Zig & Zag

Zig and Zag are two puppets, who made their television début on Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ)’s TV show The Den. Apparently extraterrestrials from the Planet Zog, Zig and Zag visited Ireland, decided to stay and were adopted by Ian Dempsey (and later re-adopted by Ray D’Arcy). They brought an alien dog called Zuppy with them.

Zig was beige with red “zogabongs” (pom-poms) and Zag was purple with green spots and yellow zogabongs and dreadlocks. Zag was portrayed as a lecherous lady-killer, whereas Zig was portrayed as a weak-willed childish simpleton, constantly giggling at rude jokes, and frequently unaware of what was going on around him. Their image was boosted by highly successful comic books and their number 1 selling parody song albums. Their biggest musical success was the single “Them girls”, which made the charts in a few European countries.

After having worked on The Den for a number of years, Zig and Zag worked concurrently on The Big Breakfast, then eventually left The Den to work on the show exclusively. On this, they acted as interviewers and were less restrained with their language and actions. It was also on The Big Breakfast where they had regular chats with Kim Wilde. This started in the summer of 1993 when Kim visited the programme to do promotion for If I Can’t Have You, then during her weeklong presentation residence they were colleagues. Kim kept visiting the programme until 1996. While Kim was on Tommy, Zig & Zag did a one-off TV special entitled ‘Zig & Zag’s Dirty Deeds’, in which Kim also appeared briefly.

After a revamp of The Big Breakfast, they were dropped and produced a small number of episodes of an even more risqué show for ITV before returning to Ireland to present a music quiz called 2Phat with Ray D’Arcy, their “father” from their later years on The Den.

The last series of 2Phat ended in 2001, and the brothers returned to The Big Breakfast during its last month of production in 2002 in an unsuccessful attempt to save the programme from being axed.

Ciaran Morrison and Mick O’Hara, who provided the voices for Zig and Zag respectively], have gone on to produce a TV series for Channel 4 in 2004, The Bronx Bunny Show, and regularly appear on RTÉ Two in their current incarnations of Podge and Rodge.