FOR decades Australian comedy doyennes Paul McDermott and Steven Gates crossed paths as members of legendary groups Doug Anthony All Stars and Tripod, working as closely as you can without actually ever working together.
But a night in Ballarat in 2017 changed that for the pair as they took to the stage in one-off crafted show specially made for the Ballarat Cabaret Festival.
The success of that show has seen the duo finally team up for a national tour, with a Ballarat stop-off right on top of the agenda.
"The first show we ever did was part of the Ballarat Cabaret Festival," McDermott told The Coruier.
"The organiser had heard we were doing bits and pieces together, we were just shuffling some songs via Facetime in a hope that maybe one day we could work on a show.
VIDEO: CHECK OUT PAUL McDERMOTT AND STEVEN GATES PERFORMING IN BALLARAT
"We got the show together, that Ballarat Show is the best one we've done."
That one-off spawned a sequel with a sold-out show at this year's Adelaide Fringe Festival, and subsequent performances at the Port Fairy and Woodford Folk Festivals.
"Our idea was to do some pretty songs, Steven has a beautiful voice and so we thought we'd just going to do sweet songs, a bit of a chat, a bit of banter, talk about how we met," McDermott said.
"We wanted to do the Melbourne Comedy Festival so we arked up the comedy for it, kept going in that direction and it proved to be a success."
The duo kicked off their national tour in Gosford on Tuesday night before visits to Newcastle, Dubbo and Orange.
McDermott said he admitted to a few nerves heading into drought affected areas when the show opens with a discussion about "white, middle-class privilege".
"There's a lot more important things going on in the world, but there's been a real social media push from those communities for us to come in and do our show," he said.
"We do a lot of ad-libbing. If something changes in our audience, we can discuss it immediately. For example, when we played Lismore, I'm not sure if there's a lot of the audience that had been to theatre shows because they were conversing with us like the TV was on, maybe not quite the understanding of the fourth wall.
"It was the first time in I'd been heckled by a chip packet, normally there's a reverence that comes from the audience after we do some poignant numbers near the end, but instead of hearing pins drop, it was one fella rustling his chip packet.
"He knew exactly what he was doing as well, he came up to us after the show and asked me to sign it."
McDermott who sported a now departed full beard in the short-lived quiz show Think Tank and hosted Good News Week for many years said he would relish an opportunity to bring either show back to television.
He said the changes in the world in the last decade meant it more important than ever to have a satirical program like Good News Week on the screens.
"I would have loved to be part of GNW when Tony Abbott was Prime Minister," he said. "And now you've got Trump, Boris Johnson, ScoMo, there's so much happening in the world, maybe all that starting can be traced to the time the ABC dumped Good News Week."
Paul McDermott and Gatesy Go Solo heads to Ballarat on November 22 at Ballarat Civic Hall. Tickets $49-59 and are available from hermaj.com/events
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.