If you’re a pair of children’s TV presenters trying out a new idea for the first time, in front of tens of thousands at a prestige event is a risky gambit.
But the irrepressible Dick and Dom did just that when they were invited to warm-up the crowd before Terry Wogan came on at the BBC’s Proms in The Park back in 2007.
Dominic ‘Dom’ Wood recalls: ‘We thought how on Earth do you entertain an audience that big and that goes so far back you can’t even see them anymore? And get them all involved? So we came up with this concept of splitting the audience in half and having them all do the games, and it worked really well. That become Dick Vs Dom.’
Over the last few years they’ve taken it to festivals all over the UK – and had a hit run at last year's Edinburgh Festival.
And this summer they are hosting a new festival over on the Isle of Wight, The Great Wonderfest. The family-friendly festival includes music from The Vamps, Sigma, Busted, Example and many more, as well as lots of other on-site activities and workshops for all ages.
As well as playing Dick Vs Dom they’ll be helping out throughout the weekend.
‘We’re looking forward to it,’ says Dom. ‘This will actually be our first show on the Isle of Wight and it’s a bit bigger than what we normally do, we normally just do one show, but here we’re going to do some hosting, our live show and some DJing. We’re definitely getting more involved with this one than we have with anything before. It should be a good craic.’
Richard ‘Dick’ McCourt adds: The great thing about doing these festivals, when you turn up to a theatre, you do the show and you leave because there’s nothing else to do whereas at festivals you can fully immerse yourself in the experience, especially this one.
‘I think we’d be fools if we didn’t have a go at the Robot Wars arena – I mean, that’s fulfilling a childhood ambition right there, to destroy some robots in an arena – amazing!’
Dom’s also hoping to catch some of the music: ‘There’s a lot of good stuff on, but I like a bit of the nostalgia, so I’m looking forward to Rowetta and Bez (of Happy Mondays fame), a bit of Robin S and The Blow Monkeys… it’s a diverse bill, like all decent family show bills. My kids and me are all big Vamps fans – they’re incredibly talented lads.’
And while they were happy to camp out at festivals in their younger days, they prefer their creature comforts nowadays.
Dick adds: ‘Luckily one of the perks of working at a festival is that you might get a nicer tent, maybe even a caravan, so it’s a little bit better than sleeping in an Argos tent. Fingers crossed – we haven’t seen it yet…’
THE GREAT WONDERFEST
Nr Downend, Isle of Wight