How likely is that?
So, Basil Brush’s old mucker, Mr Rodney, is no more. Best known as Bob Ferris, one of TV’s Likely Lads of the 1960s and 70s, Rodney Bewes’ post-peak public utterances made him seem a rather bitter person.
Perhaps this was due to his struggle then to get the rôles he felt he deserved, or possibly he was envious of the fact that James Bolam playing Terry Collier, the other Likely Lad, went on to an acting career that entirely eclipsed that of his own.
Subsequently, Bewes seemed to go on and on about a ‘falling out’ with Bolam and that he longed for The Likely Lads to be updated as their characters aged. Perhaps fewer ‘heart-on-sleeve’ interviews would have been less of an irritant to Bolam who might, just might, have then been more receptive to the idea (though I doubt it).
Whereas Bolam and Bewes were the principal stars of both incarnations of The Likely Lads, they were more than matched by the actress Brigit Forsyth playing Bewes long-suffering, but spiky wife, Thelma, in the 1970s productions. I also think that Sheila Fearn playing Audrey, Terry’s sister, is too often overlooked for the part that she played in the series.
And I do also recall Anita Carey in her few appearances as Susan, Thelma’s sister. Along with Judi Bowker, Stacy Dorning and, of course, Jenny Agutter, she was one of the 1970s actresses that remain etched in the memory of schoolboy day-dreams!
Here’s the limerick …
The rift with his old mate was sad
And he envied the success that he’d had
So despite what we know
Of the eponymous show
He was really an Unlikely Lad.