The Krankies were a Scottish comedy double act which consisted of a a schoolboy and a long suffering father-figure. They appeared on Saturday night prime-time television for around 8 years in the
In reality, Jimmy Krankie, the mischievous school boy was Jannette Tough, a woman born 16th May 1947 in Queenziburn, Scotland, the long suffering father-figure, her husband Ian Tough.
Ian, with his tightly permed hair, grinned foolishly and occasionally apologetically whilst his wife, dressed in grey shorts, school blazer and cloth cap adorned with badges from the Beano fan club, messed about cheekily in a childish manner. Not to be outdone though, on occasions on television he cross-dressed himself.
In the Beginning
This double act started when the couple were teenagers performing for American troops in Europe as well as social clubs in the north east of England. Whilst on the social club circuit, they won the title Club Act of the Year and was signed by Lord Delfont to star at the London Palladium in the Royal Variety Show of 1979.
In their career to date they have performed to many royals including The Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana.
After a number of summer seasons in Blackpool and Bournemouth, amongst others, the duo were seen regularly on variety shows, and in guest star spots. Enough so that in 1981, they released a single entitled Fandabidozi, their catchphrase. This half sung, half spoken track reached number 46 in the UK charts.
Their own television series followed in 1982. The Krankies Klub was a comedy sketch series starring Wee Jimmy Krankie and Ian as his father. As well as starring in the sketches themselves, guest stars were common, including appearances by Bobby Davro and Jimmy Cricket.
This show lasted until 1984 and the next year Krankies Electronik Komik hit the airwaves. Another sketch show similar to the first, Krankies Electronik Komik was much the same as The Krankies Klub with the
Kouple couple creating their typical brand of mischief, this time with The Great Soprendo as guest star.
This lasted for 2 years, and after a sabbatical of another two years, The Krankies were back with Krankie Television, also known as KTV. In this series, Mr Krankie was in charge of a television studio with Jimmy causing trouble around him . Hilarity ensued. hmmm.
After 1991, The Krankies didn't have their own television show but went on appear in a number of international tours including several shows in Australia directed by themselves, a cabaret act on the QE2 in 1996, as well as a number of seasons at holiday camps such as Butlins and Haven. Most winters they also starred in pantomime with Jimmy Krankie being his usual self, and Ian in drag as a pantomime dame.
Television and film credits