They rose to fame on 1990s children’s television as comedy duo Paul and Barry. But now The Chuckle Brothers are breaking into journalism as guest editors of one of Britain’s biggest regional newspapers.
The brothers, known for their catchphrase “To me, to you”, will sit it on lunchtime news conferences at Northern Echo with the aim of bringing some festive cheer to its Christmas Eve edition.
Northern Echo editor Peter Barron said: “They are in panto here and I thought it would be a chance to have a bit of fun. Obviously if something major happens, they understand the news will have to take priority. I went to see them in pantomime and I was in tears laughing at them, they were hilarious.”
“There is a perception that there is too much bad news around so this is an opportunity to lighten the mood a bit,” he added.
Their main task at Northern Echo will be to judge a Christmas cracker competition, with the newspaper donating one pound towards a local hospice for every joke sent in by readers. The brothers are also starring in Aladdin at Darlington Civic Theatre to raise funds for the hospice.
One half of the comedy act is expected to sit in Mr Barron’s chair while the other will take the seat once used by famous former editor William Stead, who died on the Titanic.
”They will sit in the editor's conference and they will take part in discussions about what's going in the paper,” Mr Barron said.
It is not the first time Mr Barron has opted for a well-known guest editor at Northern Echo. Last January the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, then Bishop of Durham, also sat in the editor’s chair.