Author Topic: Good new Bewes/Bolam article  (Read 2694 times)


Ambient Sheep

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Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 09:37:58 PM »
Thanks for that; a good read.

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 09:50:18 PM »
Must admit the Bolan/Bolam flat share/name inspiration bit was completely new to me. Who’da thunk?


Twonty Gostelow

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Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 11:55:51 PM »
Thanks for the link. I thought it might augur a new McCann biography as it's been 20 years since the Richard Webber book, but I can't see any sign of it.

"[Bolam] always looked as though he had just been coaxed out from a very cold room where the ceiling was far too low" is brilliant.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 12:22:02 AM »
"[Bolam] always looked as though he had just been coaxed out from a very cold room where the ceiling was far too low" is brilliant.

It's a perfect description.

I think it's fair to assume that Bewes' worst crime was being a gregarious nuisance with no filter. The Kenneth Williams quote in that article appears to sum him up: no malice, just annoying. Williams was often malicious and annoying, but a sensitive man at heart. He could see the good in others.

Bewes does come across as a delusional character, though. As clearly stated in the article, WHTTLL was repeated several times over the years. The actual facts didn't suit his narrative, and I don't blame Bolam for eventually pointing out that it was all bollocks.

Bolam comes across as a professional jobbing actor with no axe to grind. Probably quite grumpy at times, but not an actual arsehole. Also, as good as Bewes was, Bolam is a more versatile actor, hence why he's never been out of work. And that must've stuck in Bewes' craw.

timebug

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Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 09:15:02 AM »
A good article,thanks for that! It always struck me that Bolam was the more 'professional' as a jobbing actor, who accepted roles that he felt comfortable with, and turned in a workmanlike performance every time. Bewes on the other hand, gave countless TV interviews over the years, where he came across as a real-life version of Bob Ferris, namely a ditherer, a bit of a 'wet fart' as the expression has it. A man with a growing chip on his shoulder, at the continued success of his former co-star, whilst his own career plodded along and struggled. Bewes simply did not seem to have the range that Bolam had; he more often than not played a 'version' of himself. Bolam was believable in everything I have ever seen him in, and to use 'New Tricks' as an example, I could watch an episode of that, and never once think of 'Terry Collier'; No, I was watching 'Jack Halford' in that, of course played by a good actor, named James Bolam.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • Well ...enjoy your lifetime supply of virginity!
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 09:19:21 AM »
Good article that, and I agree that James Bolam, reputation for being a miserable git that he has, is the more versatile of the two actors. I can't imagine Rodney Bewes giving a convincing performance as Dr. Harold Shipman.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 09:25:13 AM »
Or even Harold Bishop

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 10:00:26 AM »
Or Grandpa In My Pocket

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 10:52:39 AM »
An old actor who knew Bridgit 'Thelma' Forsyth told me this amusing but slightly sad anecdote. Allegedly, at the Likely Lads movie wrap party, Forsyth made her thank you speech to the cast and crew but she concluded with saying, "Before I love you and leave you, there is just one thing I think we've all wanted to do for years. Rodney?"  She then proceeded to pour a pint of beer over an incredulous Bewes' head to rapturous applause.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_fCKEwz3kU

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 11:18:47 AM »
I very briefly met James Bolam when they were doing location filming for The Missing Postman at the end of my road back in 1997. I think people just expect him to be Terry, so when they meet this rather more gentle, shy man, added to the urban legend Bewes helped create, they just presume he's being a prick.

He didn't have to stop to say hello to the little crowd that had gathered, but he did, so BOLAM = GOOD EGG in my book.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 11:26:21 AM »
It's interesting to hear all that stuff again about Bolam supposedly holding back repeats of the Likely Lads/WHTTLL? so he could move on with his career into different roles. Bollocks, isn't it?  I heard a similar thing about Martin Shaw vetoing repeats of The Professionals and Lewis Collins moaned about this in the same manner as Bewes. Bollocks too? Can anybody shine a light on this?

dr beat

  • #TeamColourfield
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 11:39:07 AM »
Haven't got time to search at the moment but I recall a WHTTLL thread on here a good few years ago where someone found a piece which claimed a third series was mooted, in which the tables were turned and Terry would have got rich through winning the lottery or somesuch and was lording it over Bob who'd been made redundant from his middle manager's job.  I think it said Bolam passed on it but that might have been because he was too busy at the time.  But anyway count me as #TeamBolam.

