contained slice saw the Chuckles undertake a job or task with chaos ensuing when it went wrong thanks to their ineptitude. The Elliott’s older brother Jimmy was a regular guest star in the series.
A return to TV: The ‘Chuckle Brothers’ joined Channel 5 for clip show Chuckle Time earlier this year.
The series spawned many catchphrases which the Chuckle Brothers capitalised on in 1995 with a music album containing tracks inspired by their well-known sayings such as ‘To me, to you’ and ‘Silly You, Silly Me’. The pair also collaborated with rapper Tinchy Stryder on charity single ‘To Me, To You (Bruv)’ in 2014.
ChuckleVision in 1998 also saw a gameshow spin-off in To Me… To You… Set on a desert island, it saw competing teams of children attempt to collect the most coconuts.
In recent years the Chuckles have made guest appearances on shows such as Celebrity Coach Trip, Pointless Celebrities and Blankety Blank. Their final TV gig came earlier this year with Channel 5 clip show Chuckle Time.
They were also regulars on the stage with numerous parodical productions and several panto appearances over the years.
“It is with great sadness that the family announce that Barry passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife Ann and all his family. The family would like to express their thanks to the many people who have been fans of the Chuckle Brothers and they know that they will share in part the great, great loss they feel.” – Phil Dale, Manager