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Rodney Bewes R.I.P.

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  • #16
    I didn't read agutterfan's article, obviously, but I remember reading that Bewes mentioned the fact that Bolam's wife was expecting (I think) and Bolam took exception to his private life being in the press, even though Bewes meant no harm. He apparently never forgave him, which apparently Bewes remained very upset about.
    The reason "apparently" is used twice is because I don't actually know anything about it, but that's what I remember ...

    But apart from that, R.I.P Rodney: The Likely Lads and Whatever Happened To ... were both wonderful, particularly "Whatever Happened To...", with its heart-rending theme song. Dear Mother, Love Albert is misremembered fondly by me (must get the DVD one of these days), and he was very much part of my growing up in the late 60s and early 70s.

    Whether the brilliant James Bolam liked him or not, I'm sorry to see him go.

    Tomorrow's almost over, today went by so fast. the only thing to look forward to is the past.

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    • #17
      Tomorrow's almost over, today went by so fast. the only thing to look forward to is the past.
      Although watching 'Whatever Happened To' can be a slightly painful experience now (it wasn't as good as I remembered when watching it a year or two back), the song has some of the best lyrics of any sitcom music.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Seaton View Post
        I didn't read agutterfan's article, obviously, but I remember reading that Bewes mentioned the fact that Bolam's wife was expecting (I think) and Bolam took exception to his private life being in the press, even though Bewes meant no harm. He apparently never forgave him, which apparently Bewes remained very upset about.
        The reason "apparently" is used twice is because I don't actually know anything about it, but that's what I remember ...

        Whether the brilliant James Bolam liked him or not, I'm sorry to see him go.

        Tomorrow's almost over, today went by so fast. the only thing to look forward to is the past.
        There's an article in yesterday's Metro newspaper in which James Bolam says how sorry he was to hear of Rodney Bewes' death and flatly denying that there was ever a falling-out between them. He attributes the loss of contact to pressure of work and to the natural process of "you work together, you get to know each other, the project ends, you go your separate ways, you lose contact".

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        • #19
          Rodney Bewes will be featured on BBC Radio 4's Last Word this afternoon (24/11/2017) at 16:00 GMT.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09fzt7s

          Nick

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          • #20
            Originally posted by chillingfilmania View Post

            Ditto. He made a sitcom after LL where he lived in the big smoke and wrote often to his dear old mum. Now what was the name of that. It was never shown in Australia to my knowledge and I have not been able to download it anywhere or even seen it on YT.
            As I recall it had a theme tune by Mike Hugg - formerly of Manfred Mann, and who also provided the them to Whatever Hapened to the Likely Lads.

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            • #21
              I had no idea he had died.

              Always enjoy watching the 'likely lads'.

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              • #22
                It's somewhat significant that Bolam has finally chosen to speak up about the 'fued' now that Rodney is dead and unable to defend himself.

                Consider two things:

                1. Bolam declined to appear on Rodney's This Is Your Life years ago.

                2. Bolam didn't contact Bewes when his wife Daphne died in 2015 (apparently she was good friends with Bolam pre 'fued')

                Bolam has a long standing reputation for being a surly, aggressive, mean tempered old sod.

                I tend to believe Bewes version of events.

                Last edited by Always Been Ethel; 5th December 2017, 06:44 PM.

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                • #23


                  #ProperLunch


                  Remarkable, there was more to Rodney than Bob Ferris.
                   

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Always Been Ethel View Post
                    It's somewhat significant that Bolam has finally chosen to speak up about the 'fued' now that Rodney is dead and unable to defend himself.

                    Consider two things:

                    1. Bolam declined to appear on Rodney's This Is Your Life years ago.

                    2. Bolam didn't contact Bewes when his wife Daphne died in 2015 (apparently she was good friends with Bolam pre 'fued')

                    Bolam has a long standing reputation for being a surly, aggressive, mean tempered old sod.

                    I tend to believe Bewes version of events.

                    I am genuinely saddened that Rodney has passed away. His on screen chemistry with James Bolam was quite magical and it is such a shame that no reunion ever did happen whilst he was still with us.

