Bread - Season 4 Episode 7

Timeline This film has been released in 1988
Filming date:
Jul 04, 1988

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Bread” is a British television sitcom, written by Carla Lane, about a close-knit, working-class family in Liverpool. It was produced by the BBC and screened on BBC1 from 1 May 1986 to 3 November 1991.

Linda McCartney was friend with Carla Lane and had a guest appearance in season 4, episode 7. Paul McCartney briefly appeared at the end of the episode.

From Wikipedia:

Bread is a British television sitcom, written by Carla Lane, about a close-knit, working-class family in Liverpool, England. It was produced by the BBC and screened on BBC1 from 1 May 1986 to 3 November 1991. In 1988, the ratings for the series peaked at 21 million viewers.

Plot summary

The series focused on the extended Boswell family of Liverpool, in the district of Dingle. The family were Catholic and working class, and led by the acid-tongued matriarch Nellie Boswell (Jean Boht) who ruled over her family with an iron fist. Early series focused on her children attempting to make enough money (in English slang, “bread”) to support the family through various illicit means. Later series saw less emphasis on moneymaking schemes, and more storylines focusing on the characters’ love lives and marriages.


The Boswell family consisted of Nellie’s philandering, free-spirited husband Freddie (Ronald Forfar) who spent most of the series with one foot in the family household, and the other with his mistress, the red-haired Irish siren Lilo Lil (Eileen Pollock). This union led to one of the series’ most famous catchphrases, which Nellie frequently declared about Lilo Lil in a storm of rage: “She is a tart!”

Eldest child Joey (Peter Howitt/Graham Bickley) was essentially the level-headed household head, with his leather trousers, classic Jaguar, and charming demeanor (“Greetings!” was his catchphrase), Joey was involved in tax fraud after making a fortune selling personalised number plates and not declaring this to the taxman. Throughout the series, Joey was in love with dour, demanding divorcee Roxy (Joanna Phillips-Lane), whom he finally married in the final series. The character was extremely popular for the first four series, and Peter Howitt was considered the series’ heartthrob and break-out star. When he decided to leave Bread to concentrate on directing and other acting opportunities, his replacement was not as popular with viewers, so the character wasn’t as prominent in the later series.

Second-eldest child Jack was the thoughtful, sensitive type who ran an antique-dealing business, often with disastrous results. Actor Victor McGuire was absent in series 4, and Jack went to America for a year. He returned in series 5 and eventually fell in love with an older woman, Leonora (Deborah Grant), who moved in across the road. Adrian (Jonathon Morris) was the theatrical poet, who had his poetry published (‘My Granny’s Bucket’). His real name was Jimmy, but he changed his name to Adrian which he considered “less common”. He endured relationships with several highly-sexed women and was frequently seen emerging red-faced from the bushes.
The youngest Boswell son, Billy (Nick Conway), was loud-mouthed, annoying, and immature. He somehow managed to father Francesca with his miserable mistress Julie (Caroline Milmoe/Hilary Crowson) who lived across the road. Billy married Julie in series 3, but they were divorced by series 5, and Julie moved to Sefton Park (and left the series), leaving Billy devastated. Billy drove an old Volkswagen Beetle which constantly backfired when driven, as well as a van from the back of which he sold sandwiches.

The only Boswell daughter was Aveline (Gilly Coman/Melanie Hill), a colourful, enduring model who married Protestant vicar Oswald Carter (Giles Watling) at the end of series 4 (to staunchly-Catholic Nellie’s outrage); after trying to conceive throughout series 5, Aveline gives birth to Ursula in series 6.

Next door is grumpy, permanently-hungry Grandad (Kenneth Waller). The series doesn’t make explicitly-clear whether he is Nellie’s or Freddie’s father, as he is only ever referred to and called Grandad. However, in a fleeting sequence in a series-4 episode, Freddie is arrested for stealing his rubbish cart. When the family arrive at the Police Station to collect him, Nellie refers to Freddie as Grandad’s son-in-law for the only time, confirming that he is, in fact, her own father. In later series we are told Grandad’s name is William Duvall and Nellie refers to her maiden name of Duvall. This confirms that Grandad was Nellie’s father. He appeared in all seven series and was in the last episode’s final scene, alongside Jean Boht. Grandad was frequently seen telling people to “Piss off!” and reminiscing about his childhood sweetheart Edie Matteson. However, in the spin off book “Mrs Boswells Slice of Bread”, it is confirmed that Grandad is Nellie’s father.

There are also several notable supporting characters seen throughout the series: the deadpan Department of Health and Social Security clerk Martina (Pamela Power) spent all seven series enduring the various tales the Boswells spun to get more dole money. She perfected her catchphrase “Next!” but ultimately failed to snare her favourite Boswell, ‘Shifty’ (Bryan Murray), after several attempts at a relationship with him. Shifty arrived in series 4, ostensibly to cover Jack’s absence in the series, but he stayed on in Bread after Jack’s return and lived next door with Grandad until the end of the sixth series.

Other neighbours include Celia Higgins, played by Rita Tushingham during series 4; in series 6 and 7, Leonora Campbell (Deborah Grant) moved into Julie’s old house and eventually began dating Jack.

The show’s title is a reference to “bread” meaning “money”; though this is not a Liverpudlian Scouse expression but cockney rhyming slang (“bread and honey”). Liverpudlians at the time largely referred to money as “dough”. A regular scenario in each episode was that of Nellie opening a cockerel-fashioned kitchen egg-basket prior to the evening meal into which the family would place money for their upkeep. The amount of money placed in the pot by each depended on how successful a day they’d had. The pot would be at the forefront of the screen at the end of each episode as the credits rolled.

Other frequently-seen scenarios included Nellie answering a cordless phone (a newfangled item in the mid-1980s) which she kept in the pocket of her pinny; she always said “Hello, yes?” when answering, followed by a series of frantic “Thank you”s when it was Derek (Peter Byrne), Nellie’s secret park-bench pal, on the other end, ensuring the parking places outside the terraced house were kept free for the family’s many vehicles, by putting out illicitly-acquired police traffic cones.

The show featured soap opera-style cliffhangers, meaning that viewers had to watch each week to see how the previous week’s cliffhanger would be resolved. This also meant that each episode was not self-contained, but the plot unfolded as the series progressed. This was unusual for a comedy at the time, but has been used to great effect by comedies since. […]


Though the show was popular, and received audiences over 21 million, Bread was criticised for mocking Liverpudlian culture and people, who had suffered significant economic downturn and unemployment in the 1980s. Lane countered these criticisms saying that her characters were cartoonish and one-dimensional, and were not intended to be a serious social comment on the state of Liverpool. […

From B34714 – Paul & Linda McCartney & The Cast Of Bread 1988 Signed Photograph (UK) – Tracks – A colour photograph of Paul and Linda McCartney and cast of the British comedy TV show ‘Bread’ that has been autographed on the front by Paul and Linda in black felt tipped pen. Paul has added the word ‘Greetings!’ above his name. The photograph has also been signed by the cast of Bread. Paul and Linda appeared on the programme on 1988. The photograph measures 22.5cm x 16cm (8.85 inches x 6.3 inches). Some slight smudging to Paul’s autograph. The condition is very good plus.
From Liverpool Echo – Paul McCartney in Liverpool to film a special episode of the TV sit-com Bread. 4th July 1988.


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Nalini Campbell 4 months ago

The iconic tv series is on again on that’s tv number 56, I have the greatest pleasure to watch it all over again, please bring back all of the sitcoms, they don’t make it like that nowadays, thank you.
Nalini Campbell

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