Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are the creators of some of British television's most beloved comedies. Essex-born Clement teamed up with Geordie insurance salesman La Frenais in the early 1960s and scripted a series about two young pals from Newcastle, The Likely Lads, which became one of BBC Two's first hits. The duo went on to create the classic comedies Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, Porridge starring Ronnie Barker, and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
Together and separately they have worked as writers and script editors for some of the most famous TV programmes ever made, and with stellar performers that include Billy Connolly and Tracey Ullman. Clement and La Frenais have been partners for more than five decades: longer than Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gilbert and Sullivan, Laurel and Hardy, and Morecambe and Wise.
Their career has covered writing, directing and producing for movies and the theatre as well as for television. They have written comedy set in factories, prisons and building sites; drama set in shabby London streets and the corridors of power; musicals about bands coming together and bands breaking apart. Along the way they have had some memorable encounters with movie stars like Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Marlon Brando; and with poets, prima donnas, politicians and rock stars. This is their story.
First published: Thursday 19th September 2019
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