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Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:41 pm
by Brock
Rodney Bewes has died a few days short of his 80th birthday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42067506

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:30 pm
by Mark
Oh that's sad, one half of a likely pair in one of the comedy classics.

I don't suppose their rift was ended, which is a great shame.

My Dad and I met him, just the once, at Television Centre when he was giving his splendid turn in "Resurrection of The Daleks", a nice chap but perhaps slightly eccentric.

Just as good at drama as he obviously was at Comedy.


'It's the only thing to look forward to...the past'.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:57 pm
by wittoner
I have very fond memories of "Dear Mother...Love Albert" as well. And let's not forget he was Basil Brush's first partner!

All the Georgie Best, Rodney mate.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:04 pm
by Brock
Mark wrote:Oh that's sad, one half of a likely pair in one of the comedy classics.

I don't suppose their rift was ended, which is a great shame.
Interestingly, James Bolam has denied the existence of any feud:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radi ... dney-bewes

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:26 pm
by Mark
Didn't know they had considered other writers for "WHTTLL", if that was the case, then I can understand a reluctance for any more, it's usually not a good move.

The film ending, did cleverly mirror the end of the 60's series, with Terry staying home and Bob spirited away, this time.

As for the so called rift, well, perhaps Rodney Bewes did get the wrong end of the stick, who knows?

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:13 pm
by ITMA
It's similar to the Steptoe and Son business - we as viewers see them on screen together so often, for so many years. And their acting is so good, their on screen bond so great, they look like the closest and bestest of friends.

We forget that they are actors working together for a brief period (lots of episodes of Likely Lads and the sequel - but when added together, not that long spent actually filiming) who then move on and work with many other hundreds of actors in other productions on stage and screen.

I'm sure most of us can think of many people we've worked with down the years, who we got on well with, enjoyed working with and could have formed friendships with - but life and other projects get in the way and you drift apart. You have warm memories of them but no rift or feud. The difference is those brief relationships weren't captured on film and broadcast into everybody's homes for years and years.

It seems its difficult for many to untangle that in their heads and conclude there must be a rift. In this case, it also seems that Bewes somehow felt an entitlement and a bitterness that his career stalled. Easy copy for newspapers with space to fill. I imagine Bolam was baffled by it and chose to keep his mouth generally shut.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:07 pm
by murphy1961
ITMA wrote:It's similar to the Steptoe and Son business - we as viewers see them on screen together so often, for so many years. And their acting is so good, their on screen bond so great, they look like the closest and bestest of friends.

We forget that they are actors working together for a brief period (lots of episodes of Likely Lads and the sequel - but when added together, not that long spent actually filiming) who then move on and work with many other hundreds of actors in other productions on stage and screen.

I'm sure most of us can think of many people we've worked with down the years, who we got on well with, enjoyed working with and could have formed friendships with - but life and other projects get in the way and you drift apart. You have warm memories of them but no rift or feud. The difference is those brief relationships weren't captured on film and broadcast into everybody's homes for years and years.

It seems its difficult for many to untangle that in their heads and conclude there must be a rift. In this case, it also seems that Bewes somehow felt an entitlement and a bitterness that his career stalled. Easy copy for newspapers with space to fill. I imagine Bolam was baffled by it and chose to keep his mouth generally shut.
Very well put, spot on.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:30 am
by Simon36
Brock wrote:
Mark wrote:Oh that's sad, one half of a likely pair in one of the comedy classics.

I don't suppose their rift was ended, which is a great shame.
Interestingly, James Bolam has denied the existence of any feud:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radi ... dney-bewes
Thing is, on that Radio 4 interview they quote, Bolam also disputes the idea which they perpetuate, that he blocked repeats. He said, baffled by this, that he’d have no power to do so, which doesn’t ring true to me.... it’s all a bit suspect. If the rift was all just a misunderstanding, it makes The Tines obit very ill-advised. That goes into a good deal of detail about it and even refers to Bolam for years making odd allusions to Bewes being dead...

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:40 am
by Brock
It's very difficult to know the truth, as you would hardly expect James Bolam to say anything bad about him so shortly after his death.

The impression I get from reading some of the historical interviews with Bewes is that he wanted the on-screen friendship to become an off-screen one, and Bolam didn't.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:44 am
by Simon36
I remember a few years back Bolam giving a back page interview in the Radio Times and when the Likely Lads was mentioned he gave an extremely rude response which completely backs up rumours of him blocking repeats etc. On that radio 4 interview, his bewilderment at how he would ever have the power to block repeats was hard to take seriously.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:59 pm
by DMatthews
^ It would be interesting to know whether the policy around repeats of BBC programmes of the 1970s was similar to that of ITV, which was that five years after original tx, the broadcaster had to open negotiations with the actors over revised repeat fees. That's how Martin Shaw was able to "block" repeats of The Professionals on the ITV network after 1987 - he simply rejected any offer London Weekend made to him. Now as this approach was devised by Equity, I am guessing that it also applied to the BBC.

