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You are in: Tyne > Entertainment > Hollywood On Tyne > TV on Tyne > The Likely Lads

Rodney Bewes and James Bolam in The Likely Lads

The show had 27m viewers at its height

The Likely Lads

The Likely Lads was one of the classic British TV sitcoms. Take a trip back in time and meet the original men behaving badly. Sit on the couch with Bob and Terry and recall the days when two Geordie lads ruled the screens.

From the 1960s through to the 1970s it was essential viewing across the nation.

The Likely Lads was the first major TV show to be set on Tyneside.

Successful writing team Dick Clement and Newcastle-born Ian La Frenais were behind the show.

The Likely Lads

It was a slice-of-life comedy

Terry Collier (Sunderland-born James Bolam) and Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes) had the whole country in stitches with their down-to-earth Geordie humour.

At its height the show boasted 27m listeners.

Different characters

The Likely Lads and its sequel Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads ran between 1964 and 1973.

Lifelong friends Bob Ferris and Terry Collier worked together and spent their nights boozing down the local pub.

Bob was the sensible one who tried to better himself. Terry was the irresponsible one who was always getting the lads into trouble.

Bob was always open to new things from his new semi and his Vauxhall Viva to the latest fashions and fads.

Terry hated anything new or trendy. He knew his class and his place and his only ambition was to get what he could out of any situation.

Ant and Dec

Ant and Dec starrred in an episode remake

Ant and Dec tribute

In 2002, popular Geordie duo Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, aka Ant and Dec, starred in a remake of a classic episode of The Likely Lads.

The pair were huge fans of the original series and In A Tribute to the Likely Lads, Ant played Terry while Dec took on the role of Bob.

For their tribute, they remade a 1973 episode of the show called No Hiding Place, which is the most repeated original Likely Lads show on TV.

The tribute saw Terry and Bob trying to avoid hearing the result of an England v Bulgaria World Cup game.

Rodney Bewes appeared in a cameo role in the Ant and Dec tribute.

Speaking at the time he said: "I couldn't miss this - it's a very clever idea."

Ant and Dec loved The Likely Lads as kids.

"They were an inspiration for us," said Dec.

The Likely Lads

The Likely Lads has retained its appeal

The Geordie pair claimed that the success of the show gave them hope that they could become successful.

The Likely Lads - some of the best bits

"I'd offer you a beer but I've only got six cans." Terry to Bob.

Hairdresser - "Do you want the beer, egg or herbal tonic?"
Terry - "Nothing to drink for me, thanks."
Bob - "They're shampoos, you fool."

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

Terry - "I haven't got much time for the Irish or the Welsh, and the Scots are worse..."

Bob - "And you never could stand southerners."

Terry - "To tell you the truth, I don't much like anyone outside this town. And they're aren't many families down our street I can stand."

last updated: 02/06/2008 at 10:39
created: 02/06/2008

You are in: Tyne > Entertainment > Hollywood On Tyne > TV on Tyne > The Likely Lads


Many of the original shows were lost when the master recordings were wiped at the end of the 1960s.

There were three series and 20 episodes of The Likely Lads.

James Bolam went on to star in more television shows, theatre and film. Among the things he has starred in are When the Boat Comes In, the Beiderbecke Trilogy and more recently in Born and Bred and New Tricks.

Rodney Bewes also has a string of acting roles to his name including The Wildcats of St Trinian's, Doctor Who, Spender and The Spaceman and King Arthur.

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