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Hudson and Halls: then and now

They were the original TV cooking stars, now Hudson and Halls' story is being revisited for New Zealand audiences.

Who could forget the banter, the bickering, the fabulous food and, of course, the even more fabulous love story.

In the closet with the door wide open, New Zealand’s original television chefs Peter Hudson and David Halls brought gastronomic genius to a country that still relied on the Edmond’s Cookery Book.

But while their stars shone bright from the moment they burst onto our screens in 1976, until their deaths in 1992 and 1993 – Peter dying of cancer first, followed by a grief-stricken David a year later – few modern-day youth would have heard about the camp cooking duo.

Actors Todd Emerson and Chris Parker are about to change that – and along with director Kip Chapman, are bringing Hudson and Halls back to the spotlight for another round of the stage show Hudson and Halls Live!.

In honour of the TV chefs, Todd, Chris and the Weekly set about recreating some of the boys’ best-known looks from our old archive copies of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.

The pair had a blast recreating these looks – almost as much fun as they have each night on the stage.

“I want the audience to walk away from the show having spent a couple of hours remembering how funny, endearing and wonderful these two men were,” says Todd, who portrays Peter Hudson.

“I feel like they are unsung Kiwi heroes who are starting to be forgotten.”

Chris, who plays David Halls, agrees. “I hope we can bring back Peter and David and allow their legacy to live on in the hearts of those who enjoyed watching them back in the day, but also introduce them to a new generation.”

While honoured to be playing such Kiwi institutions, Todd and Chris say the live stage show, which is currently playing at Auckland’s Q Theatre until July 9, has had its challenges. But it has only made them both appreciate just how difficult it must have been to cook and argue at the same time.

“The logistics of cooking live on stage whilst in character and trying to move the plot forward is a nightmare!” laughs Todd, with Chris adding, “It’s a fun challenge, though!”

To hear more from Tom Emerson, see this week’s issue of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.

Todd and Chris recreate the famous duo’s pic.

It’s almost tough to spot the difference.

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