Then again, Whatever Happened... has had a few repeats on BBC1 and BBC2 since the early 1980s, which suggests that Bolam didn't/couldn't block them, despite what he might have thought about the show. Bewes does seem to have been somewhat "confused" when he claimed that the series had never been rerun.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:42 am
by Simon36
A quick look at Genome suggests that Whatever Happened To was repeated a good bit in the late 90s and 2000s, but not at all between 1975 and 1981. So maybe Bolam blocked them for a bit... and perhaps he's now forgotten about that!

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:13 pm
by ray lomas
Simon36 wrote:but not at all between 1975 and 1981. So maybe Bolam blocked them for a bit...
Could well be the case, as this corresponds almost exactly with the run of When The Boat Comes In.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:25 am
by Simon Coward
Simon36 wrote:A quick look at Genome suggests that Whatever Happened To was repeated a good bit in the late 90s and 2000s, but not at all between 1975 and 1981. So maybe Bolam blocked them for a bit... and perhaps he's now forgotten about that!
I think you mean not at all between 1976 and 1980, most (all?) of the standard-length episodes were repeated in 1975 and a handful were re-shown in 1981.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:56 pm
by Brock
Comes down to your definition of "between" I think! For me, "between X and Y" excludes X and Y.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:43 pm
by Simon Coward
Brock wrote:Comes down to your definition of "between" I think! For me, "between X and Y" excludes X and Y.
Well, on that basis, when you started the thread the title should have been "Rodney Bewes (1936-2018)" as those are the dates he lived "between".

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:09 pm
by Brock
"1937-2017" signifies "from 1937 to 2017", not "between 1937 and 2017". Rodney Bewes lived from 1937 to 2017, which includes the years 1937 and 2017.

I think it would be unambiguous to say "there were no repeats from 1976 to 1980".

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:28 pm
by ian b
Unambiguous maybe, but not quite right...


Since WHATEVER finished episodes from both versions of THELIKELY LADS have been repeated on the BBC in 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2013, and 2015 at least.

So a pattern fairly consistent with any other BBC “comedy classic” where episodes could be used as tribute programmes/fillers/repeat runs.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:50 am
by brigham
Seeing as we've forgotten it's an obituary thread, I feel able to add that I remember Basil Brush with David Nixon, BEFORE 'Mr. Rodney'.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:17 pm
by wittoner
Yes, Sorry about that. You're absolutely right, of course.

Both laziness on my part, in repeating something I'd read elsewhere and a lapse of memory as I now recall David Nixon's partnership with Basil Brush very well.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:10 pm
by Brock
Basil Brush certainly appeared with David Nixon on David Nixon's own show, but I think Rodney Bewes was Basil's first partner on The Basil Brush Show.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:28 pm
by Mark
He was, in 1968, and thanks to Phil Morris, one edition exists ( with guests, The Kinks).

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:50 pm
by ITMA
I stumbled across Graham McCanns blog which covers the ‘feud’ in depth. I assume it is well researched and authoritative given it’s from McCann.

https://www.comedy.co.uk/features/comedy_chronicles/

It’s part of his strained relations series and he also covers Brambell/Corbett and Baker/Jewell.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:56 pm
by Tim D
Thanks for the link. That was an enjoyable article.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:48 pm
by Don Satchley
Yes the article rang true for me. My sister worked in a shop in the 1990s and in walked Rodney Bewes one afternoon, with his wife. She told me he gave off lots of "oh yes it is me" vibes and clearly revelled in his fame. Shame that some are so shallow like that, maybe down to something in his early life perhaps?

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:26 pm
by Ian Wegg
I can attest to the fact that James Bolam is a completely different character. A very good article, thanks for posting.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:39 am
by Brock
I found all three of those articles absolutely fascinating! Thanks - I'll need to check out more of Graham McCann's work.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 2:14 pm
by paul.austin
By the way, reading that Hylda Baker died of Alzheimer's disease.. the effects would have a started a long time before the final diagnosis. If i'd been Jewell, I wouldn't have wanted to yell at her any more i would have wanted to hug her. Estelle Getty of The Golden Girls died of Lewy body dementia and many of her castmates that had been upset by her behaviour on set forgave her when they understood that it had been caused by that horrible disease and that Estelle was not responsible for what happened.

Re: Rodney Bewes (1937-2017)

Posted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 10:27 pm
by Mark
It would likely have been seen as the normal effects of getting older though, to be fair.

There is a very good interview with Madge Hindle on Distinct Nostalgia, mostly on the subject of "Coronation Street", but thankfully there is some mention of "Nearest And Dearest", with some interesting stories, about the leads, and how Actors would queue up to appear in the series, just to witness the infamous rows.