Zig And Zag: Entertainment Cops (Channel 4, 1994)/Zig And Zag’s Dirty Deeds (Channel 4, 1996)
Zig And Zag are a rather bizarre pair of alien puppet brothers who are from the planet Zog. They made their debut on Irish TV in 1987, and when Channel 4 launched The Big Breakfast in 1992, they were hired to take part in some celebrity interviews in the bathroom alongside Chris Evans, and they often left their guests baffled with their unusual but amusing asides (they also returned for the final edition in 2002).
After a while, they became rather popular with viewers, and went on to appear in various adverts (including Golden Wonder), had a board game, and they also had a hit single (a sure sign that they had made it). After this, they were given their own spin-off comedy show on Channel 4. This began on Christmas Day 1994 as Zig And Zag: Entertainment Cops, where they determined if celebrities and their routines met their standard.
There were a huge amount of guest stars in this show who were game enough to take part, including Keith Allen and Richard Wilson. In 1996, the idea returned for a full series as Zig And Zag’s Dirty Deeds in a Sunday evening slot (also around this time they had their own show on MTV). The show was co-written and directed by that bloke who used to be in Ghost Train, so it was clear that it was going to be a treat.
Zig And Zag would be hired by celebrities to organise and complete difficult tasks for them in a short amount of time and they would pay them a lot of money for it (sort-of parodying Challenge Anneka), and their slogan was “You Pay… We Prey”. Most editions began with them sat in their big HQ waiting for a call from someone, but their secretaries were rather useless, and changed in every episode.
I remember that the show gained some publicity when they were reunited with Chris Evans for the first time since he left The Big Breakfast, and he wanted them to put on a stage musical about his career. Naturally, they determined that the only one who could star in Gingerella was Keith Chegwin. Other deeds included helping Frank Carson to win a comedy award in Blackpool ahead of Joe Pasquale, and helping an upcoming boy band to become bigger than their rivals Boyzone.
There was only one series of Zig And Zag’s Dirty Deeds, and there was also a book released called Zig And Zag’s Dirty Deeds Dossier, and… I actually have this! As well as looking back at the deeds in the series, it also contains lots of other odd things including a few that they didn’t get round to and it was a very good read. In more recent years Zig And Zag have been on TV in a CBBC cartoon which is great too.