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hale and hearty

Hale and Pace

Hale & Pace are an English comedy duo who have starred in several TV sketch series. Gareth Hale and Norman Pace met at a teacher-training college in Eltham, south-east London, and roomed together. They discovered much in common, particularly humour, and began playing clubs in a comedy band. One of the clubs that they most liked playing was "The Tramshed" in Woolwich. This developed into sketch writing, with the duo appearing in the BBC Radio sketch show Don't Stop Now, It's Fundation. Their early TV break came on The Entertainers (1984), Pushing Up Daisies (1984) and the Saturday Gang (1986).

After a single one-off special for London Weekend Television in Christmas 1986, they were given a full series in 1988. Their relationship with ITV lasted a decade, with most of their programmes going out around 10pm on a Sunday. Their most famous comic creations are the bouncers The Two Rons - also known as The Management; and children's TV presenters Billy (Hale) and Johnny (Pace). A number of their TV sketches caused controversy, especially a scene performed when they pretended to have microwaved a cat. This clip got them onto the top 50 on "50 most shocking comedy moments" and they believe that the sketch gave them the notoriety that has kept them in work for all successive series. They went one-up on this sketch in the first episode of the second series where Norman holds a baby and they both move aside to show the microwave behind them. Gareth flips a coin, then the baby upstages them (assumedly unscripted) by puking over Norman's arm.

Hale & Pace's characters "The Two Rons" (better known as The Management) also had a spin-off series of their own called " The Management (iMDB link)" which included a number of their regular cast in permanent positions and ran for a total of 6 episodes. This series was released on video, and is usually easily available through specialist second-hand video shops.

Hale & Pace also have appeared on The Young Ones three times, in the episodes Flood, Nasty and Time. The duo also appeared, in brief five minute humorous roles of shop-keepers Harvey and Len, in the 1989 Doctor Who story 'Survival'. This gave them the distinction of appearing in what turned out to be the last ever story in Doctor Who's original 1963-89 run.

Hale & Pace moved across to the BBC in 1997 and starred in the three-part series, Jobs for the Boys (BBC), a non-comedic show in which they took on a variety of employment challenges. A hybrid variety/comedy/quiz/people-show hotchpotch h&p@bbc (1999) was a flop. Similarly, their dramatisation of the Dalziel and Pascoe detectives for ITV in 1994 did not lead to success, and the BBC later attempted the serialisations with more success, with Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan in the title roles.

They've also made several specials, like the 1996 Showcase Hale & Pace Down Under from Australia and April Fools Day.

Hale and Pace appeared in the Christmas Special of the Gervais and Merchant show "Extras", broadcast in December 2007.

Series 1

Season details:

  • No. episodes: 7
  • Aired (UK): 02/10/1988 - 13/11/1988
  • Director: Vic Finch
  • Producer: Alan Nixon

Episode theme
Each episode starts with a sketch before proceeding to the introduction which is a colourful montage of Hale & Pace. Both comedians have individual stills of them shot from the waist up and then shown in a quick sequence. A colourful background is used during the introduction consisting mainly of a purple/pink colour also has splashes of yellow and green. At its end, the title of the show is shown with the names Hale (green colour) and Pace (yellow colour). Each episode finishes with a sketch after the rolling credits and then the letters "LWT" and Roman numerals (MCMLXXXVIII). There are quite a few live stage performances during this season including the two Ron's regularly appearing on a stage balcony.

Recurring sketches
Two Rons (with rubber chicken)
Billy & Johnny
Jed & Dave
"Readings from my latest anthology", by Groovy Wordbender (1) Don't be a square, be a rhombus (2) Ain't got no Daddio, bastardio (3) Nitrous oxide - What a gas!
Guy being greased, mimiking TV Series The Singing Detective
Deliberate blooper segments
Antique roadshow

Memorable sketches
Welcome to the CIA (takeoff of Godfather movie)
Jennings & O'Keefe prison gardening
Two "unfit" pool players
The brother who broke the rules and gets punished
"Save the cat" (music recording)
The Walkman brothers
Jack and Hank (the pianoplayer)
Sir Walter Riley & the banana
Sid of the Sunday league

'''Other trivia

  • Look out for a young Ainsley Harriott participating in some of the sketches.
  • Currently showing in the UK on Men & Motors channel (since October 2007) on Monday nights at 22:00, with another episode at 22:30.

Series 2

Season details:

  • No. episodes: 6
  • Aired (UK): 01/10/1989 - 05/11/1989
  • Director: David.G.Hillier
  • Producer: Alan Nixon

Episode theme
The introduction is identical to the 1st season (1988). At the end of the episode, the year in Roman numerals is shown (MCMLXXXIX).

Recurring sketches
The two Ron's
Billy & Johnny
Jed & Dave

Memorable sketches
Fatal irritation
Guide cat
Simon & Garfunkel impersonation
The English dead

Series 3

  • No. episodes: 6
  • Aired (UK): 30/09/1990 - 04/11/1990
  • Director: David.G.Hillier
  • Producer: Alan Nixon

Episode theme
The introduction shows Hale & Pace in an early 20th century setting with Hale wearing an old hat and Pace wearing a monocle. Chickens, chicken feathers and a rubber chicken are being shaken around the room for some reason. The introduction finishes zooming in on their faces, at which point they both stick out their tongues, with Hale's tongue showing "Hale" written on it and Pace's showing "Pace". The "&" is written on Pace's hand which is positioned behind them but between their two heads, therefore clearing presenting the title "Hale & Pace". Each show finishes with a nude shot of Hale & Pace's backsides each with their name written on it (i.e. mimicking the introduction with the tongues). A still image of "LWT - An LWT production" and Roman numerals (MCMXC) are shown.

