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Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles

Contributed by Christopher Bentley on Jan 15th, 2023. Artwork published in
January 1973
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles 1
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My Wife Next Door – previously featured here on Fonts In Use – had been the first-ever winner of a dedicated BAFTA “Best Sitcom” award in 1973. The sequel to the mid-1960s sitcom The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? was the second winner of that category in 1974. It premiered on 9th January 1973, half a century ago to the day on which this contribution is being compiled.

It was set in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, starring Rodney Bewes as Bob Ferris, James Bolam as Terry Collier, Brigit Forsyth as Thelma Ferris (née Chambers) and Sheila Fearn as Terry Collier’s sister Audrey, and had been created by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. It features one of the more memorable signature tunes of not only British sitcom history in particular but British television history in general, “Whatever Happened To You”, composed by the former drummer with Manfred Mann, Mike Hugg (Music) and Ian La Frenais (Lyrics), which, in late April 1973, actually made the UK Top Forty, performed by Highly Likely.

These titles are taken from that premier, entitled “Strangers On A Train”. They are rendered in Eden, a close follower of Burko Gorpo and/or Blippo Black, with “Signature Tune written by” set in Kabel.

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles 2
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Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles 3
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Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles 4
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Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles 5
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Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles 6
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  • Eden / Morry
  • Kabel




Artwork location

2 Comments on “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? titles”

  1. Congrats, Christopher – you found a rare bird!

    The bold geometric sans is a close follower of Burko Gorpo (in or before 1969), or rather of Blippo Black (1969), which in turn was inspired by Burko. Unlike those, this face doesn’t have a lowercase. It’s distinguished from Blippo Black by bridge-less forms for B and H, a Q with the tail to the right, and V and Y with verticals. Numerals and the question mark are different, too.

    Conways, a typesetting service in London, listed it in January 1974 under the name Eden, with Lettergraphics credits. In Castcraft’s 1978 catalog, it’s included as Morry, with a note saying “similar to Eden”, suggesting that Eden came first. Judging from the glyph sets shown by Daylight Fonts, Morry appears to be different from Eden in a few glyphs, see F and G. However, these might have been available as alternates: images #2 and #6 in this post show two different forms of F.

  2. Thanks, Florian! I appear to be making a (good!) habit of these ‘firsts’ at Fonts In Use!

    I did, however, break that habit of mentioning Valérie Čižmárová in one of my contributions, despite the incredible coincidence that 9th January 1973 also saw the beginning of her sensational recording output in the year in which she fully came of age, putting both ‘Tak měj mě rád’ (‘So Just Love Me’) and ‘Mít aero a létat’ (‘To Have A Plane And To Fly’) on vinyl on that day, as you will note at the ‘Valérie Čižmárová: A Life In Sound’ page of Bananas For Breakfast!

    1973 was also my only full calendar year at Herbert Strutt School, getting to follow in Sir Alan Bates’ and Timothy Dalton’s footsteps as part of the first academic year that got into ‘Strutts’ by place of residence as opposed to passing the 11+ examination.

    My late father can also claim some fame of that nature, since he attended Bemrose School back in the 1940s, Bemrose later being James Bolam’s school. It was probably a little upsetting for the eventually widely-respected teacher in Derby that Dad became that, in the 2015 reality documentary School Swap – The Class Divide, Bemrose was the school for the ‘have-nots’ of life.

    I note, BTW, that it would have been on ITV’s schedules only just before I discovered Valérie Čižmárová on the Web, plus Miluška Voborníková (26th August 2015) which is another incredible coincidence!

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