Gareth Hale and Norman Pace


Renfield the Butler


Talent TV for BBC One, 28 April to 1 June 1999 (6 episodes in 1 series)


First, a point of pedantry - this show is actually called h&p@bbc. (with a full stop at the end) but our computer won't display it that way. Put it this way: it's the least of our concerns given the review about to come.

This show was one of those over-earnest attempts to "bring back variety" for the modern audience, hence the Internet-inspired title reeling in the zeitgeist of, oh, at least four years previously.

Instead of a proper interview feature of sorts, celebrities were asked general knowledge quiz questions (never a good idea) and given points but there was no game, or indeed winner, as such. Another quiz invited members of the public to listen to things underwater by putting their head into a tank and buzzing in when they recognised the piece of music or whatever - might be fun to play but it was impossible to enjoy watching.

An item called "Good Sports" defiled the good nature of sporting personalities such as John Inverdale, John Motson and Annabel Croft who were required to guess the price of a lip-mike, a sports bra and strawberries & cream from Wimbledon; answer questions about the offside rule in hockey; while poor John Motson was asked to give the dates of his wedding anniversary and wife's birthday.

In the Screen Test, members of the public were edited into classic films using clever technology, and other items involved pranks with members of the public, a kind of Stars in Their Eyes effort, and Gareth & Norman getting something for nothing a la Mighty Truck of Stuff.


It got 3.03m in ratings. The final episode went out at 11.50pm.


Pale and Hace? The left half's Pace, the right half's Hale


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