Roy and HG

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Roy and HG
MediumRadio, television, books
Years active1986–present
GenresSatire, improvisational, blue Comedy, deadpan
Subject(s)Sport, Australian culture, Australian politics
Notable works and rolesThis Sporting Life
Roy & HG's State Of Origin Commentary
Club Buggery
The Dream
The Ice Dream
The Memphis Trousers Half Hour
Roy & HG's Russian Revolution
Bludging on the Blindside
Dodging Armageddon
WebsiteABC webpage

Roy and HG are an Australian comedy duo, comprising Greig Pickhaver in the role of "H. G. Nelson" and John Doyle as "'Rampaging' Roy Slaven". Their act is an affectionate but irreverent parody of Australia's obsession with sport. Their characters are based on stereotypes in sports journalism: Nelson the excitable announcer, and Slaven the retired sportsman turned expert commentator. In his 1996 book Petrol, Bait, Ammo & Ice, Pickhaver summarised the duo's comedic style as "making the serious trivial and the trivial serious".

The duo's long-running triple j radio program This Sporting Life was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2013,[1] and the This Sporting Life 30th anniversary retrospective collection won the ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release in 2016.[2]

Since March 2020, Roy and HG's weekly show Bludging on the Blindside airs on Saturday afternoons on ABC Sport, ABC Local Radio, and the ABC Listen app, as well as podcast platforms.

It was reported in July 2021 that Roy & HG would host Dodging Armageddon, a daily podcast for ABC Radio with an Olympics theme, which will air throughout the XXXII Olympiad's competitions.[3]


triple j[edit]

Doyle and Pickhaver wrote and hosted the live, improvised, and satirical radio program This Sporting Life on triple J from 1986 to 2008.[4] They also broadcast annual live commentaries of the NRL and AFL Grand Finals (dubbed the Festival of the Boot, Parts I and II) and the Melbourne Cup. Commentaries for all three matches of rugby league's annual State of Origin series are also broadcast (main article: Roy and HG's State of Origin commentary), and they have also broadcast live commentaries of other major events, including the Bicentennial celebrations on 26 January 1988 and the 2007 Australian federal election (Indecision 07). They also provided a half-hour coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics every weekday under the guise of the Golden Ring Show.

At conclusion, 'This Sporting Life' held the record as the longest-running program in the history of triple j.[5]

Triple M[edit]

Starting 12 January 2009, the duo presented the drive-time program The Life on the Triple M network,[6] on Mondays and Fridays. In 2011, 'The Life' show was cut to Fridays only,[7] with the last episode broadcast on 25 November 2011.[8] 'Roy & HG's Mardi Gras of Medals' – their coverage of the Rio Olympic Games – was broadcast on Triple M in August 2016.

A weekly program, 'The Sporting Probe with Roy & HG' commenced broadcast in January 2017 and ran for two years until December 2018. The show aired from 10:00 am to midday on Saturday in 2017, and in the same timeslot on Sunday in 2018. All episodes are available as a podcast.[9]

Macquarie Sports Radio[edit]

In 2019, Roy and HG presented Just Short of a Length on the Macquarie Sports Radio network.[10] Nine Radio have not renewed programming contacts for 2020 and beyond with Roy and HG after dropping the unpopular MSR branded talk format and returning to a music format for their Sydney 2UE, Melbourne 3EE aka Magic 1278, and Brisbane 4BH assets. All three stations reverting to their original historical station ID call signs.

ABC Radio[edit]

Between 2012-16, Roy and HG resumed their Festival Of The Boot AFL and NRL grand final commentaries on ABC NewsRadio.

In March 2020, Roy and HG returned to ABC Sport to present a new weekly Saturday afternoon show entitled Bludging on the Blindside. The show is broadcast on ABC Sport digital radio and the ABC Listen app, and broadcast on ABC Local Radio in NSW, ACT and QLD. All episodes are available on podcast platforms soon after initial broadcast.

In July 2021, it was announced that Roy & HG will be presenting a daily Olympic games podcast for ABC Radio, entitled 'Dodging Armageddon'.[3]



After several years on radio, Roy and HG transferred the radio show's format to a series of ABC television shows, including Blah Blah Blah (1988) (where they were only seen in silhouette),[11] This Sporting Life (1993–94),[11] the Logie award-winning Club Buggery (1995–97) and its successor The Channel Nine Show (1998), Planet Norwich (1998; made in the UK) and The Memphis Trousers Half Hour (2005; taped in Sydney but performed as if broadcast from the United States).


