Likely Lads star Rodney Bewes dies aged 79

Actor Rodney Bewes, best known for his role as Bob Ferris in The Likely Lads, has died aged 79.

In a statement, his agent described the star as “a true one-off” with “charm and ready wit”.

“He had a funny anecdote for every occasion,” it read. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. We will miss him terribly.”

Bewes starred alongside James Bolam in The Likely Lads – together the pair played two working class friends who worked in the same Newcastle factory.

The sitcom, which ran for three series from 1964-66, became one of the BBC’s best-loved comedies and turned the pair into household names.

Rodney Bewes attends The Oldie Magazine's 'Oldie Of The Year Awards 2007' at Simpson's-in-the-Strand on March 13, 2007 in London, England.

Image: Bewes has been described as ‘a true one-off’

In 1973, Bewes and Bolam reprised their roles for the show’s sequel, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, starring alongside Brigit Forsyth and Sheila Fearn.

But both actors later fell out and never spoke again.

In 2010, Bewes claimed Bolam had prevented the BBC from showing repeats of The Likely Lads.

He said: “I’m very poor so I have to tour one-man shows because Jimmy has buried The Likely Lads. You have to sign a waiver for them to repeat it and he stopped it while he did New Tricks.

“Well, New Tricks has been on so long, and is so repeated, that he must be very wealthy; me, I’ve just got an overdraft and a mortgage.”

He added: “He should let it be repeated on BBC2 or BBC1; to stop other people earning money is cruel.”

Bewes is survived by his four children; Billy, Joe, Tom and Daisy.