Dick and Dom in da Bungalow

Dick and Dom, aka Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood, were the saviours of Saturday morning television. When Dick and Dom in da Bungalow first appeared on BBC1 in September 2003 it finally broke away from the long-running Swap Shop/Superstore/Going Live!/Live and Kicking format which had served Saturday mornings well for twenty-five years, by shunning pop bands and celebrities.

The show was instead based around games, mess, mayhem, surrealism and Dick and Dom's banter and barbed asides, and not forgetting its most notorious creation, 'Bogies'. And it was rare amongst children's programmes in having a devoted following amongst people much older than the target audience.

The show actually began one year earlier as a cheap filler for weekend mornings on the CBBC digital channel. But following the unexpected success of the show, it was promoted to BBC1, with the dismal Saturday Show relegated to the summer. The Sunday shows, meanwhile, remained CBBC channel-only - and possibly because of this still managed to retain an edge over Saturday's programmes, Dick and Dom pushing the boundaries of what they could get away with on a children's programme.

Each Saturday's show ended in a Creamy Muck Muck Grand Finale which involved all the participants, and the bungalow, getting covered in mess - the clean-up for the next day's show must have been an unenviable task.

Sunday's highlight was the Forfeit Auction, hosted by Tomdickandharry, who bore more than a passing resemblance to Richard McCourt. Other regular characters included DC Harry Batt, the Prize Idiot, the cat, Raymond Farmer, the half dog/half chicken Barky Cluckinson, Martin Floppyhorns and Peter Milford, while unbeknownst to anyone else, Diddy Dick and Dom were usually to be found lurking in the cupboard.

Dick and Dom in da Bungalow was live, apparently unrehearsed and certainly unscripted. No other programme on television programmes allowed the participants, or 'bungalowheads', and presenters so much freedom to be themselves.

Even after Da Bungalow closed its front door for good, the show's impact continued to be felt. Throughout autumn 2006, The Slammer, CBBC's sitcom-cum-variety show set in a prison (bizarrely enough), starred several familiar Bungalow faces, along with guest appearances from the likes of Syd Little, Showaddywaddy and Keith Harris and Orville.

Then on 12th January 2007, one of Da Bungalow's most popular characters, the no-nonsense Geordie detective Harry Batt, played by Ian Kirkby, landed his own spin-off show on CBBC. Also featuring Bungalow regulars Dave Chapman, Melvin Odoom, Lee Barnett (Da Bungalow's Prize Idiot), and even Dick and Dom themselves in a cameo role, this hilarious episode saw Batt and his crack team of police officers investigating a spate of illegal sofa-bouncing. Diddy Dick and Dom have also landed their own series on CBBC, including Diddy Movies and Diddy TV.

Here is a selection of images from Dick and Dom in da Bungalow.



Left: Dick and Dom on the first ever Bungalow on 31st August 2002. Middle: the inaugural pants dance. Right: Dick and Dom host a rat party.



Left: The Forfeit Auction, hosted by Tomdickandharry, was usually the highlight of Sunday's Bungalows.



Left: Tomdickandharry is turned into a cartoon. Middle: from the same edition in May 2003, the infamous 'Codfather' Forfeit Auction. Right: Tomdickandharry gets cut down to size.



The Tim Henmuck Forfeit Auction in April 2004 descends into anarchy - 'Come on Tim!'



Left, middle: The Forfeit Auction was presented by a skeleton crew on Hallowe'en 2004. Right: Batfink joined the boys for four shambolic games in 2004 - Batstink, Batsnap, Batthink and Battag.



Left: Dick and Dom in their younger days, when they had curly hair. Middle, right: Da Bungalow was renowned for its special effects - here Tomdickandharry gets trapped in a bauble, while Dick and Dom leave the bungalow in a hot air balloon for Handbag Land.



Left: Martin Floppyhorns. Middle: the cat loved Stoke-on-Trent so much, he wrote a song about it! Right: the following day's Bungalow, on 2 November 2003, was possibly the most bizarre edition of all time. There was the greatest range of ages in a single group of bungalowheads (7 to 12), and a seventh bungalowhead, a dummy named Brendan, also took part in the show. The Frankenstein Kid Forfeit Auction was a disaster, and at the end when Dom, who was by now at the end of his tether, asked the bungalowheads if they enjoyed the show he got no reaction from them, causing him to give up and walk out.



Little Dom's in a bad mood! Dom shows just how much he loves being a children's television presenter.



Left: Dom looks vacant as the bungalowheads carry on with the show on their own. Middle: Dom finds one of the bungalowheads a right pain in the back... Right: Dom after he's got rid of the bungalowhead in question.



Left: Dick and Dom's new t-shirts make them look a lot more muscular. Middle: they find a parallel universe in the airing cupboard. Right: anyone for a game of Bogey Cars?



Left: Dick and Dom's neighbour, the Prize Idiot. Middle: they meet the Prize Idiot's flat mate. Right: the Prize Idiot drives them round the bend.



