CULT kids' TV star Dick - from Dick and Dom In Da Bungalow - endured bullying misery at his Sheffield school, friends and family have revealed.
Dick - whose full name is Richard McCourt - has made his name with partner and pal Dominic Wood for their rude slapstick antics on Saturday morning TV.
And the pair have just made a breakthrough into the evening schedules with their 21st century take on old quiz favourite Ask The Family.
But Dick's showbiz ambitions singled him out for abuse during his days as a pupil at Sheffield's Tapton School, his father told a national newspaper.
He says Owls fan Dick, now aged 28, was spat on and called names because he wanted to star in pantos and on radio and TV.
Things got so bad he was scared to walk the streets and was even beaten up by a girl.
Dad Alan, of Blackbrook Rd, Lodge Moor, said: "He was picked on because he made it plain he wanted to be a TV star and that made him different," his father Alan said.
"We didn't know very much about it back then but he was given a really hard time," said the 60-year-old.
Fellow Tapton pupil Richard Allbright, 29, added: "One of my mates knew him and said he was always getting bullied because he was always going on about TV and doing radio.
"He was just different from a lot of the kids and they did not understand."
Alan said even Dick's teachers said he would not make it on TV.
"He used to draw pictures of the BBC logo and his favourite TV stars such as Sarah Greene and Philip Schofield in his school books, as he wanted to be like them.
"But his teachers did not take to it too kindly. They would scrawl it out in red pen and basically tell him not to be so stupid.
"He was very determined though. He only ever wanted to be a TV presenter from a very young age. When he was 11 he used to go to the radio studio at the Children's Hospital. The hospital also had a TV studio and he used to play cartoons for the patients."
But Alan said Dick did have his admirers.
"He was always telling jokes and being a prankster - and he was very popular with the girls. We'd have a string of them coming to the door," Alan added.
Dick landed a job with the BBC at the age of just 19, moving in with Dom for the next five years - and the pair have never looked back since.