The Chuckle Brothers

Barry and Paul- “The Chuckle Brothers” have combined successful careers in variety, pantomime and television to become the top “double Act” to appear each year in pantoland.

They come from a “Showbiz Dynasty”-their Brothers, the “Patton Brothers” continue to appear in panto every season, and their Father, Gene Patton was a popular variety star. See also our Patton Brothers article.

The Chuckle Brothers on The Good Old Days

This is a clip of both Paul and Barry, and Jimmy and Brian Patton performing as The Chuckle Brothers

Gene Patton began as James Patton Elliott- Jimmy Elliott, a whistling comedian and dancer. His wife Amy was a dancer with the Rodney Hudson Troupe. Their family consisted of Jimmy and Brian, Sheila, and Paul and Barry, The family lived in Rotherham, and were constantly on tour.

Whilst principal comic in the Number 10 RAF Gang Show in 1943, Jimmy (Gene Patton) discovered the 19 year old Peter Sellers was in his company- with a great desire to be a drummer in the five piece band. The Gang Show toured India and Burma, covering over 30,000 miles, and during this time Jimmy encouraged the young Sellers to take part in sketches and routines. By the end of the tour Peter Sellers was Gene Patton’s feed, as well as performing his own solo impersonation spot!

The eldest brothers formed the “Patton Brothers” while Paul and Barry later adopted the working names of “Harman & Elliott” before becoming “The Harman Brothers” and appearing in Summer Season, Circus and in Pantomime

Barry (born 24th December 1944) and Paul (born 18th October 1947) began entertaining from a very early age. In the 1980’s they underwent another name change, and became “The Chuckle Brothers” – they had already appeared in over a decade of pantomimes as the “Harmans” before they appeared on bills with their new name.

In 1967 they won “Opportunity Knocks” on television, and later went on to become “New Faces” winners in 1974.

In 1983 they appeared on television screens with a canine companion- not the Chucklehounds- that was to come a couple of years later- but with Roger The Dog and Ward Allan, in Ward’s BBC 1 series “The Roger The Dog Show”. Paul & Barry had previously been the “warm Up” act to Ward Allan’s ventriloquism in his stage tour. It was during this tour that a management saw them perform, and the road to “Chucklevision” via the “Chucklehounds” began.

In 1985, after appearing at Cardiff in pantomime, they got their break into the world of television appearing as “The Chucklehounds” on children’s TV, and released from the confines of the lovable dog costumes, they followed in their success in 1987 with “Chucklevision”, as popular now as ever with children and- it has to be admitted- adults throughout the country! They have a large student following for their TV and stage tours in the UK. The series is shown throughout the world- The Chuckles brought the skills and routines of pantomime into the living rooms, attracting new audiences with every series.

1968/9 Swansea Grand Theatre - Jack and the Beanstalk

Centre -Wayne Fontana as Jack, with Sian Hopkins as Princess Sylvia. Dame Durden is Trevor Moreton and Roy Lance (right of Sian Hopkins) as Simple Simon.

The cast included Jonathan Prince (King Hearty), Jean & Peter Barbour as Spite & Blunderbore, Sandra Wrennall as Fairy and the Harmon Brothers as Village Policemen AND Daisy the Cow! Paul & Barry can be seen 4th from left and 4th from the right.

The Pantomimes

 As “The Harman Brothers”, AKA Paul & Barry Harman AKA Harman & Elliott.

1967-68 Babes In The Wood

Malvern

Don Ellis’s production starring Sandy Powell as Dame, Don Ellis, Paul & Barry Harman as the Robbers with Eddie Read.

1968-69 Jack & The Beanstalk

Swansea Grand

as Village Policemen and  Jessie The Cow!

With Wayne Fontana, Trevor Moreton and Roy Lance. On the poster Paul & Barry were billed as “Harmon Brothers” and “Harman Brothers” in the programme. Directed by John Chilvers.

1970-71 Red Riding Hood City Varieties, Leeds

Paul & Barry as Bob & Pinch. Starring Kenny Cantor and Ken Barnes

1971-72 Aladdin Civic, Barnsley

This panto for Duggie Chapman, starring Bobby Bennet, The Harmans, Duggie Chapman and Suzanne Kaye

1972-3 Aladdin Alhambra, Bradford

or Hedley Claxton. With Bobby Bennett, Jack Tripp, Jasmine Dee, June Shand,

1973-4 Unknown  

 

1974    

During the summer Paul and Barry were the clowns at the Tower Circus, Blackpool

1974-75 Cinderella  Bournemouth Pavilion

Derek Salberg’s pantomime starring Dickie Henderson, Arthur Askey, Paul & Barry Harman, Barry Howard and Danny O’ Dea.

