bc Carla Lane's BREAD, the classic BBC comedy series set in Liverpool, England.

BREAD
Page updated 14th June, 2010.

The 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.

At 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 | DVD | VIDEO | CAST/CHARACTERS | EVENTS

* ISBN 0 86227 678 0 (1989)

Carla Lane's Site

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Carla's charities!

BBC Page

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 hot-linked. Contributions are welcome, to the address below, please, which is now unlinked to avoid SPAM.

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 throwaway line."

THE 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.

OVERVIEW
Set in 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 time.

VIDEOS
Another often-asked question. I recall seeing videos in ABC Shops (in Australia) during the show's run but so far as I know, there are none currently available in Australia. Now available in the UK.
DVDs
Region 2 and 4 DVDs of series 1-2 and 3-4 (MAY NOT include the Rome special) are now available.
Use this link to the
BREAD page on the IMDb.

SOME CAST/CHARACTERS in 'pecking' order! Not all listed yet.

GRANDAD
Kenneth 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 element.
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 being cast.
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 December 1991.
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 Deal.
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 Sloane.
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 Time
From: Rosy
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

NELLIE
Jean Boht - Details to follow when time permits.

ADRIAN
Jonathon 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.

CELIA
Rita 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.

LILO LIL
Eileen 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

MARTINA
Pamela 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, 1988

SHIFTY
Bryan 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

STAN
Terry 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.

MONGY
The most commonly asked question from this page. Yes, the Boswells' dog is named MONGY.

EVENTS

THE MARRIAGE
A 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
I have 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
Graham Bickley played Joey in the stage version.

From the Creator of 'Bread':
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.
Best wishes,
Carla Lane

To contact the page editor, email chiefchook@gmail.com

Just ONE page on the Collecting Books and Magazines web site based in Australia.

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