Left: Barky Cluckinson's Jazz Night. Middle: The Barky Cluckinson Show. Right: Barky Cluckinson's Alfresco Pie Challenge.



Left, middle: DC Harry Batt's after Dom - with a jar of garlic mayonnaise! Right: 'Make Dick Sick'. There was also a variant known as 'Make Dom Vom'.



Left: Arthur Clackhandle foolishly asks Dick and Dom if they could look after some Muck Muck for him. Middle: caption competition anybody? Right: Raymond Farmer.



Left: until the final series, Da Bungalow was strictly a no-celebrities zone - they couldn't even get the real Chuckle Brothers! Middle, right: Hairy Holmes and Nina Hossain present Muck Spell.



Left, middle: among his destinations in Cat's Britain, the cat visited Deal and Cleethorpes. Right: up down up down - target goal!



Left, middle: cheer up lads, it's Christmas! Right: concerns that Da Bungalow was too lightweight were addressed by the introduction of Question Muck.



Dick and Dom were not the only regular participants in Da Bungalow - each week Dave Chapman (left), Ian Kirkby (middle) and Melvin Odoom (right) made an invaluable contribution to the show.



Left: Melvin rescues another chaotic Forfeit Auction with an impromptu dance routine. Middle: the Muck Muck Saloon, one of the most popular, messiest and longest Creamy Muck Muck fights! Right: complete chaos in the Nee Naw Game.



Possibly the funniest ever close to Da Bungalow, on 8 January 2005. Following three laps of Formula Muck Muck, the show is still underrunning by five minutes - so Dom does a quick magic trick to fill in some time. Then someone accidently flings some muck at the camera, leaving the remainder of the show viewed through a smeary mess!



Left: from the final show of Series 4 - just when you thought you'd seen the last of him, Mr Blobby is back!!!! Middle: meanwhile, Dick's having a baby - and Raymond Farmer has also had a happy event. Right: Dick and Dom are ready to present another fun-packed instalment of Da Bungalow



Left: the garden was unveiled for the first time in series 5 - here we see it upside down. Middle, right: the major change in series 5 was the introduction of celebrity bungalowheads on the Saturday shows. Guests included popular singing star Tony Christie, and the dandy designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who here finds himself haunted by a talking picture of Anthony Worrall Thompson.



Left, middle: there were also celebrity guests on Sundays - Darth Vader popped in one morning, as did Queen Elizabeth I. Both quickly found themselves being mistreated by the bungalowheads. Right: 'You've got a nerve' - Raymond Newsreader and his dad.



In series 5 Saturday's Creamy Muck Muck Grand Finales took the form of game show parodies. Left: Mucky Addicts ('don't splatter little Noelie!'). Middle: Muckety Muck, with the celebrity panel consisting of the Prize Idiot, Harry Batt, Mr Choosy, Kat Slater, Melvin Odoom and Death. Right: the duo were horrified when the final Creamy Muck Muck Grand Finale,Who Wants to Be a Muckyanaire, nearly turned into a revival of one of their less proud moments, Dick and Dom's Ask the Family!



Left: to stop himself from getting lost all the time, the Prize Idiot tries out his new Global Positioning System. Middle: the Prize Idiot is as Happy as Larry. Right: the Prize Idiot conducts some monkey business.



Left: DC Harry Batt presents a game of Nae Buzzy Move with his brothers Larry and Barry. Middle: Harry also stunned viewers with a touching rendition of Dire Straits's 'Private Investigations'. Right: the cat presides over a shambolic edition of Cat Mad Do.



Left, middle: Dick and Dom's favourite Christmas present - a Mr Choosy Rally! Right: lunacy in the Marine Biologist Kid Forfeit Auction.



Left: Dick gave a decidedly flat performance on one Sunday show in October 2005. Middle: at last! Irrefutable proof that Dick and Tomdickandharry are actually two different people! Right: Ian Kirkby comforts Dom in the Hairdresser Kid Forfeit Auction.



Left: Only six weeks to go! Middle: Dick and Dom finally look inside their cupboard, and quickly regret it. Right: Mayhem was guaranteed on the final Sunday Bungalow, on 5th March 2006, with Mr Blobby making another appearance. And after the ultimate Forfeit Auction (marriage to Timmy Mallett!) came a shocking and astonishing revelation - Tomdickandharry was Dick all along!



Left: the following Saturday, 11th March 2006, was the final live show of all, and Bungalow characters past and present gathered for a farewell song, before they all got covered in the usual. Middle, right: the final shots, just as the bungalow was destroyed once and for all by a torrent of Creamy Muck Muck!



Now Da Bungalow has ended, the test card is the only interesting thing left to watch.


From our YouTube channel, here is a playlist of ten videos containing various Bungalow clips.

Links

Dick and Dom in da Bungalow at BBC Genome
Dick and Dom in da Bungalow Wikipedia entry
Da Bungalow Online
Saturday Mornings - Dick and Dom in da Bungalow
Digital Spy forum thread