Rodney Bewes, who became a massive star in the 1960s and 1970s as Bob Ferris in the BBC sitcom The Likely Lads has died aged 79.

His theatrical agents Michelle Braidman Associates confirmed the sad news in a statement on Twitter - accompanied by images of Bews in the role where he played the other half to James Bolam's Terry.

Their statement said: "It is with great sadness that we confirm that our dear client, the much loved actor Rodney Bewes, passed away this morning. Rodney was a true one off. We will miss his charm and ready wit."

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Bewes became a household name with Bolam after being cast in Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais's 20 episode black and white Likely Lads series.

The show centred on the lives on ex-army man Bolam's Terry and Bewes, who suffered constant jibes over his middle-class aspirations.

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It was such a hit the show was resurrected in the 1970s with a fresh run - this time in colour - as Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?

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There was also a feature film in 1976 starring the two men, who famously did not actually get on during the filming of the series. It was a rift they never healed.

After Bewes's wife, Daphne, died in 2015, he said he was surprised not to have got a letter of condolence from Bolam, who himself remains a constant star - with his own children's TV series currently on air.

“I got letters from people from all over the world,” said Rodney, 77, “but there’s not a letter from Jimmy about Daphne dying."

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Tributes poured into Bewes, with radio presenter Danny Baker tweeting his sign off as 'Bob' to 'Terry:' "What dreadful bit of news. See ya, kidda."

Morgan Jeffrey, TV editor of Digital Spy, also posted an image of Bolam and Bewes in their heyday, using his catchphrase, adding: "Gutted to hear that Rodney Bewes has passed away. Always hoped against hope that he and James Bolam would patch things up and we'd get one last Likely Lads special, with Bob and Terry in their golden years. Not to be. Very sad. Rest in peace, kidda."

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Elaine Burns tweeted: "So sad to hear about #RodneyBewes. Like Porridge & Rising Damp, The Likely Lads was done & dusted before I was even born but the writing still hasn't dated all these years later. Couldn't agree more with Danny."

Kieran Bestall‏ wrote: "A great double act and a classic British sitcom. #RIP Rodney Bewes."

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