Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere

Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere
Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere
Format Sitcom
Created by Peter Kay
Patrick McGuinness
Written by Peter Kay
Patrick McGuinness
Directed by Peter Kay
Starring Peter Kay
Patrick McGuinness
Lisa Hammond
Craig Cheetham
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Executive producer(s) Phil McIntyre
Producer(s) Lesley McNeil
Editor(s) Peter Hallworth
Cinematography Martin Hawkins
Andy Hibbert
Running time 30 Mins (inc. adverts)
Original channel Channel 4
Picture format 16:9
Original run 12 November –
17 December 2004
Preceded by Phoenix Nights (2001–02)
Followed by Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice (2008)

Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere was an award-winning British comedy television show on Channel 4 starring and written by Peter Kay and Patrick McGuinness. All the episodes were also directed by Kay. It began on 12 November 2004 and ran for six 30 minute episodes up until 17 December 2004, with each episode airing at 9.30pm. A nationwide billboard poster campaign promoted the series with posters in the style of those for movies such as The Cannonball Run.

The veteran singer Tony Christie was also promoted as singing the show's theme, but his version was only used once; at the very end of the final episode. Kay and McGuinness themselves sang it in the opening sequences of Episodes 2 to 6, chiming: "Don't know where we're going, Got no way of knowing, Driving on the Road To Nowhere, Sponging for a living, Checkin' out the women, Riding on the Road To Nowhere... And we don't take shit from anyone, The only thing we wanna do is have some fun, It's Max and Paddy, Paddy and Max, And best of all we don't pay council tax". The tune (co-written by Toni Baker & Peter Kay) borrowed heavily from the theme to the 1970s American series B.J. and the Bear.

This spin off from Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights follows the two Bolton doormen/bouncers Maxwell "Max" Bygraves (Kay) and Patrick "Paddy" O'Shea (McGuinness) as they wind their way around Britain in their campervan. The key reason why they are on the open road is never mentioned in the series however: they took £8,000 from a woman in the second series of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights to kill her husband, but never properly went through with the job. When she discovered this, they hit the road in the van to escape the possible consequences. Although this series was broadcast two years after Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, the action seems to be set immediately afterwards. However the Motor Home they purchased in Phoenix Nights is a Ford, and the Motor Home they use in Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere is actually a Fiat.

Max is the older and more sensible of the two, roughly 40 years old, and usually pretending to have more life experience than he has actually had, including a stint in the army. Paddy is a cheeky and likely lad obsessed with sex, pornography, food, and several strange but funny catchphrases such as "Ding Dang Doo". Max often coldly stares at Paddy or anyone who has offended his tastes and often shouts "H-how dare you!". He also calls people a clown or a melon if they've said something absurd.

A spoof fitness DVD was released, Max & Paddy's The Power of Two, including several gags and pieces of scenery from the main series. The DVD also included extra workout tips and a segment instructed by Brian Potter live from the Phoenix Club. On the DVD packaging, it is now referred to as "The UK's fastest selling fitness DVD - Ever!". Although the main workout is shown in full, it is more intended as a spoof product than a genuine workout.

A second series of the show was initially planned for 2006, but Peter Kay instead confirmed a third series of Phoenix Nights (which as of February 2011, has not yet happened), along with possible specials of Max and Paddy.


Episode guide

Episode 1 (4.2m viewers)

Paddy teaches Max "cool moves"

In Dover, Max and Paddy buy a plasma television from an Irish crook called Gypsy Joe. This leads to several arguments, especially when they realise the television doesn't have any speakers. The pair thus decide to go out to a nightclub to let off some steam and forget their troubles, but Max's uncoordinated dancing spoils the night and he ends up fighting with some sailors home on shore leave. Paddy teaches him a few cool moves the following day, and they return to the club dressed as sailors in order to blend in. Their new moves lure two local girls, Tracey and Louise, back to the campervan, only for one of them to steal Paddy's wallet. After discovering the girls, locally known as the 'Belgrano Sisters', are infamous for this, they get some payback by forcing them to steal some speakers for their television.

