|“||Hokey-cokey, pig in a pokey! Good morning, job seekers!||„|
|~ Pauline's catchphrase.|
|“||You can shout out as many jobs as you like, Ross! You're never gonna bloody get one, you worthless dole scum!||„|
|~ Pauline Campbell-Jones expressing her contempt for the unemployed.|
Pauline Campbell-Jones is a character in the black comedy series The League of Gentlemen. She is a Restart officer at Roysten Vasey's job centre who openly despises the "dole scum" who attend her course and has a strange fixation with pens. Despite her generally unpleasant attitude and behavior, she was exceptionally affectionate to Mickey M. Michaels, a simple minded young man who attended her course, and eventually married him at the end of the series.
She was portrayed by Steve Pemberton.
The League of Gentlemen (1999-2002)
Pauline treats all of the unemployed men who attend her Restart course in an extremely condescending manner, mocking them for their percieved lack of intelligence, despite not being paticularly smart herself. Among the unemployed men attending Pauline's restart course is Ross Gaines, who is considerably more intelligent than her. Throughout Series One, Ross frequently tries to embarrass Pauline when she asks him to assist her in demonstrations, but Pauline often resorts to physical violence in order to secure the upper hand. The other main character at the job centre is Mickey, a simple minded young man with dreams of being a fireman. While she openly despises Ross, usually telling him to "piss off" and attacking him, she shows genuine fondness towards Mickey, often calling him "Mickey Luv". Pauline despises the "dole scum" and will take every opportunity to belittle them. One of her strange quirks is an obsession with pens, treating them as her friends and demanding them back after use. When Ross reveals his true nature and confiscates the pens, Pauline is devastated and pleads to keep them. When she and Ross conduct a mock interview with the former as the interviewer, he asks her to respond to a series of workds he gives with the first thing that comes to mind; when he says 'family', she answers with 'dead'.
In the final episode of Season 1, Ross reveals he is an undercover agent who has been monitering Pauline and her course. Naturally, his report on her methods results in her losing her job, and in Series 2 she is forced to attend the course herself, now headed by Cathy Carter-Smith. Smith quickly turns out to be even worse than Pauline ever was, and Pauline stands up for Mickey when Smith calls him stupid. The two eventually secure jobs at a burger resturant, but they are fired after Pauline sabotages Ross's veggie burger in revenge. Eventually, Pauline and Mickey hold Ross hostage in a desperate attempt to get her old job back, but no one takes notice due to the nosebleed epidemic sweeping through Roysten Vasey. When Mickey gets hungry, Pauline sneaks out to get him food, and during this time Ross tricks Mickey into freeing him. When she returns to the job centre, Pauline is arrested by the police, just before she is able to bite into the sandwich she bought for Mickey from Eunice Evans' sandwhich stall, ironically saving her from being poisoned.
In Series 3, Pauline is shown imprisoned at HM Clitchlink Prison, where she had become the leader of her prison block, extorting pens from Eunice (now known as 'The Royston Poisoner') in exchange for use of 'The Exochet'. Ross makes a deal with Pauline, granting her an early release in exchange for recovering information on how Mickey's family has been cheating the empolyment system, but Pauline begins to feel guilty over taking part in the scheme. While the two are at a crossdressing party, she and Mickey have sex, cementing their love for one another, and they become engaged. She visits Ross to explain that their deal is off, and has sex with him to ensure he doesn't tell Mickey of her involvment in the plan. Despite agreeing to not tell Mickey of her part in the scheme, Ross decides to tell Mickey about his affair with Pauline, out of spite for her for making him "hate [his] job", so Pauline rushes to get to Mickey before he can answer Ross's phone call. She is nearly hit by the Legz Akimbo van (driven by Geoff Tipps), but is save by Lance Longthorn, who sacrifices his life to save hers.
In the final scenes of Series 3, Pauline and Mickey's wedding is shown, where even Ross applauds the happy couple.
Pauline makes a few appearances in the 2005 feature length movie The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, but as a minor character. As a storm brews in the town of Royston Vasey she witnesses the arm on the war memorial statue get blown off by lightening. Feeling uneasy at the violent weather, she heads to the local church to see Reverend Bernice Woodall (which coincides with the arrival of vet Matthew Chinnery) and find out what is going on. Bernice leads the pair of them into catacombs under the church and shows them murals of devastation, and explains that there is another dimension beyond their own which should give them the answers to what is happening and a way to prevent the disaster. Bernice had already sent three people through the gateway (being that of Edward & Tubbs Tattsyrup and Papa Lazarou) and decides they are the next to go through to continue the mission. However this fails when Geoff Tipps, Herr Lipp and Hilary Briss sneak through the door which leads to the "real world" and end up locking it.
A few days later the town is in complete devestation. Tipps and Lipp return to Royston Vasey with three men Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, who are the creators of their world. Outside the church Pauline appears with several of the other residents and reads out some ideas to their creators for their TV Show. This interaction is disrupted by the arrival of another character from a different world called Erasmus Pea, causing Pauline and the others to scatter.
After Pea's defeat and the none deliberate deaths of the three creators, the world of Royston Vasey returns to normal. Pauline and Bernice embrace and look like they are about to kiss, however decide to gaze into the horizon instead.
The League of Gentlemen (2017 Anniversary Specials)
Pauline appears in the 2017 anniversary specials that celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the series. She is still married to Micky, but suffers some form of dementia, which leads to Micky, Ross and several other people reenacting the restart course to make her come round. During this roleplay Pauline still believes she is a restart officer, but begins to become confused and forgets her lines. A doctor and Micky insist that Ross writes something on the board, and when he reluctantly does Pauline hits him with it, showing that she is still her old self.
In the second episode, Pauline ends up being accidentally murdered by Geoff Tips, who mistook her for Mike's morbidly obese wife Cheryl (having not realised that the two had moved to a bungalow four years prior). Micky returns home from his job as a fireman and is devastated to find Pauline's dead body.
The League of Gentlemen Live Again! (2018 stage show)
In the 2018 stage show, which acts as a continuation from the anniversary specials, Mickey and Ross hold Pauline's funeral. However Pauline turns up at the funeral alive and well, and it is revealed that she had faked her dementia as well as her death as part of a life insurance scam that she had set up, which has earned her and Mickey a lot of money. She then reveals her plans for them to move to France and settle down, and sets Mickey off to pack. However Ross reveals that he is still clamping down on fraudsters and threatens to report Pauline. Pauline responds by having Ross thrown into her empty coffin and taken away to be cremated before leaving for France with Mickey.
- Similar to other characters, Pauline is partially based off of individuals the League of Gentlemen have encountered in real life. The idea of the character came from Reece Shearsmith's experience at being at a restart course in 1992, and Shearsmith admitted there are people like Pauline in the world.
- Reece Shearsmith was originally intended to play Pauline in the League of Gentlemen's first live show, with Steve Pemberton being intended to play Papa Lazarou. The switched roles after Shearsmith expressed reluctance to play Pauline.
- In series 3, Pauline's appearance is likened to Deirdre Rachid (or Barlow), a long-running character in the soap opera Coronation Street. Similar to Pauline, Deirdre was also sent to prison within Coronation Street, which is referenced to in The League of Gentlemen.