Gems Rediscovered: The Likely Lads

January 18, 2019

A most unlikely discovery…

In the chocolate box of life, the top layer may have already gone (as Bob memorably bemoans in a scene from the 1976 film of The Likely Lads), but at Network, we’ve discovered a secret stash of orange creme… in the form of two episodes, thought lost for decades, now returned to their rightful place in the canon of this much-loved situation comedy.

A Star is Born and Faraway Places haven’t been seen since they were last broadcast by the BBC in 1967. Originally transmitted as part of the second series in 1965, the episodes were shown three times in all, before dropping out of sight. Now, two 16mm telerecordings have surfaced, and we’re immensely pleased and proud to report that they will both be included as special features on Network’s forthcoming Blu-ray and DVD release of the 1976 movie The Likely Lads.

The film itself has been newly remastered from the original negatives and has never looked or sounded better. The two episodes have also been transferred in High Definition, to get the best possible quality from these rare film prints. To borrow some sales patter from Extralite washing powder salesman Terry Collier: ‘into the light… shining bright… up your nose, fresh as a rose’.

A Star is Born sees Bob and Terry making a bid for stardom… on a very small scale. Can you imagine Terry as Donovan, playing frying-pan banjo? Or Bob reciting The Lion and Albert?

Faraway Places has the lads making plans for their summer holiday… but the need to earn extra cash sends them to the labour exchange in search of daytime work while they’re on nights at the factory…

The discovery of any lost television series is an event to be celebrated… so we’re making an event of it, with a public screening of the film and episodes, plus a very special guest Q&A with series writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Watch this space for further announcements.

The Likely Lads is available to pre-order on Blu-ray and DVD now.

Martin Cater


  1. Kenneth Henderson Reply

    Great to see features and lost TV episodes are still being found and then made available. How many still remain deteriorating in attics, basement or garages, or, even storage cages waiting to be found and restored to view? We might never know but I will be getting this Blu Ray.
    One point, though, a rare UK early 1930s Gracie Fields film, This year of Grace(also a stage show) was found in recent years but it does appear to have been made available yet. There is a lousy quality trailer out there to view(lucky to see any pre-1950s UK film trailers and when you do they are very poor quality, in one case a sloppy one found in Australia of a 1940s film was repatriated. Always hopeful.
    I was watching(Fri Jan 18 2019) a DVD of a BBC concert celebrating the music from MGM films with a large orchestra, singers and a couple of presenters. Early on the woman presenter made mention of the BBC policy of wiping so many early great TV series.

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