A BUS driver has jokingly admitted he is considering carving out a new career as a celebrity lookalike due to his striking resemblance to a Chuckle brother.

People keep telling John Simpson, 56, he looks like Paul from the much-loved children’s television double act.

And now he has been asked to switch on an annual decorative Christmas light display at a house in Newton Aycliffe. 

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His likeness to the 73-year-old funnyman has been commented on for a few years now by passengers on Arriva buses on routes around County Durham.

John, who is married and lives in Gainford, near Darlington, said: “It was the passengers that started to say it. I don’t know if I look more like him as I have got older. There is not a day that goes by that somebody does not mention something.

“I always get the catchphrase ‘to me to you’ when they get on.

“If it is bringing some laughter into people’s lives after what we have all been through then I think it is brilliant.”

The Northern Echo:

Bus driver John 'Chuckles' Simpson 

On a recent trip to Blackpool he was picked out by a comedian Ricky Lane who relentlessly ribbed him throughout the set. 

At the end of the night, John said, people were coming up to have their picture taken with him.

He said: “As soon as I walked in, he ripped straight into me saying: ‘Nice to say Paul Chuckle arriving safe and well.’  

“It went on all of the time he was on.

“I had people come up from a couple of tables to have their photograph taken with me. I was loving it.

“The host at the B&B in Blackpool said ‘you could make a fortune out of this’. They must have been talking about it because when I came down to breakfast they all burst out laughing.”

The comments tickle John so much he has even changed his name on Facebook to John Chuckles Simpson and changed his mobile phone ring tone to the memorable TV theme tune for ChuckleVision.

The show ran for 21 series between 1987 and 2009 starring hapless brothers Barry and Paul Elliott, from Rotherham.

Barry sadly died in 2018 and the following year ChuckleVision was voted best CBBC show of all time by readers of the Radio Times.

In 2014, a year after the Chuckle Brothers guest-edited The Northern Echo, John met them after they performed panto at Darlington Civic Theatre in The Chuckles of Oz.
The Northern Echo:

John, left, for the avoidance of doubt, with Paul Chuckle, centre, and his brother Barry in 2014 at Darlington's Civic Theatre 

He said: “They did a panto in 3D and I got my photograph taken with them outside the stage door. At that time there wasn’t any resemblance. It is as I have got older and got a moustache.

“It is not just a one-off thing now. It is everywhere I go. It has started happening all of the time.

"I am loving it.”

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