Episode 2 (3.26m viewers)

"Magnet and Steel"

After a brush with a porn film shoot (a film called Willy Wanker and the Chocolate Factory - a porn parody of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) goes wrong for Paddy (initially believing he would naturally be working in a heterosexual porn film, he finds out otherwise), the campervan breaks down in the Midlands. The pair hand it over to a local garage run by Mick Bustin, played by British rocker Noddy Holder. To kill time, Max and Paddy catch the train to Middlewood, which actually turns out to be the last one that day, so the pair are forced to go for a walk in the woods, but quickly become lost. After Max shows a bemused Paddy his notebook filled with drawings of a television programme he's invented called "Magnet and Steel", the pair reluctantly decide to sleep rough in the woods. Paddy quickly causes ill feeling by burning Max's book on their campfire, but Max soon comes around and begins talking, accompanied by a flashback, about his one true love: a dwarf (see dwarfism) called Tina, who he met in 1994.

He goes on to say that the relationship abruptly ended after she overheard him and his friends making jokes about her height. The following morning, the two discover to their dismay that they were a short walk away from a Petrol Station and a Travelodge. Things get worse when Mick Bustin tries to charge them £500 to retrieve the campervan, causing the pair to break into Bustin's workshop and, in a parody of The A-Team, modify the van and 'bust' out back on to the road, only for the van to break down again miles later, Mick Bustin having never actually made any repairs.

This episode features several regulars from Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, and a homage to the movie Midnight Cowboy. We also find out here that Paddy's full name is Patrick O'Shea. This joke is based around the rumour that Sunderland player John O'Shea is regularly teased by team-mates for his physical resemblance to Patrick McGuinness.

Episode 3 (3.01m viewers)

The stolen bus

The pair now go down to London, and immediately have a run-in with the traffic police. Later, Max spots in a local newspaper a 40th birthday message for his old school friend Kevin 'The Wolfster' Wolfson, who had moved to London some years before. Max and Paddy turn up unannounced at his birthday party and surprise 'The Wolfster', as well as several other old faces from home present for the party. Things turn sad though when Tina (played by Lisa Hammond), Max's one true love mentioned in the previous episode, turns up. Max awkwardly talks to her, and things get even worse when he realises that she is actually married to, and has a child with, The Wolfster.

However, the child, a 10 year old boy called Daniel, is actually Max's son. Tina warns Max to stay away and not blow the secret, but the following morning he ropes Paddy in and the pair steal what they think is a school bus with young Daniel aboard. They've got the wrong bus however, and are soon accosted by the police and sent directly to prison. The actor/comedian Reece Shearsmith turns up in this episode as one of Max's old friends. The 'Row Row Row Your Boat' sequence on the bus is borrowed from Dirty Harry, and in the scene where The Wolfster writes his telephone number on a beermat and hands it to Max, it is clearly a Peter Kay beermat, tying in with Kay's TV adverts for John Smith's bitter.

Episode 4 (3.16m viewers)

The duo living in luxury

The pair are now in prison together after the school bus incident. Paddy is forced to share a cell with a tennis-playing Cliff Richard impersonator who actually believes he is Cliff. After an uncomfortable first night, Paddy admits his fear of being 'bummed' (see sodomy) in the shower room. Max convinces him the best thing to do is make the other prisoners believe they are not just two silly doormen, but genuine big-league gangsters called 'The Phoenix Twins'. After an altercation with a camp inmate called Pepe, Max and Paddy are soon confronted by the main man of their wing, Raymond The Bastard (played by Everal Walsh), who is also Pepe's boyfriend. Raymond is the worse of Paddy's nightmares when Paddy drops the soap, and is eagerly commented about his manhood as "Stunning, like a young Burt Reynolds!". Raymond has heard about the pair's alleged big-money heists and robberies, and wants a cut of their money. Max agrees just to get Raymond off their backs and receive preferential treatment, including access to luxury chocolates and Sky+ .

