Saturday, 2 March 2013

A Meeting With A Likely Lad - Rodney Bewes

Meeting Rodney Bewes
Its been an interesting few weeks (despite fighting off a bit of a chest infection that doesn't seem to go away) in that I've done a few great reviews and interviews for The Guide.

However none gave me quite as big a buzz as returning to my desk one morning and finding a message stating "can you contact Rodney Bewes - he called while you were away from your desk".

Rodney Bewes, I thought, now there's a name! I grew up watching Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais' Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads (among with several other TV series in the 70s) and always felt a personal home-link to that show.

Set in the North East of England, I associate the broken rubble of old houses, new council estates and changing fortunes of the two central characters Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes) and Terry Collier (James Bolam) with past memories of where I spent my early years in Stockton-on-Tees (although I believe many scenes were filmed in Newcastle).

Some signed Rodney Bewes/
Likely Lads memorabillia
Anyhow on returning to Mr Bewes call, I was thrilled to be invited to interview him the following Friday to talk about his new one-man stage show A Boy Growing Up inspired by Emlyn Williams readings of Dylan Thomas which he saw back in the 1950s.

It was quite magical to think this fellow Northerner who hails from Bradford was heading towards Wales for St David's Day to read the writings of the great Welsh poet!

Hearing Rodney's voice over the phone was surreal but in a nice way and the interview in which he gave me several entertaining anecdotes from his life and career on stage, film and television was incredible fun.

Extracts from my interview with Rodney Bewes were published in last weeks edition of The Guide, which you can now read online and further to that  I went to see A Boy Growing Up myself on Thursday evening and met Rodney afterwards where he kindly signed a few of my Likely Lads items and posed for a photo with me. A magical moment!

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