||Carla Lane's BREAD, the classic BBC
comedy series set in Liverpool, England.
Page updated 24th May, 2015.
classic BBC comedy series set in Liverpool,
England, from the legendary Carla Lane, OBE, who
wrote 'The Liver Birds', 'Butterflies', 'Solo',
'The Mistress', 'The Last Song' and 'I Woke Up
One Morning' among others.
least two books and one annual have been
published. To the left is the recently found 1990
Annual* published by Grandreams Ltd. The one on
the right contains the scripts from the first two
seasons. The one at the end on the left contains
the biographies of Mrs. Boswell and her family.
OVERVIEW | CAST/CHARACTERS | EVENTS
ISBN 0 86227 678 0 (1989)
This is a fan page and does not
intend to infringe any copyrights held either by the BBC
or anyone else. All sources where known will be given or
||To the left you'll spot a
shot of Paul and Linda McCartney
guesting in THAT episode. Unfortunately, the
clipping is undated and lacks the name of the
paper. The reviewer at the time wasn't a fan of
the show and the review was less than friendly.
The final words in the review: "At least
Paul had the good sense to remain hidden in the
Mercedes and limit his contribution to one
WEEKLY NEWS dated December 3, 1988 was far more
friendly. There was a one page feature on Peter
'Joey' Howitt and his girlfriend at the
time, Louise English. Said Peter: "I never
wear black leather gear like Joey Boswell. I will
help promote the programme by doing personal
appearances but Joey and I are light years apart.
/ My sister has threatened to reply to my fan
mail and tell the girls who write in what I'm
really like!" Later in the interview, saying
that he was writing jokes for Cannon & Ball
and Hale & Pace, "I'm investing for the
time when I am no longer flavour of the
month." Peter had also turned down an 80,000
pounds ad contract to promote aftershave and
bread for fear it would affect his credibility as
an actor. Actors had integrity back then. How
times have changed.
Liverpool, England, the home of The Beatles. The Boswell
family, although none of them appear to be employed,
manage to live a comfortable life with the help of Social
Security payments and various jobs on the side. The
matriache and undisputed head of the family, who always
sits at the head of the table around which much of the
action takes place, is Nellie (Jean Boht). She has raised
her children with little or no help from husband Freddie
(Ronald Forfar), who spends most of his time chasing
after 'Lilo Lil' (Eileen Pollock). Her lads are Joey
(Peter Howitt), Jack (Victor McGuire), Adrian (Jonathon
Morris) and Billy (Nick Conway). Solitary daughter,
Aveline (Gilly Coman), dreams of becoming a top model. At
the end of series 4, Peter Howitt left the programme and
was replaced by Graham Bickley. Gilly Coman also left, to
be replaced by Melanie Hill. We hope to cover all these
characters and actors either by way of links or
information below, gleaned from news clippings of the
in 'pecking' order! Not all listed yet.
Waller. Born in Huddersfield on November 5,
1927. He died on January 28, 2000, aged 72 .
From The Times
Kenneth Waller was one of those admirable character
actors who plied his trade for decades without attracting
much notice and then became a household name late in his
career thanks to one hugely successful television series.
This was Bread, Carla Lane's sitcom
about about the unemployed Boswell family on Merseyside,
which at its peak in the late 1980s attracted an audience
of 21 million. It was an ensemble piece rather than a
star vehicle, and Waller's Grandad was an essential
A pensioner who lived next door to the Boswells in their
working-class terrace, Grandad was forever dropping in to
cadge a meal and his "hey, where's me tea?"
became a catchphrase. Waller's skilled playing
transcended what could have been a comic caricature by
investing the character with a shrewd mixture of
irascibility and pathos.
It was clever acting in a physical sense as well, for
viewers who saw only a 75- year-old with unkempt white
hair and a bushy moustache might not have guessed that
the hair was dyed, the moustache a fake and that Waller
was not yet 60 when he first played the part.
Grandad came to Waller rather by chance. He had been due
to make a film in Spain when a fellow actor, Art Malik,
broke his arm and shooting was postponed. This left
Waller free for other work and available when Bread was
The series began in 1986 and survived a tepid critical
reception and local objections to perceived Scouse
stereotyping to became the most popular BBC comedy of its
day. Waller played Grandad until the final episode in
Kenneth Waller came to acting late, after National
Service in the RAF and working in the accounts department
of an auctioneering firm where a colleague was Thelma
Barlow, later Mavis Riley of Coronation Street.
He started in repertory, appeared at the Oxford Playhouse
under Frank Hauser, and showed equal proficiency in
musicals and straight plays.
He made his West End debut in the Julian Slade musical Free
As Air at the Savoy Theatre in 1957 and played
in more than 20 other London productions, including Salad
Days, The Solid Gold Cadillac, Anne of Green Gables
and The Importance of Being Earnest. He
played Shakespeare in India, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.
Waller was an accomplished pianist who played with
leading orchestras in Peter and the Wolf,
a lover of opera and a keen follower in his home town of
the Huddersfield Choral Society. Another institution he
cherished was the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park,
which he served as both actor and supporter.
He made the first of more than 200 television appearances
in a comedy show starring Terry Scott, and had parts in
many popular series, including All Creatures
Great and Small, Juliet Bravo and Dr Who.
