The veteran comedy duo has been asked to take on the editor’s role at the Darlington-based newspaper by editor Peter Barron.
In a column titled ‘Let’s have some Christmas Chuckles’ he explains that the pair, who are starring in panto in the town, will chair news conference and help decide how the following day’s paper should look.
“And one of The Chuckle Brothers’ tasks during their time at The Northern Echo will be to pick a ‘Chuckle Champion Christmas Cracker Joke’.
“With so much bad news around, this is an opportunity to have some fun at Christmas.”
But it seems news of their appointment hasn’t been well-received by the first couple of readers to comment at the newspaper’s website with one being grateful they are not editing for a week while another says ‘it could be a lot better – if they didn’t turn up’.
The brothers, Paul and Barry, became well-known on children’s television in the 1990s. In recent years they have been required to deny rumours of their deaths via social media platforms on more than one occasion.
They are better known for their catchphrase ‘to me, to you’ than their political opinions although Barry did once express views in support of a free school in their home town of Rotherham.
Previous guest editors at the historic title have included the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, then Bishop of Durham, who sat in the editor’s chair last January.