The Likely Lads star Rodney Bewes dies aged 79

British comedy legend Rodney Bewes who starred in hit '70s sitcom, The Likely Lads has died aged 79. Source: Getty

British comedy actor Rodney Bewes who starred in hit ’70s sitcom The Likely Lads has died aged 79.

The star had a career spanning 60 years and was best known for playing Bob Ferris in the much-loved sitcom, The Likely Lads, alongside co-star James Bolam.

Bewes has been remembered as a “true one off”, The Sun reported. 

In a statement, his agent confirmed to the newspaper, “It is with great sadness that we confirm that our dear client, the much loved actor Rodney Bewes, passed away this morning. Rodney was a true one off. We will miss his charm and ready wit.”

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The original black-and-white series, The Likely Lads followed the lives of two working class men from north-east England. It was followed in the ’70s by the more popular sequel, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? which Bewes also starred in. 

Peaking in the mid ’70s, the BBC comedy pulled in 27 million viewers. 

After being asked if he thought he would be best remembered for the role, Bewes said, “Actually it is the only thing I am remembered for,” The Sun reported.  “But at least I’m remembered for something,”

Originally from Bingley in Yorkshire, Bewes was drawn to acting from a young age, auditioning for the role of Billy Bunter in the 1950s TV series at age 12. Failing to get that plumb role, he was given a small part in another BBC drama.

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He went on to appear in Dixon of Dock Green and Z Cars, but his big break came in 1964 when he was cast in The Likely Lads. 

After three series, the final episode of The Likely Lads, was being watched in nearly 14 million homes. 

Bewes would have turned 80 next week, his agent said.

Were you a Rodney Bewes fan? Do you remember watching him on The Likely Lads?