Tuesday 20 August 2019

Star of The Likely Lads Rodney Bewes dies aged 79

He would have been 80 next week.

Rodney Bewes death
Rodney Bewes death

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

The Likely Lads star Rodney Bewes has died aged 79, a week before his birthday.

The actor – best known for his role as Bob Ferris in the 60s BBC sitcom and its 70s sequel, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? – died on Tuesday morning, a representative told the Press Association.

His agent Michelle Braidman described him as a “true one off”, in a statement on Twitter.

She added: “It is with great sadness that we confirm that our dear client, the much loved actor Rodney Bewes, passed away this morning.

“We will miss his charm and ready wit.”

Bewes, 79, would have turned 80 on November 27 and is survived by his four children, Billy, Joe, Tom, and Daisy, and two grandchildren Oscar and Eliza.

As Bob, he would often ponder the merits of beer and birds opposite James Bolam who played loveable sponger Terry Collier in the sitcom and its sequel which drew audiences of up to 27 million.

But off-screen the pair endured a stormy relationship with them eventually not speaking for decades.

Brigit Forsyth, as Bob’s fiancee and eventual girlfriend, also featured in the series which drew stars such as Joan Hickson, Bill Owen, Christopher Biggins, and Anita Carey as recurring cast members.

In 1984 he earned a Doctor Who credit for a leading role during Peter Davison’s run as the Time Lord. He portrayed a humanoid named Stien in Resurrection Of The Daleks which aired during the sci-fi show’s 21st series.

Bewes was born in Bingley, Yorkshire, and childhood asthma meant he was confined to the house until the age of 12 but two years later he secured his first professional role and he eventually went to London to study drama at RADA.

In later life he lived in Henley-on-Thames and Olympic champion rower Matthew Pinsent shared a memory of the star from the town.

He wrote on Twitter: “RIP Rodney Bewes. Rowers will remember him sitting on the booms at Henley in his @LondonRC cap/blazer, clapping every crew past. Every one, every day.”

Comedian Jack Dee also paid tribute, writing on Twitter: “RIP Rodney Bewes. Likely Lads one of THE great sitcoms.”

Fellow comic Mitch Benn posted: “Rodney Bewes is gone and I can’t stand the confusion in my mind. RIP.”

Actress Annabel Giles starred alongside Bewes in a pantomime and remembered him as “brilliant, naughty and very funny”.

She added: “(He) adored his children and the sainted Daphne. His stories were wonderful. He was a bad but adorable influence on all who knew him, and I’m so sorry he’s gone.”

Writer and Radio DJ Danny Baker wrote: “Rodney Bewes has died. What a dreadful bit of news. See ya, kidda.”

PA Media

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