In 1997, the duo featured in an ad campaign for Foster's Lager in the United Kingdom, featuring the recurring tagline, "Tickle it, you wrigglers!". Their British profile increased, they subsequently appeared as recurring guests on the 1998 BBC one series, "The Ben Elton Show" a stand up / variety show fronted by Elton, but also featuring the return of Ronnie Corbett's 'armchair monologue' in a regular slot, and a different musical guest each week.

Seven Network[edit]

After transferring to the commercial Seven Network in the late 1990s, they presented Win Roy & H.G.'s Money (2000), an unsuccessful adaptation of the US hit Win Ben Stein's Money. They later succeeded with higher-rating shows The Monday Dump and The Nation Dumps.

Their biggest hit was their top-rating commentary-interview television program The Dream with Roy and HG (from the Sydney 2000 Olympics), featuring their own special outlook on the event.[12] The Dream was followed by three spinoffs – The Ice Dream (from the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics), The Cream (from the 2003 Rugby World Cup), and more recently The Dream again for the Athens 2004 Olympics.[12] During the Ice Dream they launched a bid for the Winter Olympics to be held at Smiggin Holes, in the humorous Smiggin Holes 2010 Winter Olympic bid with suggested slogans "Unleash the Mighty Mongrel", "Winter Wonder Down Under" and "If you've got the poles, we've got the holes." Dream-style coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, called the Dribble mit HG und Roy, was streamed via the Internet.

Roy and H.G.'s sport shows were filmed in front of a live studio audience, segments including discussion between the two characters, interview with athletic guests and pre-recorded sports commentary. The humour of the duo's sports commentary came from their mock-serious tone which belied the innuendo and invented terminology that they used to describe the on-screen action. The pair would state fictitious "facts" about the competitors' occupations, histories and personalities. Roy & H.G. would also describe fictitious aspects of the competition venues, such as the so-called "Gobbler's Gulch" section of the Salt Lake City luge track.[13]

Roy and HG were not selected by Channel Seven to cover the Beijing Olympics because of security concerns and the belief by Channel Seven management that the style of their coverage – going to air live following a day's events – would not have suited Australian audiences given Australia's time zones.[14] Instead, a daily radio programme, The Golden Ring Show, was broadcast on triple j, with Roy styled as "Crouching Tiger" and H.G. as "the Hidden Dragon".

The Memphis Trousers Half Hour[edit]

In 2005, they presented The Memphis Trousers Half Hour, a TV show they claimed was recorded in different American cities such as Baltimore or Albuquerque, ensuring that 'Australia is the flavour of the month, every month'. The show screened weekly on the ABC on Saturday nights and was named after an incident in which former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser lost his trousers in a Memphis hotel.

The show, seemingly filmed in the United States, was in fact filmed entirely in Sydney. The format was a parody of American talk shows and pretended to present Americans with new 'facts' about Australia.

Network Ten[edit]

Roy and HG joined Network Ten for their Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics coverage, where they hosted a commentary show called Roy and HG's Russian Revolution. HG Nelson also joined Stephen Quartermain and Alisa Camplin for the Sochi Tonight daily show.[15][16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year & Ceremony For Award Result
1990 ARIA Awards Rampaging Roy... The Life and Times of Roy Slaven ARIA Award for Best Comedy Release Nominated
1991 ARIA Awards Wicket to Wicket Best Comedy Release Nominated
1997 Logie Awards Club Buggery Most Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Won[17]
1997 Logie Awards Club Buggery Most Popular Comedy Program Nominated[18]
1998 Logie Awards Club Buggery Most Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Nominated[19]
2001 Logie Awards The Dream with Roy and HG Most Popular Sports Program Won [20]
2001 Logie Awards The Dream with Roy and HG Most Outstanding Comedy Program Nominated
2002 Logie Awards The Monday Dump Most Popular Sports Program Nominated
2002 Logie Awards The Monday Dump Most Outstanding Comedy Program Nominated
2003 Australian Comedy Awards 17 years of radio & television work Outstanding Performers Won [21]
2003 Australian Comedy Awards 17 years of radio work Outstanding Networked Radio Comedy Performance Won [21]
2003 Logie Awards The Ice Dream Most Outstanding Comedy Program Nominated
2003 Logie Awards The Monday Dump Most Popular Sports Program Nominated
2004 Logie Awards The Cream with Roy and HG Most Popular Sports Program Nominated [22]
2005 Logie Awards The Dream in Athens Most Popular Sports Program Nominated
2016 ARIA Awards This Sporting Life Best Comedy Release Won

