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Dick Clement OBE (born 5 September 1937) is an English writer known for his writing partnership with Ian La Frenais. They are most famous for television series including The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Porridge, Lovejoy and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Dick Clement
Born (1937-09-05) 5 September 1937 (age 81)
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England
SpouseNancy Campbell Clement (1982–present)


Early lifeEdit

Born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England, Clement was educated at Bishop's Stortford College, and then spent a year in the United States on an exchange visit. Upon his return, he completed his National Service with the Royal Air Force. He then joined the BBC as a studio manager and started writing scripts and comedy sketches.[1]

Writing partnership with Ian La FrenaisEdit

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have enjoyed a long and successful career embracing films, television and theatre.

Their partnership began in the mid sixties with The Likely Lads, and by the end of the decade they had also written three feature films: The Jokers, Otley, (directed by Clement) and Hannibal Brooks. Clement also directed Not Only...But Also, with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and, for the big screen, Iris Murdoch's A Severed Head.

In the early seventies two other features were made – Villain, starring Richard Burton, and Catch Me a Spy, starring Kirk Douglas. In this same period they created their award-winning series Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, followed by Porridge, Thick as Thieves and Going Straight. There were big screen versions of both The Likely Lads and Porridge, and a 'rockumentary', To Russia With Elton, in 1979.

Earlier in this decade, they adapted Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar into the stage musical Billy, starring Michael Crawford, which ran at London's Drury Lane Theatre for two and a half years.

By this time they were living in California, where they wrote the American version of 'Porridge' – On the Rocks, and the feature film, The Prisoner of Zenda, starring Peter Sellers.

In the 1980s Clement directed John Wells's hit stage play Anyone For Denis? Films included Bullshot and Water, both directed by Clement and produced by La Frenais, and extensive, uncredited writing work on Never Say Never Again. In 1987 they wrote and produced Vice Versa. Their television work included the series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, voted best drama series of the decade.

By the beginning of the 1990s La Frenais had created the long running series, Lovejoy, and co-created Spender with Jimmy Nail. In America, for four years they were writers and supervising producers for HBO's Emmy winning show, Tracey Takes On. Films include The Commitments, which won the Evening Standard's Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and BAFTA's Best Adapted Screenplay, Excess Baggage and Still Crazy. In addition they did uncredited rewrites on The Rock, starring Sean Connery and Pearl Harbor for Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay.[citation needed]

Recent[when?] television includes The Rotter's Club and Archangel, starring Daniel Craig, which they adapted from best-sellers by Jonathon Coe and Robert Harris respectively. Their most recent film credits include Goal! The Dream Begins; the animated film Flushed Away; Across the Universe; The Bank Job.[citation needed]

Clement and La Frenais were awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list.

They have written the book for two stage musicals in development, Juke Box Hero and Victoria's Secret. Two new television series were due to air in 2017: a new version of Porridge, starring Kevin Bishop for the BBC and Henry IX for UKTV, starring Charles Edwards.[citation needed]

Writing Credits (with Ian La Frenais)Edit

Spies of Warsaw (2013)

  • Porridge (TV, 2016)
  • Porridge (TV, 2017)
  • Henry IX (TV, 2017)
  • My Generation (2017)


  1. ^ Richard Webster; Dick Clement; Ian la Frenais (2001). Porridge The Inside Story. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7472-3294-6.

External linksEdit