More Than Likely

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781474611534

Price: £20

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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 sitcoms 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.


Clement and La Frenais' book will tickle anyone who loves comedy and relishes gossipy stories about cultural icons of yore ... The book's index reads like a who's who of showbusiness. Over the course of six decades, Clement and La Frenais encountered everyone from Ava Gardner and Richard Burton to Peter Cook an Dudley Moore via the rude and foul-mouthed Michael Winner. Their career has been a crazy ride and it makes for a thoroughly entertaining read
Garry Bushell, DAILY EXPRESS
The writers of Porridge, The Likely Lads, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, The Commitments and Lovejoy take a stroll down memory lane, recalling past glories and the many famous faces to cross their paths. There are fond tales of Ronnie Barker, Bill Nighy and Hollywood greats from Marlon Brando to Ava Gardner. This is a light-hearted entertaining and nostalgic memoir
Witty, deft, highly consumable, sporadically revealing ... vivid and amusing ... It's good and gossipy, but they sneak in all sorts of smart observations about showbiz ... There's a joy, certainly, to joining them at - or within a short stride from - the high table of television and film ... their clarity and understated wit throughout explains why they are still much in demand
Dominic Maxwell, THE TIMES
Fascinating insights into some of the actors they have worked with over the years, including Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale and James Bolam
CHOICE magazine
More Than Likely brings to life with flair and humour the people that inspired them ... Memorable encounters include Hollywood stars like Richard Burton, Michael Caine, Ava Gardner, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are responsible for making a lot of people laugh a lot. Their writing track record is up there with the very best ... riveting .... the book is a tribute to the breadth and range of their impact - and how much fun they have had in the process
Sarah Crompton, THE SUNDAY TIMES
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have brought a smile to the face of the nation for the best part of six decades ... More Than Likely is a matey stroll down memory lane in which they separately, and jointly, recall past glories and the famous faces who have crossed their paths ... More Than Likely is an entertaining read full of sharp-eyed nostalgia, star-studded anecdotes and an affection for the good and bad times of a lifetime in the storytelling business
This immensely readable namedropathon is a constant delight. Writing alternate chapters, as you'd expect from the authors of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, it's a delightfully illuminating affair ... their ability to entertain is just as evident in print ... it's a great reminder that Clement and La Frenais are true pioneers. Influenced greatly by the kitchen sink dramas of the 60s, they took the genre to the small screen with The Likely Lads. It's easy to forget just how groundbreaking that series was