Recurring sketches
Old men sitting in chairs talking
The two Ron's

Memorable sketches
Jazz duet
Auctioneer who nobody can understand
"I'll have a go"
"The Humpada" (musical takeoff of the "Lambada"). Note: This sketch (the humpada) has since been considered by H&P as one of their worst ever ideas.

Series 4

  • No. episodes: 6
  • Aired (UK): 29/09/1991 - 03/11/1991
  • Director: David.G.Hillier
  • Producer: David.G.Hillier

Episode theme
A water theme is used for this season for the credits and ad-breaks. Hale & Pace have the appearance of being submerged in water and focussing on fish swimming past them. A shark swims right to left across the screen and then opens its jaws to begin the show. When cutting to commercials, the same shark actually shows Hale & Pace in its mouth. The episodes conclude with a single sketch followed by the text "An LWT production for ITV" and the year in Roman numerals (MCMXCI).

Recurring sketches
The two Ron's
Jed & Dave
Billy & Johnny

Memorable sketches
Fight when paying for a bill
Studying for an Open University degree at prison
The Managing Director (musical)
Higgen's VS Armitage's gangs (acting like children)

Series 5

Season details:

  • No. episodes: 7
  • Aired (UK): 24/01/1993 - 07/03/1993
  • Director:
  • Producer:

Episode theme

Recurring sketches

Memorable sketches

Series 6

Season details:

  • No. episodes: 7
  • Aired (UK): 19/09/1993 - 31/10/1993
  • Director:
  • Producer:

Episode theme

Recurring sketches

Memorable sketches

Series 7

  • No. episodes: 7
  • Aired (UK): 18/09/1994 - 30/10/1994
  • Director:
  • Producer:

Episode theme

Recurring sketches

Memorable sketches

Series 8

  • No. episodes: 7
  • Aired (UK): 08/10/1995 - 19/11/1995
  • Director: Peter Orton
  • Producer: Mark Robson

Episode theme
Episode introduction includes Hale & Pace dancing and gyrating in front of a black & white digital background. In most cases, the black & white is unevenly represented on the screen (i.e. sometimes more black than white and vice-versa). No formal title (Hale & Pace) is displayed but the duo perform a voiceover introducing the show as "Hale & Pace". Hale walks through a door which acts as a transition from the introduction to the opening sketch. There are also many sketches performed on a live stage during this season where the stage contains an enormous background prop with the letters "HALE" placed on top of "PACE". Each episode concludes with rolling credits and two consecutive stills: (1) LWTP (LWT Productions) graphic (2) "An LWT programme for ITV" and the year in Roman numerals (MCMXCV).

Recurring sketches
Billy & Johnny
Curly & Nige: (1) Hospital porters (2) Go camping
Jed & Dave on the road
London cabbies
John & Yokel
Sven & Benny (in a sauna)
Nun commenting on famous artwork
Uncle who says "What's that then?"

Memorable sketches
Sunburst Butter commercial with Sir Norman & Sir Gareth
Christmas Day 1916 soccer match (in no man's land)
"In Person" interview
The Proclaimers impersonation
Sir Richard
REM impersonation

Series 9

Season details:

  • No. episodes: 7
  • Aired (UK): 05/01/1997 - 16/02/1997
  • Director:
  • Producer:

Episode theme
The introduction shows 4 separate pieces of the faces of Hale & Pace being jumbled and put together correctly. Their faces are changing expressions whilst being put together and once completed their name (i.e Gareth Hale) appears in a small board area. At the end of the introduction, the camera zooms in to the small board showing the show's title "Hale & Pace". It then transitions to the first sketch of the show.

Recurring sketches
London cabbies
Waiter/s with "black pepper"
Are you nervous...nervous now?
Curly & Nige: (1) In the garage (2) At the D.I.Y shop
American sherrif & his deputy
Rappers with baggy clothes
Yorkshiremen
Crime boss & his muscle
Two redheads who copy the end of what people say
Transpotters
Elderly gentleman who can't swear
Meditating man who wishes for things to happen

Memorable sketches
Scary butler
Killing machine
Mr.Eddie 'Razor Shallow-Grave Chainsaw' Slater
DFI furniture outlet sale
Somebody up there wears big trousers
Monseur Collins at the casino
Count Cleansing
Oaday Mock Of Oasis

Series 10

Season details:

  • No. episodes: 6
  • Aired (UK): 23/07/1998 - 27/08/1998
  • Director:
  • Producer:

Episode theme

Recurring sketches
The Dopplers (1) At the fish and chips shop (2) At the magic show (3) Interviewed by a police officer about a car

Memorable sketches
The Dopplers at the fish and chips shop

Recurring sketches

The Stonk

In 1991 they released a charity single in aid of Comic Relief. The Stonk, based on a fictitious dance craze was written by Joe Griffiths and Hale & Pace and was produced by Queen guitarist Brian May who also featured on the track. A UK number one single for one week in March 1991, to date it is their sole chart single and raised £100,000 for Comic Relief.

Guest Stars

Way back as far as the first series, H&P have had stars in their show. Back then, people like Ainsley Harriot (UK TV chef) and Annette Badland (Known in the UK as "Margaret Blaine" the alien in a number of Doctor Who episodes) were relatively unknown bit-part actors. Once H&P were well-known comedians, better known stars appeared in their shows, Steve Davis even played foil to the two cabbies in one episode.

DVD box sets

All 10 seasons are now released on DVD, available in region 4 from Australia (No special features or extras, simple DVD transfer)

External links

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