It Takes Two – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 1:05pm by Simon Bor


  • Dick and Dom. “A Double act is like a separate marriage.”
  • Tom and Jerry are enemies who can’t live without each other.
  • Danger Mouse retains his DNA for the new series.
  • There maybe more male double acts because girls are more prone to falling out.

The Detail:

Double acts are a staple of children’s TV from The Chuckle Brothers and Ant & Dec to Bill and Ben and Scoobie and Shaggy. Host, CBBC executive producer for independents, Melissa Hardinge, wanted to find out why double acts are so popular.

Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood, better known as Dick and Dom, were on hand to answer the question. Dom saying that it was like having a relationship – like a separate marriage. Dick adding that it was like hanging around with your best mate.

Dick and Dom were hired separately by CBBC in the 1990s but were put together by their producer when it was obvious they hit it off. Dom described their first work together as feeling the same as when you first meet your wife, Dick adding that they had sort of had their students days on telly.

Patricia Hiolalgo introduced clips of various animated double acts from Turner Broadcasting Systems. She concentrated on Tom and Jerry, describing them as the daddies of all double acts – they even made a personal appearance. At 75-years-old, Tom and Jerry have starred in twelve feature films, hundreds of shorts and have received seven academy awards. Patricia believes that they are not friends but enemies who can’t live without each other. They can work together when they have a common enemy. She added that Tom has changed over the years but Jerry has stayed the same. There is far less violence in the modern show.

Laverne Antrobus, a consultant child and educational psychologist added that she has a memory of Tom and Jerry and wasn’t worried about the violence when she was a child. She believes that adults get more fired up about the violence, but nobody really gets hurt in the show.

We were treated to an exclusive trailer and clip featuring the return of super spy, Danger Mouse. Yes, the rodent and his sidekick, Penfold, are back to save the world all over again. They premier on CBBC this autumn before going worldwide on Netflix.

Ben Ward, the writer of the new version thought that if Danger Mouse had to choose between saving the world and Penfold, he would do both, but save Penfold first. Danger Mouse doesn’t enjoy his work unless Penfold is with him and Penfold needs a friend that doesn’t see his faults. ‘We wanted the DNA of the show to be the same as the original,’ said Ben, adding that he was a fan when it was first shown on TV.

But why are double acts almost always male? Laverne thought girls are just as funny but the nature of their friendships is different, “it goes back to the playground – boys pushing and shoving each other while girls are much more wordy and more prone to falling out.”

For details of the speakers check the Session Guide

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About the author

Simon Bor


I studied Animation at Farnham, and, more recently, I have been awarded an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth University. I set up Honeycomb Animation with Sara Bor and have been involved in children’s television since the mid eighties. As a writer, I have co written and created several shows… Read more