Bread, 1986

A one that got away from us last year and a whole lot of others as it was thirty years ago last year (2021) that we got our final slice of Bread.

It was 9.30pm. on Thursday 1sy May 1986, that we first met the Boswell family and it’s thirty years since two of the lead characters changed.

Broadcast over seven series totalling seventy four episodes, Bread was the must see sitcom of it’s day. The series focused on the devoutly Catholic and extended Boswell family, living in Liverpool during Mrs Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister and was a reflective but humorous look at life at that time.

Whilst in this instance there were no radio adaptations or big screen spin offs, after the series had finished, a stage play of the show entitled “Bread – The Farewell Slice” toured the UK.


Bread Followed the day to day lives of the ‘willie’ Boswell family.  Led by its matriarch Nellie through a number of ups and downs as they tried to make their way through life in Thatcher’s Britain.

With no visible means of support here was a family who knew how to milk the system, they even lived in each other’s houses so one could charge the other rent.

Nellie’s feckless and estranged husband, Freddie, has left her for another woman known as ‘Lilo Lill’.  Her children Joey, Jack, Adrian, Aveline and Billy continue to live in the family home in Kelsall Street and contribute money to the central family fund, largely through benefit fraud and the sale of stolen goods

Each member had a distinct character different from the other.  The series produced some side splitting moments and great catchphrases, who can forget Nellie Boswell yelling “she is a tart” or the more relaxed Joey when visiting the DHSS “greetings !”








In the final two series two of the show’s main characters left to persue other projects and were replaced with different actors.







Nellie Boswell – Jean Boht
Freddie Boswell – Ronald Forfar
Joey Boswell – Peter Howitt (series 1-5)
Graham Bickley (series 6&7)
Adrian Boswell – Jonathon Morris
Jack Boswell – Victor McGuire
Billy Boswell – Nick Conway
Aveline Boswell – Gilly Coman (series 1-5)
Melanie Hill (series 6&7)


Channel: BBC1
Created and Written By: Carla Lane
Original Transmission Dates: 1st May 1986 – 3rd November 1991

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2 Responses

    • admin

      Hi Pauline, we don’t think so because it was back in 2003 that series 3 & 4 became available.


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