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RIP Barry Chuckle: Why the Chuckle Brothers were at the forefront of British comedy

Barry Chuckle (left) has died aged 73
Barry Chuckle (left) has died aged 73
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The Chuckle Brothers - Barry Elliott and Paul Elliott - are two of Yorkshire's finest comedy innovators, influencing the cultural landscape of laughs.

In the wake of Barry Chuckle's death, aged 73, today, we take a look back at the career of the popular children's entertainers.

-> RIP Barry Chuckle: One half of Chucklevision dies aged 73
How did the Chuckle Brothers start out?

The Chuckle Brothers won the television talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1967, followed by success on New Faces in 1974.

In the late 1970s, the two brothers appeared as a double act, starting out on BBC series Lennie and Jerry. They also took part in a televised children's show on Christmas Day in 1980, A Merry Morning, where the brothers entertained about 250 children from Leeds at Yeadon Town Hall.

But it wasn't until the launch of Chuckle Hounds in 1985 which saw them begin to win more fame. The short programmes were aimed at preschoolers and saw the brothers dressed up in giant dog costumes, with no dialogue.

Of course, the now legendary ChuckleVision was the duo's big break. The BAFTA-nominated show ran for 21 series over 22 years.

How the Chuckle Brothers influenced comedy

Combining catchphrases with slapstick, the Chuckle Brothers were not the first comedy duo. But like Morecambe and Wise before them, they took the country by storm with their warmth and charm, and played a part in every childhood for those of a certain age.

They were humble, affable, and always down to earth. They just wanted to entertain, and popped up at shows, events and charity dos across Yorkshire.

The pair were also staunch Rotherham United fans, celebrating the Millers' promotion to the Championship with players and fans alike at an event in the town centre.

Perhaps known best for their ‘To Me To You’ catch phrase, the Chuckle Brothers have brought laughter to children and adults alike across three decades.

The reaction to Barry Chuckle's death

-> Barry Chuckle dies at 73: Reaction and tributes to legendary children's entertainer
Manager Phil Dale said in a statement to the Press Association: "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."

His brother Paul said: "I've not just lost my brother, I've lost my theatrical partner of many, many years and my very best friend."

The statement said that "there will be no further comment at the moment and it would be much appreciated if the privacy of Barry's family is respected at this most difficult time" adding that the star "leaves 50 years of laughter as his legacy which is something very special".