                    Regarding Bolam's silence (until Bewes' death) over their alleged "feud": there are those who admired his dignity at for many years refusing to be drawn on the matter. At least he was man enough to pay tribute when the sad day arrived and the journalists inevitably came a-calling for the unavoidable interview. I've listened to a few of Bolam's interviews about RB in recent days and I've noticed how carefully he chooses his words. remembering Rodney with "warmth" and fondness for the happy times while they were making the show etc. The supposed fall out did occur, as we all know, after the film version, made a couple of years after the revived "Whatever Happened To..." TV series, and after the radio adaptation (organised not by Bewes but by Bolam, who was clearly proud of the show back then). Reading between the lines I detect that James simply was not too fond of Rodney (more on that in a moment) but was at least tactful and respectful in his reflections.

                    Seaton's post at the top of this page is a good summary of what happened regarding the "rift"....according to Bewes. In all fairness, we were never privy to Bolam's version. Credit to him that he never fuelled a public slanging match, nor would he be drawn on his relationship with his erstwhile co star. From that, the idea that you should "Never mention the L word" to James (according to one journalist) took root and it became the received wisdom that JB was grumpy, bitter, stand-offish and dismissive of his past etc. His dignified silence was (wrongly, in my opinion) used to cement this view. Yes, he was a rather taciturn, private man. So what? I have a friend who worked professionally with both Likely Lads (separately). He is quite adamant that James, though shy and rather reserved was perfectly pleasant and approachable. Very professional too. A good egg. Not so Rodney, apparently - he is remembered by my friend as an egotistical, arrogant loudmouth, unpopular among fellow actors (I do know he remained pals with Tom Courtney - but a number of household names who toured with Bewes, including Gareth Hunt and Trevor Bannister couldn't stand him). My friend took part in a voiceover session alongside Warren Clarke and James Bolam at around the time that the series revived in the 70s. Warren asked James what it was like to be working again with "the beast" (Rodney) to which JB rolled his eyes and commented "Still the same".

                    It does make you wonder when poor old Rodney toured all on his own performing Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men In A Boat". Couldn't he even drum up two other actors to lend support? Talking of that tour, it coincided with Bewes claiming that Bolam was blocking repeats of The Likely Lads and forcing Rodney to scrape a living driving up and down the land with his props in a trailer, going from theatre to theatre to stave off poverty, starved as he was of repeat fees because JB had blocked the re-runs. What complete nonsense. Since when has an actor had this power and why would they deprive themselves of welcome repeat fees? Similar bunkum was spread about Martin Shaw "blocking" re-runs of The Professionals, which Martin roundly and convincingly quashed during a live TV interview. Sadly I get the distinct impression that RB had a propensity for mischief and wasn't averse to putting his one time friend in a poor light. Professional jealousy? There can be no doubt that Bolam's career followed the more successful trajectory. Bolam was able to move on and look to the future. Bewes, it seems, was the one more rooted (wistfully but at times rather bitterly?) in the past. How ironic that quiet, retiring Bolam, who played loud, opinionated Terry Collier, should be the one to continually steal the limelight when brash, garrulous Bewes who played buttoned-up conformist Bob Ferris should be the one to persistently lament a heyday which never returned. Sad, really.
                    Last edited by Tonch; 6th December 2017, 03:09 AM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Always Been Ethel View Post
                      It's somewhat significant that Bolam has finally chosen to speak up about the 'fued' now that Rodney is dead and unable to defend himself.

                      Consider two things:

                      1. Bolam declined to appear on Rodney's This Is Your Life years ago.

                      2. Bolam didn't contact Bewes when his wife Daphne died in 2015 (apparently she was good friends with Bolam pre 'fued')

                      Bolam has a long standing reputation for being a surly, aggressive, mean tempered old sod.

                      I tend to believe Bewes version of events.

                      A very superficial take on what happened imho. I think Tonch in post #24 presents a more balanced and accurate view of the situation.
                      Last edited by narabdela; 6th December 2017, 05:50 PM. Reason: corrected nonsensical post

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                      • #26
                        Excellent post by Tonch. As always.

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                        • #27
                          Thanks Tonch for addressing the balance a bit

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