Two of our lesser known characters from the days of Going Live! would most likely be The Rogers Brothers. Randolf and Rudy Rogers, an old musical hall act, sons of the popular seaside variety act, Bucket and Spade. Bucket and Spade, both dead, survived only as a framed photograph on top of Randolf’s piano. Rudy, played by me, was prone to awful bouts of depression over the death of his parents. It would descend upon him as a black cloud and the boys would declare “Mr Gloom is in the room”, or “Mr Glum has come” or “Mr Misery is in the vicinity”. Trev, as Randolf, would attempt to cheer his brother up with a jaunty “Hey ho! Pop pop!” As in sketches so in life.
Quite why this was allowed to be on a Saturday morning childrens show is bewildering to me. Obviously we must have sat around and thought, what are the kids into these days? And the answers that came back were hippies, barbers and old-time music hall acts singing vaguely rude songs and weeping openly over the death of their parents. Hey ho! Pop pop!
One of our songs was an old music hall ditty called Carry Your Little Belisha Beacon Everywhere You Go. We’ve sung ths song throughout our career in a variety of guises; the Eggrobats- bald men in nappies, The Rogers Brothers, and a scout leader and his boyscout friend.
The Eggrobats- Simon Hickson, Phil Dennison and Trev Neal. Accompanied by Sophie Aldred, Kath Jones and Doon Mackichan.
Here we are accompanied by The Doves from Dan and the Doves. The Doves being Sophie (later to be Ace in Dr. Who), kath, and Doon, (later to be big comedy cheese in The Day Today, Smack the Pony and the recent Taking the Flak). Poor Doon is obscured by the big glowing end of Trev’s beacon.
If you’d like to know the lyrics to this rude song you can find them here. I’ve tried to find out who it’s by but everytime I do a search I come back to me. I promise you, we did pinch it.
Nothing’s new and nothing’s original. We based the Rogers Brothers on The Cox Twins. However weird our creations were, the real deal were even weirder.
The Cox Twins
You can find out more about Frank and Fred here. But sadly not much. They married twins, Estelle and Pauline Miles, and then they all lived together in one house. The first time I saw them I was astonished. I can’t remember what they did, I just remember thinking they were nuts. In the nicest possible sense. They were funny and weird, but what did they do? They appear briefly in Funny Bones, Peter Chelsom’s film starring Lee Evans and Jerry Lewis and set in Blackpool. Truly, what more could you want from a film. The only clip I could find isn’t a performance, but you might like it anyway. Here they are being interviewed on TVam. With their twin wives.
Even less survives of the Rogers Brothers. They’re on our live video, the Blimey That’s Good Tour, but who has videos? Even I don’t have it. I used to hate watching it. The day before the show was recorded I had some jabs for a forthcoming holiday in The Gambia. I was given the wrong dose for, I think, Typhoid. Five times too much! Throughout the show I look like I am about to die. Hey ho! Pop pop!
But I did find something. One of the most bizarre clips I’ve seen. It’s us as the Rogers Brothers taking part in a Comic Relief special; singing along with a host of celebrities to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Everything’s here. It ranges from the apalling, Nicholas Witchell miming keyboards; to the moving, Caron Keating gooning around with her mum. You’ll see other faces that might lead to Mr Gloom coming into the room. And I don’t mean Noel Edmonds. And there’s a few degenerates in there too. I’ll let you figure out who they are.
And remember, nothing really matters. Hey ho! Pop pop!