The Likely Lads was a hit British sitcom created and written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Twenty episodes were made and broadcast in all, over three seasons, by the BBC between December 1964 and July 1966. However, only eight of these shows have survived intact. (see below).

    This was followed by a successful sequel series, in colour, entitled Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? that was broadcast between January 1973 and December 1974 and in 1976; a spin-off movie.

    The show followed the close friendship of two working-class young men, Terry Collier (James Bolam) and Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes), in the northeast of England in the mid 1960s.

    * James Bolam (Terry Collier)
    * Rodney Bewes (Bob Ferris)
    * Sheila Fearn (Audrey: Terry's sister)

    Guest stars

    * George Layton (in "The Suitor" as "Mario" aka Ernie, Audrey's boyfriend and later husband, although he never appears in the latter role)
    * Wendy Richard (in "Last of the Big Spenders")
    * Susan Jameson (the real life wife of James Bolam, in "Double Date")

    Only 8 episodes remain in the BBC archive:

    After growing up at school and Scouts together, Bob and Terry are found working in the same electrical factory, Ellison's, alongside the older, wiser duo of Cloughie and Jack. The show's gritty yet verbose humour derived mostly from the tensions between Terry's cynical 'everyman' personality and Bob's ambitions to better himself and progress to the middle class.

    Terry and Bob struggled to enjoy the booming Swinging Sixties on their meagre incomes. Thus, at the end of the third series, in 1966, a depressed and bored Bob attempts to join the Army but is rejected due to his flat feet. Terry however, who secretly decides at the last minute to enlist to keep Bob company, is accepted A1 and shipped away for three years.

    Both 'lads' were conceived during the same wartime air raid and thus born in the same year, 1944. It was also gradually revealed later that Terry and Bob's full names were Terence Daniel Collier and Robert Andrew Scarborough Ferris respectively.

    The word 'likely' in the title, which in some northern English dialects means 'likeable', in the context of the series is more likely to mean 'likely to succeed', for in the 1960s series the two main characters are on the brink of making their way in the world.