The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly ... See full summary »

Creator:

Carla Lane
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2,098 ( 235)

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7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1991   1990   1989   1988   1987   1986  
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jean Boht Jean Boht ...  Nellie Boswell 74 episodes, 1986-1991
Nick Conway Nick Conway ...  Billy Boswell 74 episodes, 1986-1991
Jonathon Morris ...  Adrian Boswell 74 episodes, 1986-1991
Kenneth Waller Kenneth Waller ...  Grandad 74 episodes, 1986-1991
Ronald Forfar Ronald Forfar ...  Freddie Boswell / ... 62 episodes, 1986-1990
Victor McGuire ...  Jack Boswell 61 episodes, 1986-1991
Giles Watling Giles Watling ...  Oswald 49 episodes, 1988-1991
Bryan Murray ...  Shifty Boswell 49 episodes, 1988-1991
Eileen Pollock Eileen Pollock ...  Lilo Lill 43 episodes, 1987-1991
Hilary Crowson Hilary Crowson ...  Julie 41 episodes, 1987-1989
Peter Howitt ...  Joey Boswell 39 episodes, 1986-1988
Gilly Coman Gilly Coman ...  Aveline Boswell 39 episodes, 1986-1988
Pamela Power Pamela Power ...  Martina / ... 37 episodes, 1986-1991
Graham Bickley Graham Bickley ...  Joey Boswell 35 episodes, 1989-1991
Melanie Hill ...  Aveline Boswell 35 episodes, 1989-1991
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Storyline

The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly good life thanks government handouts and various cash-in-hand jobs. Family life for the Boswells centres around their God-fearing Catholic mother, Nellie. With her husband having left her for "a tart", she relies upon her eldest son, Joey, to play the father's role to her other three sons, Jack, Adrian and Billy, and her daughter Aveline. Their ability to squeeze the DHSS dry, while the boys earn a living on the side, is legendary. But, although the family is the focus of their lives, they each have different reasons to be unhappy!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(71 episodes) | (2 episodes) | (1 episode)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Grandad actor Kenneth Waller was actually 14 years younger than the character he played. Grandad was born in 1913 while Mr Waller was born in 1927. See more »

Quotes

Aveline Boswell: Do you mind if I sit down, Grandad, or were you going to watch the news?
Grandad: No. I turned it off before the newscaster killed himself.
See more »

Connections

Featured in British Sitcom: 60 Years of Laughing at Ourselves (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Home
(uncredited)
(Title Theme)
Written by David Mackay and Carla Lane
Performed by The Cast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Want a few easy laughs? Patronise the working class
14 May 2004 | by vaughan-birbeckSee all my reviews

It's so easy to survive poverty and economic depression. All you need is the wit and the nerve to outsmart Government bureaucracy. Then you can have a decent home with plenty of food on the table, you can even run a classic Jaguar!

At a time when Margaret Thatcher and her thugs were destroying UK manufacturing industry and throwing whole communities on the scrap heap of unemployment, 'Bread' came along to show working class people were lovable scallywags who could rake in pots of money from the Department of Social Security by running rings around the rules.

I can only assume no-one associated with this condescending garbage has ever been faced with actually trying to prove they are "genuinely seeking work" (which required a file of rejection letters as thick as a telephone directory) or making their remaining £5 (or $8) last until they are allowed more social security.

The alternative was to get a job as a 'security guard' being paid £1.95 (or $3.40) an hour. Oh, and you had to provide your own dog.

If you want to know what working class life was like in Liverpool in the 80's, watch 'Boys from the Blackstuff', not this rubbish.


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