But it was not until the early 1980s that his career
began to take off, playing Mr Grace, the store owner in
the sitcom Are You Being Served?, and
Ferret, the old Cockney in the comedy-drama Big
During 1988 he was in Coronation Street playing
the father of Curly Watts. With his brown hair this time
dyed ginger, he could never be mistaken for Bread's
Grandad. After Bread finished he was
with Barbara Windsor in a successful touring production
of Joe Orton's black comedy, Entertaining Mr
Despite his late fame and the wealth that went with it,
Waller lived modestly in a rented two-bedroom maisonette
opposite Chalk Farm Tube station in London. His idea of a
treat was a fresh Scotch salmon from Marks & Spencer
and a half bottle of champagne. He never married.
Subj: Kenneth Waller (from Bread)
Date: 30/10/06 10:39:36 AUS Eastern Daylight
I was looking at your website in relation to Ken
Waller and was surprised to find that there is no mention
of his role in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I knew Ken from
my days working at the BBC (1980-87) where we sang in the
Club Choir together. I always point him out to my
children as it was such great fun knowing him and we used
to laugh a lot together. He played one of the inventors
alongside Max Wall and was very proud of it! Otherwise
this is a lovely tribute to him - thanks! - Rosy
Treasure, Claygate, Esher
Boht - Details to follow when time permits.
Morris scored a double. At the same time of
landing the role 'Adrian', he also won a role in the West
End stage production of 'La Cage Aux Folles'. Never out
of work since leaving the Bristol Old Vic in 1981, he'd
appeared in TV costume dramas such as 'Beau Geste' and
'The Prisoner of Zenda', and worked on stage with Tom
Baker, Claire Bloom and Patricia Hodge. His mother was an
infant school teacher and his father, a horticulturalist.
Tommy Steele, Frad Astaire and Gene Kelly were his
favourite stars during his childhood. Info from THE WEEKLY NEWS dated December 3, 1988.
Tushingham was Celia
Higgins, the neighbour. Rita returned to her native
Liverpool from Canada to appear in the series. "It
was lovely to be back. Liverpool people are very special
and have a marvellous sense of humour. / And the cast
could not have been friendlier." She was born in
Liverpool in 1942. Rita applied to a newspaper
advertisement for an actress to play Jo in the film A
Taste Of Honey and got the role. She won the
best actress award at the Cannes festival for her first
film performance. She then appeared in several important
movies of the decade, including Doctor Zhivago
and The Knack. Others included A
Taste Of Honey, The Leather Boys, A Place To Go, The Girl
With Green Eyes, The Trap, Smashing Time, Diamonds For
Breakfast, The Guru and The Bed-sitting
Room. Rita also made at least one appearance on
the Morcambe and Wise Show. Rita and her
husband, film-maker Ousama Rawi, settled in Canada with
their two daughters Aisha and Dodanna, in 1981. Some info
from THE WEEKLY NEWS dated
December 3, 1988.
Pollock, unlike her character, accumulated
numerous academic qualifications including a degree in
languages at Belfast's Queens University; she speaks
French, Italian and Spanish and worked as a translator
before moving to the acting profession. And yes, she had
her hair dyed to play Lilo Lil! About Lil, Eileen said:
" ...I'm very fond of her but she is quite
misunderstood. / In a way she is fond of Freddie and
would settle down with him. But he has wanderlust and he
needs to go back to his family from time to time."
Info from THE WEEKLY NEWS dated
December 3, 1988
Power as the dole dragon, Martina, didn't need
to do any research for the part as she'd been on the
opposite side of the DHSS counter many times! Said Kenneth
Waller of Pamela: " Pamela was so brilliant
in the first episode, it was dedcided to keep her on and
give her a bigger role." At the time Pamela was
married to financial planner, Martyn Ingram. The two
shared their Wimbledon home with three cats. Info from THE WEEKLY NEWS dated December 3,
Murray's arrival after the show had been running for four
series was daunting for him but the cast soon made him
welcome. His mum was a great fan and very pleased when he
landed the role of Shifty Boswell. At the time of the
interview, Bryan's wife had shifted back to Ireland and
had taken their five yo daughter, Laura, who he missed
very much. Info from THE WEEKLY
NEWS dated December 3, 1988
Lennaine has also been seen in various TV
programmes including Bread where Terry
played 'Stan', the husband of Joey Boswell's girlfriend
'Roxy', Terry appeared in a number of episodes.
most commonly asked question from this page. Yes, the
Boswells' dog is named MONGY.
double page colour-spread appeared in DAILY RECORD (a
Scottish paper printed in Glasgow*), December 5,
1988. *Thanks to Ben Wicks for this information.
THE ROME SPECIAL
a scan of a colour illo of the 'Roman Special' cast from
an unknown newspaper but it's not suitable for this page.
Sorry, currently misplaced and not available until I
relocate the clipping.
THE STAGE VERSION
Bickley played Joey in the stage version.
From the Creator of
'Bread': (Site now offline)
We have taken the liberty of
including links to your page from our site http://www.carlalane.com/ . Many
thanks for your interest in the series.
Just ONE page on the
Collecting Books and Magazines web site based in