James Bolam

James Bolam

Infobox Actor
name = James Bolam

imagesize = 200px
birthname = James Bolam
birthdate = birth date and age|1938|6|16|df=yes
birthplace = Sunderland, County Durham, England
occupation = Actor, singer
yearsactive = 1961-present
spouse = Susan Jameson (?-present)

James Bolam (born 16 June 1938) is an English actor and singer, best known for his roles as Jack Ford in "When the Boat Comes In" and as Terry Collier in "The Likely Lads" and "Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?"

Early life

Bolam was born in Sunderland, County Durham, England on the 16 June 1938. Born to English parents, his father is from Northumberland and his mother from County Durham.


After attending Bede Grammar School, Sunderland, Bolam travelled south and attended Bemrose School in Derby. [ [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/B/htmlB/bolamjames/bolamjames.htm James Bolam at museum.tv] , accessed 18 July 2008] He was formally trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and first appeared on screens in the early 1960s, initially in popular TV shows such as "Z-Cars" and the gritty northern films "A Kind of Loving" and "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner". He appeared along with John Thaw in the 1967 Granada TV serial, "Inheritance".

"The Likely Lads" made Bolam a huge star during its 1964 to 1966 run. Bolam himself adapted the shows for BBC radio soon afterwards, and then went on to appear in films such as "O Lucky Man!", "Otley" and "Half a Sixpence" before the lads returned, in colour, in 1973.

"Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads" ran for two series, in 1973 and 1974. These were repeated in late 1974, and a new episode, a 45-minute Christmas special, was broadcast on Christmas Eve that year. In 1975 Bolam appeared alongside the original cast in a further BBC radio series adapted from the 1973 TV series, and in 1976 there was a further reunion in a feature film spin-off from the series, simply entitled "The Likely Lads". Bolam's co-star Bewes revealed in 2005 that the two actors had not spoken in nearly thirty years, roughly the amount of time since that film had been made. The rift, according to Bewes, developed over nothing more than his leaking to a journalist that Bolam's wife was pregnant. Bolam has never commented on what caused it.

In 1976, Bolam made a return to straight drama as Jack Ford in the BBC television series "When the Boat Comes In", which ran until 1981. Since then he has gone on to become one of the highest-paid stars on British TV Fact|date=January 2008, mostly in comedies, appearing in shows such as "Only When I Laugh" (as Roy Figgis), "The Beiderbecke Affair" (as Trevor Chaplin), "The Beiderbecke Tapes", "Andy Capp" (in the title role), "The Beiderbecke Connection", "Second Thoughts" (as Bill Macgregor), "Midsomer Murders", "Pay and Display", "Dalziel and Pascoe", "Born and Bred" (as Dr. Arthur Gilder), and "New Tricks" (as Jack Halford).

In 1978 he played Willie Garvin in a BBC World Service radio adaptation of the Modesty Blaise book Last Day in Limbo. In 1982 he provided the voice for The Tod in the animated film version of "The Plague Dogs", and in the year 2000, he played Sir Archibald Flint in the "Doctor Who" audio play "The Spectre of Lanyon Moor".

In 2002 he also played the notorious serial killer Harold Shipman, in "Shipman", the ITV adaptation of Brian Masters' book on the case, "Prescription for Murder". He portrayed the eponymous Prime Minister in the 2006 BBC documentary "The Plot Against Harold Wilson".

He also appeared in Frank Loesser's musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" at the Chichester Festival Theatre during the 2005 summer season.

Fiercely private, Bolam lives in Wisborough Green, West Sussex with his wife, the actress Susan Jameson (who co-starred with him in the TV series "When the Boat Comes In" and the current series "New Tricks"). They have a daughter.


External links

*imdb name|0092639

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