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In at the Deep End

HEADLINE VEHICLE for ubiquitous have-a-go merchants CHRIS SERLE and PAUL HEINEY moonlighting from THAT’S LIFE to assume preposterous gigs in preposterous professions all in the name of television. Seemed to always be on in the 80s, and for many the sight of Paul trying to direct the video for Bananarama’s ‘Trick of the Night’ is what that decade will always be about. Quite rightly, we’re saying. Other “assignments”: working as press photographer for the Daily Mirror; fashion designer; bookmaker (they were short of ideas that week); opera singer; shepherd (ditto); auctioneer; and snooker partner to Steve Davis.



  1. Schnozzer

    July 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    What about Paul Heiney doing, what’ll i call it, a stand up comedy routine? At a posh dinner attended by hundreds he was dressed him up as a “washer woman” doing her ironing and complaining about her lot in life. The jokes were atrocious and Paul said afterwards all he could hear was rattling of cutlery and glasses whilst his audience, seemingly oblivious to him, carried on enjoying their meal. I still wake in the night in cold sweats thinking about this episode. I’d hate to think what Paul thinks looking back.

  2. droogie

    August 24, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I vividly remember the Heiny episode when he tried comedy. The poor sod didn’t stand a chance. He had a rotten 5 minute routine written for him by Jimmy Perry of Dad’s Army that was full of dated jokes about landladies and stuff.( one line went something like ” I won’t say she’s fat, but she’s got so many double chins she looks like she’s staring over a plate of pancakes.” ) Heiny performed it first at the Comedy Store and died a death in front of the alternative comedy audience. Then some genius thought they could make it funnier by having him perform the routine in drag, but he died even more badly at the posh dinner bash. There’s also a great episode on youtube where Heiny has to learn how to be a movie hardman for a small role in the terrible Michael Caine comedy Water. He goes around Oliver Reed’s house for tips on how to play a tough guy, but Ollie gets frustrated after 5 minutes with Heiny and physically throws him out of the house. It’s hilarious!

  3. Glenn Aylett

    May 10, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    I remember poor old Paul Heiney and his stand up routine where he was met with total indifference by the people at the dinner party. To be fair, he had been given the sort of material that would make Little and Large look like The Two Ronnies and he had to bravely try and get a reaction from the switched off guests, who were more interested in their next glass of wine. However, old Paul was a real trooper with all his challenges and he survived the wrath of Ollie Reed.

  4. Richardpd

    May 10, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    I remember the idea was revived a decade later with Jobs For The Girls, where Linda Robson & Pauline Quirke tried various occupations post Birds of a Feather.

    The one with army horses had a pre-fame appearance by James Blunt that’s been used a lot of clip shows.

    There was a follow up Jobs For The Boys with Hale & Pace doing the same stuff.

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