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2020, 11:43:22 AM »
I'm afraid I completely swallowed the Bewes spin back in the day. In the last few years I've come to reconsider that, and this article helped really put it all in context, about how the extent of their real life friendship was a bit of a fiction (or wishful thinking on the part of Bewes and fans)  in the first place.

That said, 'The Beast' seems a pretty needlessly strong nickname for someone who's worst crime seems to have been being a tiresome blowhard on occassion. Seems like at heart Bewes was a harmless and basically well intentioned guy who's persona and attitude just rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way.

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2020, 12:00:17 PM »
It's interesting to hear all that stuff again about Bolam supposedly holding back repeats of the Likely Lads/WHTTLL? so he could move on with his career into different roles. Bollocks, isn't it?  I heard a similar thing about Martin Shaw vetoing repeats of The Professionals and Lewis Collins moaned about this in the same manner as Bewes. Bollocks too? Can anybody shine a light on this?

Even when I was on team Bewes I knew that was a load of old cobblers, although the conspicuous gap during New Tricks does give one pause for thought that maybe some internal BBC memo was passed along not to emphasise the Lads at the time. Probably just a co incidence though.

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2020, 12:12:02 PM »
Definitely bollocks that he vetoed repeats. I'd argue that the reason the original series doesn't get repeated is simply that it's not broadcastable quality these days. Even on the rare occasions they bring out Steptoe, it tends to be the colour episodes, or a handful of better quality B&W episodes.

And given Whatever Happened To has been repeated loads, and is CLEARLY the better show, I see no conspiracy in them not showing the original anymore.

Equally - I've seen a lot of people claim that having worked with Bolam, he is difficult and prickish. A good actor, but not the best to work with. Bewes and he seem to have been polar opposites, and not natural friends. Probably why it also worked on telly but not in real life.

(And who keeps in contact with people from previous jobs really. Save for the odd genuine friendship, most work friendships are those of convenience rather than an ongoing true connection.)

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2020, 12:18:38 PM »
Definitely bollocks that he vetoed repeats. I'd argue that the reason the original series doesn't get repeated is simply that it's not broadcastable quality these days. Even on the rare occasions they bring out Steptoe, it tends to be the colour episodes, or a handful of better quality B&W episodes.

And given Whatever Happened To has been repeated loads, and is CLEARLY the better show, I see no conspiracy in them not showing the original anymore.


As far as I was aware Bewes complaint was about them not repeating either version of the Likely Lads, both the 60s original and the superior 70s sequel. Which of course makes his claim even more bollocks.

Glebe

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Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2020, 12:19:17 PM »
Fantastic read, thanks for that AJ. Crikey, the Marc Bolan thing is a new one on me!

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2020, 12:56:18 PM »
The old actor who told me the Bewes anecdote also explained the producers' process for casting the 'talent' that was mainly used in theatre and TV.

In order of importance:

1) Will they get bums on seats?
2) How much will they cost?
3) Are they a liability?
4) Will they be pleasant to work with?
5) Will they get a round in at the bar?
6) Are they any good?

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2020, 01:54:55 PM »
I always thought it seemed odd that Bolam reacted so strongly to Bewes sharing that anecdote with the press. I was unconvinced by Bolam's claims on Bewes' death that there had been "no falling out" between them and that they simply hadn't found the time to meet up. "No time" to meet up at all? In nearly 40 years? I see!
I see now thanks to that excellent article (Graham McCann's books are always good, in my experience) that although Bolam's denials of a rift were indeed untrue, there was a lot more to it all than it seemed. Bewes seems to have been quite the pain in the bum.
I should have realised Bewes' claims about Bolam blocking the repeats were untrue. If they had been true, I'd never have seen the series myself (and I have).
As I understand it, barely any episodes of the original (inferior) 1960s series still exist anyway.
It must have been hard for Bolam to hold his tongue on this for so many years really. Admirable restraint.

