Likely Lad Rodney Bewes is fondly remembered in Alnwick

Rodney Bewes in his heyday
Rodney Bewes in his heyday

The Likely Lads star Rodney Bewes, who was a regular performer at the Alnwick Playhouse, has died at the age of 79.

The actor – best known for his role as Bob Ferris in the North-East-based BBC sitcom – passed away yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

In a statement on Twitter, his agent Michelle Braidman described him as a ‘true one off’.

She added: ‘It is with great sadness that we confirm that our dear client, the much loved actor Rodney Bewes, passed away this morning.

‘We will miss his charm and ready wit.’

Bewes, born in Bingley, near Bradford, would have turned 80 next week.

He went on to star in the sequel to the sitcom, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads, alongside Sunderland-born James Bolam, Brigit Forsyth and Sheila Fearn.

Rodney appeared several times at the Playhouse in Alnwick, including in his one-man show Three Men in a Boat.

Former Playhouse manager Steve Cowton remembers the occasion well: “He always managed his own affairs – so the phone would ring and it would be him on the other end of the line trying to sell you his latest show!

“He was one of the very few actors who behaved off stage exactly as you imagined he would – and he was always ready for a drink after the performance. When he presented his version of One Man In A Boat he drove up from Surrey with a rowing boat on a trailer and he and I had to carry it up the old Playhouse fire escape to get it on to the stage.

“Rodney was an old school actor – and he’ll be missed.”

Ahead of his solo adaptation of The Diary of a Nobody, in September 2006, Rodney told the Gazette: “I love Alnwick. The Playhouse is a great theatre with a great audience. I’m looking forward to returning to the North East. It’s like coming home for me, even though I’m not a Geordie!”

His first trip to Alnwick was for the filming of Walt Disney’s The Spaceman and King Arthur at Alnwick Castle in 1978. He said: “When we shot the film, it was just great.”

He last performed in Alnwick in September 2007 in another one-man show, On The Stage – And Off, The Brief Career of a Would-Be Actor.