Published works[edit]

  • 1989: Pants Off: This Sporting Life, by Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson (book)[23]
  • 1996: Petrol, Bait, Ammo & Ice by H.G. Nelson, with a foreword by Roy Slaven; illustrated by Reg Mombassa (book)[24]
  • 2000: The Dream with Roy and HG: The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, (DVD)[25]


Name Album details Peak chart positions
Roy - The Life and Times of Rampaging Roy Slaven
(Roy solo)
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: ABC Records (ISBN 0-642-12950-9)
  • Format: Cassette
Wicket To Wicket -
Pound for Pound with Roy and HG -
Tool Talk and Wise Cracks with Roy and HG -
Roy & HG Present Allan Border: Cricket's First Saint -
This Sporting Life
  • Released: August 2016[5]
  • Label: ABC/ Universal Music (4743881)
  • Format: CD, Digital download

Influence on artists in other media[edit]

In 2001 a portrait of Roy & HG by visual artist Paul Newton won the Packing Room Prize and the People's Choice award at the Archibald Prize.[30]


  1. ^ National Film and Sound Archive: Sounds of Australia.
  2. ^ Awards, ARIA. "ARIA Awards 2016 announced".
  3. ^ a b Grahame, Evan Morgan (12 July 2021). "Battered sav, Fatso and a cup of hot fat: Roy and HG's best Olympic moments". ABC News. ABC. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Roy and HG abandon the Jays as Jones unbeaten". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 December 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Roy & HG to release the best of This Sporting Life". Double J. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  6. ^ Media release—"triple j presenters: Hello & Goodbye". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
  7. ^ "Molloy, Page and more move to Triple M Sydney - Music Media - the Music Network". Archived from the original on 7 January 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Podcast | Roy and HG | the Life | Triple M". Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  9. ^ Triple M, Radio. "The Sporting Probe". triple M.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Morfesse, Luke (27 September 1993). "This 'sophisticated' life". Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995). p. 32. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  12. ^ a b Smith, James (15 January 2018). "Why Roy and HG socialising together is a bad idea". Inside Sport. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  13. ^ "- YouTube".
  14. ^ The Australian Seven goes into morning over Roy and H.G. demise
  15. ^ "TEN signs Roy and HG for Winter Olympics | TV Tonight".
  16. ^ "Roy and HG to medal with Sochi Olympics on Ten". 23 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Tall Poppies: 1997 Logie Award Winners". Archived from the original on 10 June 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  18. ^ "Australian Television: 1994–1997 Logie Awards". T. Zuk. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  19. ^ "Australian Television: 1998 Logie Awards". T. Zuk. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  20. ^ "Logie award winners 2001". 3 May 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  21. ^ a b "Two gongs for Roy and HG". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 November 2003. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  22. ^ "2004 Logies nominations". The Age ( 16 April 2004. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  23. ^ Nelson, H. G.; Roy Slaven (1989). Pants off, this sporting life. Crows Nest, N.S.W.: ABC Enterprises for Australian Broadcasting Corporation. p. 143. ISBN 0-642-12888-X.
  24. ^ Nelson, H. G.; Roy Slaven; Reg Mombassa (1996). Petrol, bait, ammo & ice. Book. Pan Macmillan. p. 220. ISBN 9780330357906. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  25. ^ Doyle ('Slaven'), John ('Roy'); Greig Pickhaver ('H. G. Nelson') (c. 2000). The dream with Roy and H. G: the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Todd Abbott, Colin Bromley. Sydney, N.S.W.: Warner Vision Australia [distributor]. pp. 7 hrs., 12 mins.
  26. ^ "Roy and HG at Australian Charts". Australian Charts. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  27. ^ Doyle, John; Nelson, H. G; Triple J (Radio station : Sydney, N.S.W.) (1993), Pound for pound, [Australia] : ABC, ISBN 9780642177216, retrieved 17 May 2019
  28. ^ Slaven, Roy; Nelson, H.G. (1993). Tool talk and wise cracks with Roy and HG (Audiobook cassette). New South Wales: ABC. ISBN 0-642-17785-6.
  29. ^ Slaven, Roy; Nelson (1995). Roy & HG present Allan Border: cricket's first saint (1 compact disc). H.G. Triple J: ABC. ISBN 0-642-17819-4.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "Archibald Prize Archibald 2001 finalist: Roy and HG (John Doyle and Greig Pickhaver) by Paul Newton". Retrieved 4 June 2018.

External links[edit]