Chuckle Brothers' Paul says he "knew nothing" of brother Barry's cancer until just before death

Paul Chuckle, of the Chuckle Brothers, has admitted that he “knew nothing” of the seriousness of his late brother Barry’s cancer until just before his death earlier this week.

The comedy community came together on social media to pay tribute when Barry Chuckle — Barry David Elliott — passed away at age 73 this week, shortly after the comedian abruptly cancelled all work commitments.

His older brother Jimmy Patton has spoken about how Barry chose to mostly keep the details of his cancer battle to himself, and now even Paul Chuckle has admitted he was blindsided by how ill his sibling and long-time comedy partner had been.

In a statement to PA, Paul said: “I still can’t believe he’s gone and that we will never perform together again.

“I knew nothing of how serious his illness was until fairly recently. He always said that he wanted to die on stage and that he would work right to the end which he more or less did.”

Paul reasoned that Barry kept his illness a secret from him and their manager for so long so he could keep their fully-booked schedule of live dates and filming on their Channel 5 show. Earlier this summer, the physical stress on Barry became too much to endure.

Barry’s wife phoned Paul and confided in him that her husband had “lost the use of his legs and couldn’t get out of bed”.

“I couldn’t believe it so I called round straight away to see him and that’s when he told me that they were going to give him radio therapy. And now the rest is history,” he mourned.

“We were so close, as close as any siblings could be and we had so very many happy times and memories together to look back on.

“Whilst on a break from filming, we laughed a lot remembering the good times and all the people we’ve met over so many years in pantomimes, theatres, tours, summer seasons and filming in television.

“I only wish he hadn’t been taken so young, as in today’s terms, 73 isn’t old and, anyway, you’re only as old as you feel inside and Baz was still in his 20s.”

In honour of Barry, Channel 5 aired an emotional on-air tribute on Sunday (August 5) and the BBC has made the final series of ChuckleVision available on iPlayer.

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