In the 1980s I used to run away whenever Gareth Hale and Norman Pace appeared on television as their infamous comic creations, The Management. Whenever Ron and Ron appeared with their thinly-veiled threats, I used to scarper as fast as I could mind you I was only eight.

But I'm pleased to say in real life, Gareth Hale is not in the least bit frightening. In fact, he would still have been a teacher in south east London had he not shared a flat in Avery Hill with fellow student Norman Pace.

Now the ex-Kemnal Manor teacher is readying himself for a return to the area as he stars alongside one-time Blue Peter presenter Tim Vincent in the John Godber play, Bouncers.

Hale told Leisuretime: "I'm looking forward to coming back, this is still my home and I have a lot of mates who live in Dartford.

"You never know, I might get time to lose a few golf balls at the Sundridge Park course."

The title implies he will be playing the same sort of character as Ron from The Management, but in fact there are only slight overlaps.

Hale said: "I think the only reason I was picked for the role is because I was the right shape for it!

"But, on the serious side, I have performed in John Godber plays before and they must have thought I was right for the role. It is a very physical show but we all have a real laugh together."

Pressure is nothing new to Hale; for 10 years he and Pace dominated British television with their award-winning sketch shows. But having cut their teeth in one of the most-pressurised environments there is, they were well used to the demands of TV.

Hale admitted: "We used to do work at the Woolwich Tramshed. We were writing under immense pressure but it was always great fun.

"We were there in an era when Alexei Sayle, Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson were also performing. It was always fun.

"The Tramshed shut for a little while but it's great to see it up and running again. Hopefully they will be able to find a few of the stars of the future."

q Gareth Hale and Tim Vincent star in Bouncers at the Orchard Theatre, Home Gardens, Dartford, between March 25 and 30. For details of ticket prices and availability, call the box office on 01322 220000.

LEISURETIME has teamed up with The Orchard Theatre to give away five pairs of tickets to the hit comedy, Bouncers. To win, all you have to do is call Patrick John and tell him in your best bouncer or doorperson voice that "your name's not down, you're not coming in."

Or you can tell him in your best bouncer voice "It's mixed couples night and there are no jeans and trainers allowedmate."

So get your dinner suit on, call us on 01689 885716 and give your best impression of a bouncer and remember to leave us your name and phone number too.

March 22, 2002 17:30