The Likely Lads

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Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 12480
Rodney Bewes has died and never managed to patch things up with James Bolam after their falling out over forty years ago.

What I don't get is what he did that was so wrong that Bolam never spoke to him again.  It was over an interview Bewes gave in the press where, the story goes, "Bewes and his wife married and had daughter Daisy in 1973, then triplets Tom, Billy and Joe in 1976. It was a surprise, as they’d been expecting twins.  “When my three boys were born, the first place I went to that night was Jimmy’s house to tell him Denise had had three babies instead of two,” says Rodney.

“I remember Jimmy said, ‘Here’s a glass of wine.’ ”

The triplets played an curious part in the original fall-out between the two stars.

In the fateful press interview, Rodney recalled the moment Bolam’s wife, actress Susan Jameson, told her husband she was pregnant while he was driving.

She said: “Jimmy, you know Daphne had three babies at once... well, I’m just having the one.”

He promptly swerved on to the kerb and nearly hit a lamppost.

Rodney realised his innocent anecdote may have overstepped the mark so made the phone call that was his last-ever communication with Bolam."

What am I missing here ?  What bit of that is offensive or insulting to Bolam ?  The only thing I can think of is that it implied that Bewes was 'more of a man' if he managed to create triplets compared to Bolam's one child - but even then I'm stretching the limits of my imagination.  It would be pretty juvenile to take offence to that IMO.

If it's not that, then what is it about the above that Bolam took such offence to that he never spoke to Bewes again for the rest of his life, despite Bewes's repeated attempts to make friends again ?

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  • cj73cj73 Frets: 616
    So the score was 3-1?
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 13808
    edited November 2017
    cj73 said:
    So the score was 3-1?
    Could you not have put that in spoiler tags???

    [edit - and moved to Tributes]
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 1907
    I hadn't realised it was anything to do with their kids.  RIP, by the way, sorry to hear of his passing.

    I thought it as because Bolam wouldn't allow re-runs of The Likely Lads, as he'd moved on from there (When The Boat Comes In, etc)., where Bewes would have welcomed the income / contribution to pension pot.  I guess we'll never know, now.

    Sad they never got to resolve it, though...

    Grown most uncommonly fat!
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4171

    I've never understood this falling-out.  Clearly we're not getting the full story, but Bolam does not seem like a barrel of laughs and perhaps he's just the kind of person who doesn't stay in touch...

    RIP Rodney Bewes.

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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 316
    I wondered whatever happened to him ...

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  • cj73cj73 Frets: 616
    TTony said:
    cj73 said:
    So the score was 3-1?
    Could you not have put that in spoiler tags???

    [edit - and moved to Tributes]
    I think enough time has passed for people to realise England were beaten by 4 wickets.


    In serious mode, classic Brit comedy.  Another great gone
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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 4501
    I saw him play Basil Brush's straight man almost half a century ago.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4171
    Emp_Fab said:

    What am I missing here ?  What bit of that is offensive or insulting to Bolam ?  The only thing I can think of is that it implied that Bewes was 'more of a man' if he managed to create triplets compared to Bolam's one child - but even then I'm stretching the limits of my imagination.  It would be pretty juvenile to take offence to that IMO.

    If it's not that, then what is it about the above that Bolam took such offence to that he never spoke to Bewes again for the rest of his life, despite Bewes's repeated attempts to make friends again ?

    I've remembered a bit more about this now.  It wasn't the actual content of the story which caused the problem, it was the very fact that Bewes told it to the press - Bolam is, apparently, an intensely private person and on top of that when Bewes told the story, back in 1976, it wasn't even known to the public that Bolam's wife was pregnant.

    Bolam didn't like the fact that his personal life had been discussed in public, hence the falling out.  Hell of a long time to hold a grudge, though.
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 12480
    Oh right... I get it now.  Bit of a tool thing to do then, but perhaps not worth cutting someone out of your life forever for.  Maybe there was other shit going on between them that we are not privy to.
    98% shouting at clouds and 2% laminate flooring
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 485
    Emp_Fab said:
    Oh right... I get it now.  Bit of a tool thing to do then, but perhaps not worth cutting someone out of your life forever for.  Maybe there was other shit going on between them that we are not privy to.
    The same “spat” is also given as the reason why Bolam would never couternance a reshowing of The Likely Lads. I read somewhere that he didn’t want Bewes to receive any fees due for rerunning episodes.
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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 720
    Loved Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads.
     Shame about the 40 year spat.
    I take my hat off to Bewes for being the bigger man.
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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 12480
    exocet said:
    Emp_Fab said:
    Oh right... I get it now.  Bit of a tool thing to do then, but perhaps not worth cutting someone out of your life forever for.  Maybe there was other shit going on between them that we are not privy to.
    The same “spat” is also given as the reason why Bolam would never couternance a reshowing of The Likely Lads. I read somewhere that he didn’t want Bewes to receive any fees due for rerunning episodes.
    Ooh - now that's seriously mean.  I'm even more intrigued now.  There's no way the story we have supports such venom from Bolam.  Bewes must have done something pretty low - lower than just outing him being a father (which still isn't heinous) to warrant that kind of reaction.  Even if Bolam just despised Bewes as a person and couldn't wait to get off set after filming to get away from him, a-la Steptoe & Son doesn't ring true.  They were friends at one point.

    Oh well, who cares.  I'm turning into bloody 'Gossip' magazine !  I need to get a grip.
    98% shouting at clouds and 2% laminate flooring
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  • a piece of my child hood goes there - probably the first comedy programme I recall watching in the 70's - still seen a few shows on catch up and still liked it as and when watched

    RIP Rodney
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  • stickersticker Frets: 471

    "In the chocolate box of life, the top layer's already gone… and someone's pinched the orange cream from the bottom".

