Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about More Than Likely

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but somewhat tepid.

Over their 50-year career Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais amassed more than 60 IMDB credits to their name. These include The Commitments, Tracey (Ullman) Takes On, Flushed Away and The Bank Job, plus uncredited script doctor work on the likes of Never Say Never Again and theatre activities like Anyone For Dennis and the West End musical version of Billy Liar. They undoubtedly possess a gift for crafting words. Therefore my expectations were high. But, unfortunately, I felt the style in this book was a little disappointing. Each writer narrates their stories in a kind of tag-team arrangement. They drop names liberally. The enthusiastic praise for yet another “lovely” and “talented” acquaintance becomes repetitive. Plus we don't get a huge amount of specific detail on their most popular creations. 'Porridge', 'Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads' or "Auf Wiedersehen" for example. It's practically like a transcript of a chat show with a disjointed and slightly random narrative. And its scant on autobiographical details, even though these are often the best bits. In summary, it's all entertaining enough but somewhat tepid.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great background stories to some of out best known films and TV

The authors are legends and deliver a fun and cheeky book sharing their stories of film and TV writing. They've worked with them all!! My only complaint is as a big Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen Pet fan I would have like a little more on those masterpieces. Great listen and actually very motivating as they talk of success and failure very openly. Excellent.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a solid listen

a great listen to the lives of the legendary writing duo. lots of name-dropping , but nonetheless, very enjoyable

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant Reed

I really couldn't put this book down. so interesting and well-written. brought back some childhood memories

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I never knew

That the lads were such a large part of what was going on in Hollywood and other locals. I always assumed they were hanging around up in Sunderland thinking of new characters and stories to tell, just 6,000 miles offside in the end. Great to hear Dick and Ian riffing at times, though that's probably the wrong term. If you enjoyed their work onscreen, then you'll enjoy this immensely.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Ran out of steam

What started off a great listen turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. The chapter about the Rolling Stones and Dave Stewart was quite laborious. Porridge is my favourite comedy ever with great characters so was really excited to come across this book. The rest of the book was good with some funny anecdotes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Decades-spanning career and anecdotes

Unsurprisingly, as a pair of successful writers - including a lot of comedy - this memoir is brilliantly written. The reading alternates between the two authors, and this supports an already pacey narrative. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Likeable Lads

Listening to this is like sitting after a good dinner listening to two old friends reminiscing. Clement and La Frenais are self-deprecating, funny, astute and warm. The stories are not particularly revealing but it is a pleasure to spend time with these two legends.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Was a really great listen and the stories were fantastic excellent excellent excellent quality work