It is Cult Faction’s sad duty to report that British TV legend Rodney Bewes has passed away at the age of 79 years old. The sad news was broken by his agent:
“It is with great sadness that we confirm that our dear client, the much-loved actor Rodney Bewes, passed away this morning.” The statement paid tribute to the actor, calling him a “true one-off;” a “brilliant storyteller” and a man who “had a funny anecdote for every occasion.”
Bewes was best known for his role as Bob Ferris in The Likely Lads (1964-1966)and its follow up Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (1973-74) but he also appeared in Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks, Billy Liar, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Wildcats of St Trinian’s.
Rodney Bewes’ autobiography, A Likely Story, was published in September 2005. Bewes revealed in it, and also on Michael Parkinson’s BBC Radio 2 show in 2005, that his Likely Lads co-star James Bolam had not spoken to him for the last 30 years, after they fell out over a misunderstanding regarding a press interview Bewes had given:
For years afterwards, it was assumed that Bolam and Bewes were friends off screen as well as on, a pretence they kept up because their public expected it. It was finally blown in 2005, when the ageing Bewes published his memoirs, in which he revealed that they had comprehensively fallen out 31 years earlier and had not spoken since. He blamed Bolam’s fear of having his privacy invaded and of being eternally typecast.
The final breach, as Bewes told it, occurred after Bolam’s wife, Sue, announced to her husband, while he was driving, that she was pregnant. He almost crashed the car. Bewes repeated this story in a newspaper interview, thinking that it was already public knowledge, then got a frosty reaction when he rang Bolam to forewarn him. “There was this dreadful silence. He put the put the phone down. I called him back, He didn’t answer. He hasn’t spoken to me since,” Bewes claimed. – McSmith, Andy (7 November 2007). “Look back in anger: Whatever happened to The Likely Lads?”. The Independent. London.
In 2010, Bewes also complained about his former co-star’s refusal to allow The Likely Lads to be repeated on terrestrial television (both must give approval), preventing his earning anything from the repeats; “he must be very wealthy; me, I’ve just got an overdraft and a mortgage”.