Rodney Bewes, best known for his role in BBC comedy The Likely Lads, has died aged 79 while Iola Gregory of Pobol Y Cwm fame passed away aged 71.

Wendy Richard, James Bolam, Rodney Bewes and Sheila Fearn in The Likely Lads

Rodney Bewes, best known for his role as Bob Ferris in BBC sitcom The Likely Lads and its later follow-up Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, has died aged 79. The actor who spent his later years mainly performing in theatre also featured in television shows ranging from The Basil Brush Show, as a presenter, to guest starring in long running beeb science fiction drama Doctor Who.

It was however the partnership with James Bolam in the North East set sitcom The Likely Lads which propelled the pair to household stardom. The show regularly drew audiences of more than 20 million in its heyday. A follow up run of episodes in the 1970s also proved a hit with viewers, and in 1975 a big screen movie saw the duo united for one last time. The series had legs to run and run, however after a falling out between Bolam and Bewes The Likely Lads remained stuck in the ’70s, apart from a one-off special in 2002 which saw Ant and Dec take on the lead roles – Bewes made a small cameo appearance as a newspaper seller in that special.

“We are very sad to hear of the passing of Rodney Bewes, a fine comic actor who we had the honour of meeting and working with. He will live on through Bob Ferris and the brilliant Likely Lads. RIP.” – Ant and Dec

Welsh actress Iola Gregory has died aged 71 after a short illness it was also confirmed on November 21st. Iola is best known to S4C viewers as landlady Jean McGurk in the popular Welsh-language soap opera Pobol y Cwm.

The performer joined the cast of the saga in the late 1980s and remained with the production for a decade. Other roles include parts in BBC drama The District Nurse alongside Nerys Hughes and the late Margaret John. Iola was also famed for her part in founding the Welsh language theatre company Theatr Bara Caws in 1977.

“She will be part of the Pobol y Cwm family forever,” – Pobol y Cwm series producer Llyr Morus.

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