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Publisher's 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

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  • SirChutney
  • 07-04-20

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.

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  • Lee Jackson
  • 01-29-20

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.

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  • Dunedin
  • 06-30-22

Superb

You know its a good book when your sad that you've reached the end of it

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  • Mr C J Duffy
  • 01-20-22

Brilliant

I downloaded this book because of the lads links to AWP, hadn’t realised they were so famous and worldly - a true journey though the world of film and TV, enjoyed it !

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  • DEANO
  • 01-19-22

I’d give you a can 🍺 but I’ve only got 6 left 😉

Can’t believe I put this off cause some of the reviews said it’s not edited very well (theirs a few hiccups but not many)
Proper enjoyed it, loads of little stories off two decent blokes, who made it without getting to big for their boots.
Anyone who writes Likely Lads, Porridge an Auf Wedersien deserves a listen an you won’t be disappointed.

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  • Paul Carnahan
  • 05-20-21

Good stories, shocking production

'More Thank Likely' is an engaging and entertaining listen, let down by shoddy production and editing.
Clement and La Frenais deliver a warm and chatty account of their lives and careers as one of the UK's most prolific and successful screenwriting partnerships. If the story veers too much towards celebrity encounters than the nuts and bolts of the pair's work, the pair can be forgiven - their digressions into encounters with the Rolling Stones, Ava Gardner and Sean Connery, for instance, are always fun to hear.
Less fun is the shocking lack of attention to detail given to the overall production. The sound quality and volume of the authors' voices varies wildly, even within the space of a single sentence, with numerous drop-ins and re-records painfully evident.
Several times, entire sentences are repeated due to sloppy editing and, in at least one case, random words from an entirely different chapter have been dropped into the middle of another sentence, apparently at random.
Didn't anyone listen to this thing before offering it for sale?

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  • John o'neill
  • 02-12-20

a solid listen

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

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  • mark
  • 01-05-20

brilliant Reed

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

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  • John
  • 11-25-19

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.

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  • J Whitfield
  • 11-04-19

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.