Puppet Game Show star talks to Closer about his celebrity friends, ideal woman and getting his own Nando’s card

If you haven’t heard of Dougie Colon yet, you soon will. With his large head, mop of brown hair and gleaming white gnashers we reckon he’s got it in the bag to become the Next Big Thing in entertainment.

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by Hannah Wright |

And don’t let the fact that Dougie is a puppet – created by the same man behind the Muppets – put you off.

Closer had a (very surreal) chat with him, to discuss the big new BBC Saturday night gameshow he’s hosting from 10 August, and to get the lowdown on his new celeb pals…

Closer: That Puppet Game Show is a gameshow blending puppets with celebs – out of the big names taking part (such as Gary Lineker, Claudia Winkleman, Vernon Kay, Katherine Jenkins, Freddie Flintoff and Tess Daly) – who is the nicest?

Dougie (speaking in his very northern accent):

Oh, that is a difficult question is that, they’re all amazing on the show!

Obviously me and Vernon Kay are Bolton boys so we bonded very quickly. Mel Giedroyc had a thing about me hair, she thought I looked like a cake – maybe that’s why she were drawn to me. Freddie Flintoff came to me birthday – he’s a big lad and he knows how to party. Mr Saturday night Jonathan Ross gave me a few tips. He said be yourself and always be true to yourself. So that’s fine, I just stuck to the way I am, being myself and having a laugh.

Each game in the show takes in different subjects, hosted by a different puppet who is an expert in that field – what would your specialist subject be?

That is difficult that – I suppose my expertise would have to be telly. I grew up watching the greats; Brucie (Sir Bruce Forsyth) and Chris Evans – I love Chris Evans, he’s brilliant. And you can’t knock Terry Wogan or (Alan) Titchmarsh. I also know a lot about dolphins; I’m fascinated by them, who’s not? They’re very close to humans – put a little wig on them and make them wear a pair of trousers.

We take it you wouldn’t be able to go swimming with dolphins? It doesn’t look like Dougie and water would mix too well?

What are you suggesting? Are you suggesting my colour might run? That’s quite puppetist is that; I’m a little bit offended. No – I would like to go swimming with dolphins; I’ve not managed it yet, I’m a little bit scared. I’ve heard they can be quite cheeky. But I’m fascinated by sea life; I have been since I was a very small puppet.

You have very white teeth – how do you keep them looking so shiny?

Oh well now; when I knew I was going to be on Saturday night telly I got them done by the same man who did Jimmy Carr’s new set. It’s quite an intense regime but if I start at 10.00 in the evening I’m usually out of the bathroom and in bed by quarter to one. So not that bad; for the sake of having lovely white teeth like Jimmy Carr’s.

With celeb pal Vernon Kay
With celeb pal Vernon Kay

Do you do anything special to keep looking your best?

Apart from the ol’ teeth regime I like fish oil – not dolphin oil; I don’t think you can have that, it’s not ethical. I did exfoliate once but I didn’t enjoy it - it were like rubbing bubbles and sand on your face – it hurts, it’s not for me. I do try to be healthy to make sure I’m all bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit, and drink a lot of water. It’s the golden rule and going to the bathroom all day is a small price to pay – you can check your emails and text messages while you’re in there! Skive off, brilliant.

Is this your first TV job?

It’s my first big TV job, after a chance meeting with Udders McGhee (another puppet) – he’s the boss of this show and a big cow, but don’t judge him on that. I met him at the Miss England competition where I was judging, we had a chat and he said; ‘I think it’s your time Dougie’. He phoned me and asked me to do the show. Coincidentally his niece won the Miss England competition; I don’t know what we read into that. She won and I won, because I got to host this brilliant show.

What were you doing before?

I got my first break as a DJ, doing Drive time on Bolton FM. We did all the driving and traffic news, but the thing that made us stand out was we did the pollen count. It is very important – people want to know if they’re going to be sneezing or not. Then I was a warm-up act for Ant and Dec, I don’t know what’s happened to them. I thought; ‘that looks easy, I’ll have a go at that’ and luckily Mr McGhee heard I was in the market for a bit of presentation. And here we go – the rest is history, it’s exciting!

Dougie and friends

Are you ready for fame? Those trips to Tesco might suddenly become more awkward..

I know, it’s a slight concern but I like parties and free stuff. It’s weird that – when you’re a celebrity you’re being paid well and you’ve got enough money, and then suddenly people start giving you stuff; it’s quite contrary. I’m hoping to meet some big-name celebs.

Are you single or is there a Mrs Colon?

I am single and ready to mingle, let me tell you Closer! My ideal woman would be fun loving, GSOH, no older than 25 and they must have an enthusiasm for pond life and aquatics – so then I can take her off to see t’dolphins. An ideal date would be going to see the dolphins and I’d stand there for two, three, four days just looking at them. What could be more romantic? It would be beautiful, that.

Puppet or human?

It don’t matter – I’m not puppetist and I’m not anti-humanist. The whole world should live together in harmony, flesh and fabric. Like that Paul McCartney song. I don’t really mind, we have lots of lovely ladies on the show and it’s very nice to mingle with them.

What are you most looking forward to about being a household name?

Well I’ve heard you can get a special card for Nandos where they give you everything for free! I love it. Imagine taking a young lady out for dinner and saying; ‘we’re going to go to Nandos, and what’s more – nobody’s putting their hand in their pocket and we can eat as much as we like.’ Brilliant – that’s a marriage basically in’t it? I want to go out with myself!

Celebs on the show can win £10,000 for charity – what would you do with £10,000?

Obviously I’d give it to charity, but if I had to spend it I’d buy 10 grand’s worth of travellers’ cheques, then I could spend it anywhere in the world. Brilliant in’t it? Maybe I’d buy a dolphin and install it in my house.

That Puppet Game Show starts Saturday 10 August, 6.45pm on BBC1

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