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2020, 02:03:36 PM »

As I understand it, barely any episodes of the original (inferior) 1960s series still exist anyway.


10 out of 20 exist, so half is left (although 2 of these were only discovered a few years ago after Bewes died: another had also previously been lost but was found in 2001, so for 30 odd years there were only 7 knocking about).

Not sure if the BBC ever attempted more than one off repeats of the original series, what with it being b/w and only existing piecemeal. I remember the first episode 'Entente Cordial' being repeated on BBC2 in the 90s at some point, possibly part of a 60s theme night? and then the one that was discovered in 2001, 'Last Of The Big Spenders' being shown in both 2001 and 2004 as part of 2 seperate 'Rare and Missing TV' evenings, one on BBC2 the other on BBC4.

dr beat

  • #TeamColourfield
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2020, 02:04:49 PM »
I was a bit reluctant to link to a previous WHTTLL thread as I didn't want to derail this one, but it is a good read if you haven't seen it before: https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,48833.0.html

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2020, 02:19:07 PM »
The WHTTLL theme always comes to mind whenever I hear 'Something For The Weekend' by the Super Furries.

"You're on my mind, every day and every night
And what became of the people, we used to be..."

Brundle-Fly

  • *Jooolie Andreeeews!! Thhhrrrrp!!!!*
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2020, 02:29:59 PM »
The WHTTLL theme always comes to mind whenever I hear 'Something For The Weekend' by the Super Furries.

"You're on my mind, every day and every night
And what became of the people, we used to be..."


The theme is basically a rewrite of Let It Be.

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2020, 02:36:57 PM »
I found it difficult to reconcile the claim from Bewes that WHTTLL was never repeated with my memory of it being on all the time. I couldn't stand the confusion in my mind.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • Well ...enjoy your lifetime supply of virginity!
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2020, 02:39:08 PM »
I found it difficult to reconcile the claim from Bewes that WHTTLL was never repeated with my memory of it being on all the time. I couldn't stand the confusion in my mind.

I like to think all hard-core Bewes fans have got the reference from that post.

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2020, 02:40:29 PM »
I'm glad at least one person did so I didn't look too mad.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • Well ...enjoy your lifetime supply of virginity!
Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2020, 02:43:26 PM »
It wasn't as obscure as the one the boys Shearsmith and Pemberton made on an episode of a television series that went out on NATIONAL FUCKING TELEVISION, so fair play to yer.

Ironically, quite a few people  in the latter days of the Bewester's career upon hearing his name may have found themselves saying " Who(?)".

Re: Good new Bewes/Bolam article
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2020, 03:42:13 PM »
10 out of 20 exist, so half is left (although 2 of these were only discovered a few years ago after Bewes died: another had also previously been lost but was found in 2001, so for 30 odd years there were only 7 knocking about).

Not sure if the BBC ever attempted more than one off repeats of the original series, what with it being b/w and only existing piecemeal. I remember the first episode 'Entente Cordial' being repeated on BBC2 in the 90s at some point, possibly part of a 60s theme night? and then the one that was discovered in 2001, 'Last Of The Big Spenders' being shown in both 2001 and 2004 as part of 2 seperate 'Rare and Missing TV' evenings, one on BBC2 the other on BBC4.

I agree that WHTTLL is the superior series by some margin, but this sketch from the 1964 Christmas Night With The Stars is both hilarious and amazingly prescient of our relationship with our childhoods these days.

"It was Edward Trunk!"

Also, astonishingly, the original series was Clement and La Frenais's first credit - in fact, the skit that started it off was the first thing they ever wrote together. Even Galton and Simpson had some work under their collective belt before Hancock's Half Hour.

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