Ian La Frenais

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Ian La Frenais
Born (1936-01-07) 7 January 1936 (age 81)
Monkseaton, Northumberland, England[1]
Occupation Screenwriter
Nationality British
Education Dame Allan's Boys School, Newcastle upon Tyne
Period 1964–present
Genre Television
Spouse Doris Vartan (1984–present)
Relatives Gladys and Cyril La Frenais (parents)[1]

Ian La Frenais, OBE (born 7 January 1936), is an English writer best known for his creative partnership with Dick Clement. They are most famous for television series including The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Porridge and its sequel Going Straight, Lovejoy and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Early life[edit]

His father was an accountant and as a child at Park Primary School in Whitley Bay La Frenais enjoyed art and writing. He then attended Dame Allan's Boys School, Newcastle upon Tyne and completed his National Service in the British Army. After working as a salesman for a tobacco company he began composing songs for a weekly satirical programme on Tyne Tees Television and moved to London where he worked for a market research company.[2]

Writing partnership with Dick Clement[edit]

In addition to The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Porridge, Lovejoy and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet La Frenais and Clement have also written various other work for TV and films. Their works include; Hannibal Brooks, The Commitments (with Roddy Doyle), Still Crazy, Goal!, Flushed Away, Across the Universe and cinema versions of some of their own TV programmes.

Other credits[edit]

In addition to his long-running collaborations with Clement, La Frenais has created, written and/or contributed to many other TV series including Thick as Thieves (1974), The Two Ronnies, several episodes of the BBC's Comedy Playhouse, The Other 'Arf (1980–81), the hit 1990s BBC detective series Spender (co-written with actor/singer Jimmy Nail), and episodes of Tracey Ullman's sketch comedy series Tracey Takes On....

Since 1984, he has been married to artist Doris Vartan, the mother of actor Michael Vartan. He was appointed an OBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list.

Writing credits (with Dick Clement)[edit]

The Likely Lads (TV, 1964–66)

Not Only... But Also (TV, 1965)

The Further Adventures of Lucky Jim (TV, 1967)

Mr. Aitch (TV, 1967)

Vacant Lot (TV, 1967)

Otley (1968)

Hannibal Brooks (1968)

Villain (1971)

To Catch a Spy (1972)

The Two Ronnies TV, 1972)

Seven of One (TV, 1973) (aka 7 of 1 or 7 of One)

Ha-Tarnegol (1973, with Haim Hefer)

Thick as Thieves (TV, 1974)

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (TV, 1973–74)

Porridge (TV, 1974–77)

On the Rocks (TV, 1975–76)

Going Straight (TV, 1978)

The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)

Porridge 1979 (US: Doing Time)

The New Adventures of Lucky Jim (TV, 1982)

Never Say Never Again (1983, with Lorenzo Semple Jr., uncredited)

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (TV, 1983-2004)

Sunset Limousine (TV, 1983, with Wayne Kline)

Water (1985, with Bill Persky)

Vice Versa (1988)

The Commitments (1991, with Roddy Doyle)

Tracey Ullman: A Class Act (TV, 1992)

The Old Boy Network (TV, 1992)

Tracey Ullman Takes On New York (TV, 1993)

Full Stretch (TV, 1993)

Lovejoy (TV, 1991-94)

Excess Baggage (1997, with Max D. Adams)

Still Crazy (1998)

Tracey Takes On... (TV, 1996-99)

Archangel (2005)

The Rotters' Club (TV, 2005)

Goal! (2005, with Mike Jeffries & Adrian Butchart) (US: Goal! The Dream Begins)

Flushed Away (2006, with Christopher Lloyd, Joe Keenan and William Davies)

Across the Universe (2007)

The Bank Job (2008)

Killing Bono (2011, with Ben Bond)

Spies of Warsaw (2013)

Porridge (TV, 2016)

Porridge (TV, 2017)

Henry IX (TV, 2017)

My Generation (2017)


  1. ^ a b Ian La Frenais Biography (1937-)
  2. ^ Richard Webster; Dick Clement; Ian la Frenais (2001). Porridge The Inside Story. Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7472-3294-6. 

External links[edit]