TwinTV medics get travel bug for Oz
FANS of British children’s television program Operation Ouch! (screened in Australia on ABCME) will be familiar with the antics of identical twin brother doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken.
Born seven minutes apart, with Dr Xand the elder of the two, the brothers studied for their medical degrees together at Oxford University before Dr Xand did his masters degree at Harvard University and now lives in New York, teaching at Fordham University.
Dr Chris has always called London home “despite the rain and general grimness”, where he does research at University College London, but the two brothers reunite when filming their BAFTA winning show Operation Ouch!, which is now in its fifth season.
“We helped to develop Operation Ouch! with the producers after doing a successful screen test where I put an intravenous drip in Xand,” Dr Chris said.
“I made a real mess of it and he ended up with a huge bruise.
“The show is successful because it’s entertaining, funny and not patronising.
“We want to show kids how to understand their bodies in (almost) as much detail as we learned at medical school and we want it to be inclusive; no matter what your body looks like or what’s happened to it, it’s still amazing.
“We also want to show kids that if they have to go to hospital, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Dr Chris will visit Australia for the first time with his brother when the siblings bring Operation Ouch! Live to Riverside Theatre on January 14 and 15.
He said the focus of the show would be on bugs: the ones that live on, in and off people.
“The ones that make you sick but also the ones that keep you alive,” Dr Chris said.
“But we’ll be doing plenty of detours to film inside Xand’s head and talk about gaseous large bowel microbial products: that’s farts.
“We’re hoping to have quite a bit of non-forced audience participation too.”
Dr Chris and Xand van Tulleken.