Dick & Dom: 'It's not just for 8 to 12-year-olds anymore. There are jokes for everyone'
- Jay Richardson
- 12 July 2018
This article is from 2018
After Trevor & Simon and Ant & Dec, Dick & Dom were the next cheeky-chappie kids' TV double act, and they're on their away to their Edinburgh debut
Children's TV legends Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood, better known as Dick & Dom, are making their Edinburgh Fringe debut. The Bafta-winning show Dick & Dom in da Bungalow was a huge hit on CBBC in the noughties and they've scarcely been off television since, yet still found time to play King Arthur and Patsy in the Monty Python musical Spamalot. Channelling their chaos into a live stage show about winning the last fish finger, they're promising as much mischief and mayhem as ever …
What brings you to the Fringe?
Dick: It's something we've always dreamt about and the opportunity came up. So why not?
Do you enjoy mixing live shows with television? Does it scratch a different itch?
Dom: It does. Our backgrounds are on stage, so we feel comfortable. When you're recording, you never see or meet your audience. Doing this, you get instant gratification and feedback. It's fantastic.
Dick: How did you know about our itches?
How has your relationship lasted 22 years?
Dom: Blackmail. No, it's a genuine friendship. If you respect each other's wants, needs and differences of opinion, make each other laugh and like being in each other's company, then it'll work. You can't manufacture that. Many have tried but it doesn't work unless it happens naturally.
In da Bungalow was manic. With the greatest of respect, do you still throw yourself into your shows as hard?
Dom: I would hope there is great respect in that. Obviously, we're older and our bodies don't let us do things they used to. But we still try to give as much as possible. Our crowds vary from our current audience at CBBC to students and middle 20s who used to watch In da Bungalow, to people in their 30s and 40s. In Edinburgh we'll carry on as if it were the early 2000s.
Dick: It's not just for 8 to 12-year-olds anymore. There are jokes for everyone.
Presumably some original viewers are now bringing their kids?
Dick: Absolutely. It's a bit weird.
Dom: Because we began in 1996 we're almost into grandchildren territory.
What games feature in the live show?
Dick: One is Dick and Dom's Roody Song, which are swearwords you can use without being told off. We put them into a song and whichever side sings the Roody Song the best wins.
Is there plenty of gunge?
Dom: Sadly not. There is a game called Musical Splatudes. It's like musical statues but if you move you get a sort-of pie in the face, all done with much hilarity. There's less mess because we live in a boring age of health and safety. The stage can't get messy because the kids might slip over and sue you. They don't want traditional pies in the face because it stings their eyes. We still use water. Even then you get the odd one complaining.
Dick: The H2O-intolerant.
Apparently, East 17's Tony Mortimer suffers from gunge-paranoia because of how often it happened to him in the 1990s.
Dom: Do you know what? When we meet anyone that's been on any of our shows, they have nothing but the fondest memories. Iwan Thomas, the athlete, said what an amazing time he'd had. And that was about 15 years ago now. I don't think we scarred anyone …
Dick: Jim Bowen. God rest his soul.
Dom: He said 'lads, please, I'm off to a wedding after this. Can you do me a favour and not get any of that milkshake on my suit?' So of course, like naughty children, we did it. I understood his disappointment. Oh, and Rachel Stevens walked off when she found out that she was about to get covered in custard. She was picked up by her management and removed from the studio. We were live on BBC One, came to the end game and everyone went 'where's Rachel?'
Dick: We shouted a bit, made the situation 20 times worse, and then carried on.
Did some jokes sail close to the wind for a young audience?
Dom: As far as we were aware, everything was completely above board. We were just trying to get the ratings up and wouldn't have known if anything wasn't as it should have been.
Dick: Talk to our management.
Do you have insurance like Ant & Dec in case one of you dies or is otherwise incapacitated?
Dom: No. We might get each other's CD collection but that's about it.
And you once shared a flat?
Dom: Yeah, we lived in about five different homes around West London which was great fun, living and working together. And then we both got our missuses. And that stopped.
What was performing Spamalot like?
Dick: Tough actually; the script was huge, real West End theatre. And we met the Pythons.
Dom: When you have to sing 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' in front of Eric Idle, that's hugely nerve-wracking.
Dick: We grew up on the Pythons, that's where a lot of our humour comes from. A proud moment.
Could In da Bungalow ever be revived?
Dick: We wouldn't bring it back as a series but if there was an opportunity for a one-off special, then we'd certainly consider it as an interesting bit of nostalgia. Never say never.