1975-76 Aladdin Norwich

Paul & Barry Harman, David Davenport, John Inman, Yvonne Marsh and George Barnes.

1976-77

Click on image to enlarge

Goldilocks

Wolverhampton Grand 

s Paul & Barry Harman starring Su Pollard, Don Maclean and Anne Aston.

1977-78 Aladdin Bournemouth Pavilion

Robert Luff’s production starring Don Maclean, Peter Butterworth, Lenny Henry, Pauline Whitaker and Paul & Barry Harman.

1978-79 Dick Whittington Coventry Theatre 

as Harman & Elliott, Starring Tom O’Connor and Peter Butterworth. Presented by Bernard Delfont.

1979-80 Unknown  

 

1980-81 Puss In Boots Kirkcaldy

as Harman & Elliott with Joe Brady, Leon Sinden and Graham Bickley

1972/3 - Alhambra, Bradford

Pantomimes as “The Chuckle Brothers”

 

1981-82

Dick Whittington

Grand Swansea

With Harry H. Corbett, Mike Holoway, Desmond Barrit and the Chuckle Brothers as Captain & Mate.

 

1982 - 83

Unknown

 

 

 

1983-84

Robin Hood

Kirkcaldy

as the Harman brothers

(Returning to a venue they had played many times with their “old” names)  with Syd Francis as Dame and John Buick. Paul & Barry played the Robbers Will & Wont!”

 

1984-85 

Robin Hood 

New Theatre Cardiff

As The Chuckle Brothers With Ruth Madoc as Robin, Stu Francis and Anna Karen as Dame Deirdre.

 

1985-86

Aladdin

Civic Halifax.

With Vince Hill, Linda Nolan and Geoff Capes. For Stanley Sher Productions.

 

1986-87

Jack & The Beanstalk

Darlington

For Nick Thomas with Bernie Clifton, Kathy Staff and Suzanne Dando.

 

1987-88 

Robin Hood

Civic Darlington

for Nick Thomas with Vince Hill, Linda Nolan and Geoff Capes. This panto included appearances by “The Chucklehounds”.

 

1988-89

Dick Whittington

St. Alban’s City Hall

for Nick Thomas. With Dave Lee Travis, Wincey Willis and the Chucklehounds.

 

1989-90

Cinderella

Civic Darlington

with Jimmy Cricket, Anna Karen, Chris Hayward and Simon Bashford.

 

1990-91

Cinderella

The Hawth, Crawley

With Dave Lee Travis, Maddie Cryer.

 

1995-96

Jack & The Beanstalk

Grand Swansea

with Dan Falzon, Vicki Michelle, Patrick Mower and Owen Money

 

1996-97

Mother Goose

Hippodrome Birmingham

 

 

1997-98

Dick Whittington

Lyceum Sheffield

With Robin Asquith, James Horne.

 

1998-99

Dick Whittington

Civic Darlington

 

 

1999-2000

Dick Whittington

Alhambra Bradford

 

handbill

2000-01

Jack & The Beanstalk

Nottingham Theatre Royal

with Don Maclean & Bonnie Langford.

handbill

2001-02

Aladdin

Civic Darlington

as Wishee & Washee. With their brothers,  Jimmy & Brian- The Patton Brothers, Alan Meadows, Katie Costello and Nathan Zorchak.

Handbill

2002-03

Aladdin 

Regent Stoke

(Wishee & Washee) With The Patton Brothers once again, and Andrew Golding with Louise Stone.

2003-04

Cinderella

Cliffs Pavilion Southend

as Buttons & Zip with Dr.Evadne Hinge (George Logan) and Penny Taylor.

Click to enlarge

2004-05

Dick Whittington

Opera House Manchester

Captain & Mate with Helen Noble and Jeffrey Holland.

2005-06

Jack & The Beanstalk

Plymouth Theatre Royal

with Tudor Davies, Helen Noble, Jason Pethers and Roni Elizabeth Hart

2006-07

Cinderella

New Theatre Hull

as Buttons & Zip with Spencer K Gibbins and Roni Hart,

2007-08

Aladdin

UK Tour

 

2008-09 Aladdin Cliffs Pavilion Southend This pantomime marks Forty years of panto since they appeared at the Swansea Grand as Jessie The Cow!
2009-10 A Christmas Chuckle National Tour

with The Patton Brothers, Safire (Jayne and Stuart Loughland)

Paul and Barry continue to tour the country with their Chuckle tours, each year with a more inventive title than the previous one, with DVD’s of Chucklevision and their Stage Shows available, before starring in pantomime each and every year, as they have done for well over forty years.

This page was last updated 3rd April 2009

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