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Set in Newcastle upon Tyne in north-east England, the show follows the friendship, resumed after five years apart, of two working-class young men, Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes) and Terry Collier (James Bolam). The word "likely" in the title referred, in the 1960s series, to those showing promise, but also to those likely to get up to well-meaning mischief. The humour was based on the tension between Terry's 

firmly working-class outlook and Bob's aspirations to join the middle class, through his new white-collar job, suburban home and impending marriage to prissy librarian Thelma Chambers (Brigit Forsyth)


with special guest, our patron, writer

Ian La Frenais

It was 1973 when Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads 

first hit our screens, the colour sequel to the mid-1960s hit The Likely Lads.

It was created and written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, notable for some of the most popular comedies on 

British Television including Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Lovejoy, and many feature films including The Commitments, for which they won the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and Still Crazy, which won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture, 

Goal and The Bank Job.

In this very special and rare event we’ll be joined by our festival patron, writer Ian la Frenais. Ian will be chatting about his creative partnership with Dick Clement as they transitioned from writing for TV with the comedy classic The Likely Lads, to 

movies such as Otley and their 1971, deadly serious, gripping London crime picture - Villain.

Their return to TV comedy in 1973 saw Bob and Terry reunited in the award winning sequel ‘Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?’ Ian will be sharing, first hand, the creative journey that brought this classic series to our screens along with clips and a screening of his selected episode. 

This ‘not to be missed’ event will also include a Q & A.

Our moderator for this very special event is former BBC, award winning broadcaster/presenter Chris Jackson.

When: Tuesday 19th September

Event starts - 7.00pm

Where: Playhouse Whitley Bay

Marine Ave, Whitley Bay, NE26 1LZ

This event has happened.


Ian La Frenais was born in Monkseaton, Whitley Bay. Despite moving to California in the late 70s, he remains an avid supporter of Newcastle United and his support for the Whitley Bay Film Festival over the years has been amazing. Ian became our Patron when 

we began in 2010. 

Since Ians first visit to the festival in 2012 for a screening of ‘Across The Universe’ he has given us some incredible memories, bringing with him stars such as, writing partner Dick Clement, Ray Connelly, Franc Roddam, Roger Daltrey and Bill Nighy!

We’re so grateful and super honoured that he’s coming back to share such a special anniversary with us here in Whitley Bay. 


Chris Jackson is a multi award-winning TV presenter, reporter, investigative journalist and documentary producer. Born in Newcastle he has spent most of his 40 years in radio & TV

here in the region and is passionate about the North East and its representation on screen. He was formerly a reporter and presenter on Look North and for 18 years was the face of BBC One's most popular current affairs programmes "Inside Out”.

He is now trying to retire and failing miserably. 

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