Soon, their old Phoenix Club boss Brian Potter (played by Kay) unexpectedly comes to visit, along with a cake, announcing that he's organising several events to help speed up their release. They spurn him, not wanting a high profile campaign ruining their chances of release. Potter, as ever, fails to listen, and the whole wing later see him on the TV news talking about 'the doormen' Max and Paddy: thus showing up their tall stories as lies. A big fight is about to break out between Raymond and his henchmen against Max and Paddy. However, the fight is prevented by a prison officer telling Max and Paddy to come with him. The episode concludes with Tina, Max's ex-love, admitting to the authorities that Daniel is actually Max's son and he was acting under stress when he stole the bus. The pair are pardoned and get revenge on Brian Potter by informing the Home Office that there is an outbreak of anthrax at his club. We find out in this episode that Max's full name is Maxwell Bygraves, a jokey reference to the veteran British entertainer Max Bygraves.

Episode 5 (3.43m viewers)

A cow, run over

In the countryside, Paddy is driving the van when he accidentally knocks over and kills a cow walking in the road. Tracing the cow to a nearby farm, the pair go off to find the farmer and claim expenses for the damage to the van. They come across what they assume is him: an odd, scruffy old man in a field, who instead of giving them compensation money sells them a breeder pig for £100. He claims they can sell it on at market for around £300. When Max and Paddy reach the cattle market, they discover the pig has seen better days and they've been conned. After several unsuccessful attempts to sell the pig on to butchers shops, a supermarket, and even a Halal outlet, Max and Paddy decide to kill it themselves to get rid of the burden. They have a change of heart though and head back to the farm to reclaim their £100. They soon discover that the old man who sold them the pig initially was actually the drunken father-in-law of the real farmer, and their money has probably all gone to the nearest pub. Also the farmer isn't very happy about the two killing one of his cows... Guest starring Graham Walker of The Grumbleweeds.

Episode 6 (3.26m viewers)

Max and Paddy break the camera

Max and Paddy finally hit North East England to visit Max's old doorman friend Billy 'The Butcher' Shannon, who had previously briefly appeared in the 1994 flashback in Episode 2. They agree to let Shannon, who is looking for his estranged son, hitch a ride around. They soon discover though that he's obsessed with Max ("Not in a gay way" he claims), and irrationally hates Paddy. What they fail to notice at the same time is that Shannon is carrying a revolver, which he uses to force a Little Chef worker called Brenda (played by Alex Hall) to open for the trio late at night. The Little Chef is Whitemare Pool, near Boldon, Tyne and Wear. The police are quickly on to the gang, with only Shannon aware of any crime. When the campervan stops off later down the road, Max sees a newspaper headline and realises what's happening. Furthermore, Billy catches Paddy going through his stuff and prepares to shoot him.

A chase eventually ensues through the services and along a motorway tunnel bridge, and Shannon shoots Paddy in the bottom. He's on the verge of firing at Max too, but Paddy quickly recovers, and bashes Shannon around the head with a traffic cone, using Peter Kay's TV catchphrase of "'Ave It!" in the process. With Shannon now unconscious and arrested, Max and Paddy slip away from a police telling-off - due to the fact that earlier in the episode they cut down a speed camera - and escape into the night in the van.


On 22 February 2010, Peter Kay revealed to The Sun that he and Paddy McGuinness will be doing some more specials of Max and Paddy's Road To Nowhere. He also revealed that he wants Sir Terry Wogan to play an Irish baddie when Max and Paddy go to a funeral in Ireland but, after a stag night, only have fancy dress clothes.

DVD audio commentary

Kay and McGuinness do not provide the DVD audio commentary.

See also

  • Max and Paddy
  • Phoenix Nights
  • Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice

External links

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