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The Likely Lads was a black and white Britcom that ran from 1964 to 1966 on The BBC. It followed the escapades of two young working-class men Oop North, Terry Collier (who was proud of his roots) and Bob Ferris (who wanted to better himself and become middle-class). It was created by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and starred James Bolam as Terry and Rodney Bewes as Bob.
However, what most people remember now is Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, a revival that ran from 1973 to 1974, still written by Clement and La Frenais. In this show, Bob had succeeded in becoming middle-class and was engaged to the very middle-class Thelma, when Terry suddenly reappeared (he'd joined the army at the end of the original series), throwing his life into confusion.
The Likely Lads contains examples of:
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Bob and Terry.
- Missing Episode: Only eight episodes are still known to exist.
- Oop North
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? contains examples of:
- Appointment Television: "No Hiding Place", where Bob and Terry desperately try to avoid Spoilers.
- Armoured Closet Gay: Bob implies this about Terry in "No Hiding Place" ("Well known fact: anyone who's always putting queers down and being aggressively masculine all the time - like you - is only masking their own latent tendencies.")
- Henpecked Husband: Bob.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Bob and Terry. Not that they weren't such in the first series, but even more so here. The first season ends with them sharing a bed. On Bob's wedding night.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Bob's full name is revealed as Robert Andrew Scarborough Ferris - which is at least less embarrassing than Terry's guesses at what the S might stand for (Stalin, Sarajevo, Sands-of-Iwo-Jima...)
- The Movie, also a Vacation Episode (they go caravaning). Just called The Likely Lads.
- Shout-Out: When Bob wakes up befuddled in the police station after his non-stag-party and asks what happened, Terry tells him they had an encounter with a strange doctor in a police box.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: Thelma (middle class) vs. Terry (working class), with Bob caught in the middle.