"Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?" is a British sitcom which was broadcast between 9 January 1973 and 9 April 1974 on BBC1. It was the colour sequel to the mid-1960s hit The Likely Lad
There were 26 episodes over two series; and a subsequent 45-minute Christmas special was aired on 24 December 1974.
Since the ending of the original series, in 1966, Bob has left factory life behind for an office job, in his future father-in-law's building firm (something which makes Bob even more desperate to curry favour with Thelma and her family). But what Bob does for a living is not a major part of the show; more important is the simple fact that he is now a white-collar worker, and (at Thelma's urging) is joining badminton clubs, attending dinner parties, and – in all sorts of ways – appearing to Terry as aspiring to join the middle class. Terry sees Bob as a class traitor, and looks upon his own Army experience and solid working class ethos as giving him moral superiority.
To a considerable degree, in fact, the comedy is built upon a basis of class warfare – a theme which was very familiar to British television audiences in the 1970s, a period of virtually continuous industrial strife in Britain. Terry is being left behind, a relic of the attitudes of the mid-1960s, due to his five-year absence in the Army; whereas Bob, Thelma, and Terry's sister Audrey – i.e. all the other main players in the show – have moved on, and are all to various degrees embracing more affluent, middle-class lifestyles. Terry is alone in clinging to his old beer-and-skittles Andy Capp lifestyle, as the others frequently tell him; and the tensions which this causes, between him and Bob, him and Thelma, and him and Audrey, are a main engine driving the comedy.
Terry finds it particularly hard to adjust to all the changes which have occurred in the five years he's been away. As implied in the lyrics to the programme's theme song, the 1970s series plays on both lads' feelings of nostalgia for the lost days of their reckless youth. Both of them are depressed by the demolition of so many of the landmarks of their youth, though Bob, who works for a building firm, sometimes sees it as progress. Bob has also bought his own house, on a newly built estate – something else which sets him apart from his old friend.
Reflecting the distinctions now separating the two young men, the opening credits show Terry amongst the older and more industrial buildings of the city, with Bob seen in modern, more attractive surroundings.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? - Dick Clement - Netflix
Dick Clement, OBE (born 5 September 1937) is an English writer known for his writing partnership with Ian La Frenais. They are most famous for television series including The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Porridge, Lovejoy and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? - Writing partnership with Ian La Frenais - Netflix
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have enjoyed a long and successful career embracing films, television and theatre. Their partnership began in the mid sixties with The Likely Lads, and by the end of the decade they had also written three feature films: The Jokers, Otley, (directed by Clement) and Hannibal Brooks. Clement also directed Not Only...But Also, with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and, for the big screen, Iris Murdoch's A Severed Head. In the early seventies two other features were made – Villain, starring Richard Burton, and Catch Me a Spy, starring Kirk Douglas. In this same period they created their award winning series Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, followed by Porridge, Thick as Thieves and Going Straight. There were big screen versions of both The Likely Lads and Porridge, and a 'rockumentary', To Russia With Elton, in 1979. Earlier in this decade, they adapted Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar into the stage musical Billy, starring Michael Crawford, which ran at London's Drury Lane Theatre for two and a half years. By this time they were living in California, where they wrote the American version of 'Porridge' – On the Rocks, and the feature film, The Prisoner of Zenda, starring Peter Sellers. In the eighties Clement directed John Wells's hit stage play Anyone For Denis? Films included Bullshot and Water, both directed by Clement and produced by La Frenais, and extensive, uncredited writing work on Never Say Never Again. In 1987 they wrote and produced Vice Versa. Their television work included the series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, voted best drama series of the decade. By the beginning of the nineties La Frenais had created the long running series, Lovejoy, and co-created Spender with Jimmy Nail. In America, for four years they were writers and supervising producers for HBO's Emmy winning show, Tracey Takes On. Films include The Commitments, which won the Evening Standard's Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and BAFTA's Best Adapted Screenplay, Excess Baggage and Still Crazy. In addition they did uncredited rewrites on The Rock, starring Sean Connery and Pearl Harbor for Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay. Recent television includes The Rotter's Club and Archangel, starring Daniel Craig, which they adapted from best-sellers by Jonathon Coe and Robert Harris respectively.Their most recent film credits include Goal! The Dream Begins; the animated film Flushed Away; Across the Universe; The Bank Job. Clement and La Frenais were awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list. They have written the book for two stage musicals in development, Juke Box Hero and Victoria's Secret. Two new television series will air in 2017: a new version of Porridge, starring Kevin Bishop for the BBC and Henry IX for UKTV, starring Charles Edwards.