    Robert Andrew Scarborough Ferris .

    RIP Mr Rodney

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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 4767
    RIP
    I worked at a diy shop in Putney and Rodney Bewes was a regular. Really nice guy, very self effacing, not like a couple of other "don't you know who I am?" luvvies that used to come in. 
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  • Wasn't the spat because Jimmy could never get on with Thelma?
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4171
    Emp_Fab said:
    exocet said:
    Emp_Fab said:
    Oh right... I get it now.  Bit of a tool thing to do then, but perhaps not worth cutting someone out of your life forever for.  Maybe there was other shit going on between them that we are not privy to.
    The same “spat” is also given as the reason why Bolam would never couternance a reshowing of The Likely Lads. I read somewhere that he didn’t want Bewes to receive any fees due for rerunning episodes.
    Ooh - now that's seriously mean.  I'm even more intrigued now.  There's no way the story we have supports such venom from Bolam.  Bewes must have done something pretty low - lower than just outing him being a father (which still isn't heinous) to warrant that kind of reaction.  Even if Bolam just despised Bewes as a person and couldn't wait to get off set after filming to get away from him, a-la Steptoe & Son doesn't ring true.  They were friends at one point.

    Oh well, who cares.  I'm turning into bloody 'Gossip' magazine !  I need to get a grip.

    Keeping the gossip going...

    I read a couple of different versions of the Likely Lads "no repeats" story last night.  First, that Bolam blocked them from showing repeats until 1990, when he relented for some reason; then in 2002 he got the role in New Tricks and again asked for no more repeats of The Likely Lads (I don't receive the channels which show old BBC repeats, so I don't know if either or both of these are true).

    If true, that affected not only Bewes but everyone else who worked on the show, most of whom probably could've used the repeat fees.  A real case of I'm Alright Jack.

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  • Emp_FabEmp_Fab Frets: 12480
    Never thought of it from that angle.  Would all of the characters have the power of veto do you reckon, or just the title pair?
    98% shouting at clouds and 2% laminate flooring
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 4171

    No idea.  I know "The Ac-Tor" Martin Shaw was able to block repeats of The Professionals, until he heard that Gordon Jackson's widow was in financial difficulties and relented. 

    Maybe it is in the contracts of the major players, writers, directors etc that they have some kind of veto.

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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 4501
    Failure to repeat programmes due to the wishes/intransigence of one of the participants isn't new.

    The Professionals wasn't repeated for years because Martin Shaw thought it was crap and would harm his reputation as an actor.

    Apparently, the rights to Captain Scarlet ended up with Sylvia Anderson after her divorce from Gerry, and she refused to let them be repeated as she thought the whole indestructible thing could lead children to think they could be indestructible and put themselves in danger.

    And we won't even begin to talk about how big a shit Looby-Loo was when it came to repeating Andy Pandy...
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  • I can only vaguely remember the likely lads but recall that I thought it was very good at the time.  Always wondered why it hadn't been repeated.  Interesting if this is the case.  

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  • ESBlondeESBlonde Frets: 2203
    I can only vaguely remember the likely lads but recall that I thought it was very good at the time.  Always wondered why it hadn't been repeated.  Interesting if this is the case.  
    Yea whatever happend to them?

    Anyway I heard R4 repeat an interview by James Bolan recorded a year or two back on some lesser BBC radio show and the interviewer asked the question about frienship, the spat and repeats. Bolan said he enjoyed the series as it was well written and they worked well together, but it ended and they'd moved on. When asked if they had the chance to repraise the sitcom he said the writing was everything and the original scriptwrites Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais had gone to the USA so weren't available. Bolan said he didn't want to do it if it was unlikely to be as good and preferred to leave it as was.
    In terms of his friendship with Bewes he said they got on during the series' but had both then moved on as actors do.
    The tone felt a little uncomfortable to me as a listener and the fact that Bolan has not publicly (to my knowledge) issued any kind of Eulagy or words of sympathy for the loss of his one time partner in that most succesful series suggests there is still some bitterness.
    We may never know and probably have no right to thire personal thoughts.
    Could it be that they were more like thier on screen charactures after all?

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  • usedtobeusedtobe Frets: 2339
    Philly_Q said:
    Emp_Fab said:

    What am I missing here ?  What bit of that is offensive or insulting to Bolam ?  The only thing I can think of is that it implied that Bewes was 'more of a man' if he managed to create triplets compared to Bolam's one child - but even then I'm stretching the limits of my imagination.  It would be pretty juvenile to take offence to that IMO.

    If it's not that, then what is it about the above that Bolam took such offence to that he never spoke to Bewes again for the rest of his life, despite Bewes's repeated attempts to make friends again ?

    I've remembered a bit more about this now.  It wasn't the actual content of the story which caused the problem, it was the very fact that Bewes told it to the press - Bolam is, apparently, an intensely private person and on top of that when Bewes told the story, back in 1976, it wasn't even known to the public that Bolam's wife was pregnant.

    Bolam didn't like the fact that his personal life had been discussed in public, hence the falling out.  Hell of a long time to hold a grudge, though.
    Yup, that’s my understanding of it. Still, Bolam doesn’t come out of it well, imho, I got the impression it was a genuine slip, and Bewes felt terrible about it.. Sad business..
     so if you fancy a reissue of a guitar they never made in a colour they never used then it probably isn't too overpriced.

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