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 »

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Carla Lane
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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!

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1986 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Julie's full name, before her marriage, is Julie Brenda Paula Sharon Jefferson. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Joey Boswell: Greetings!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Comedy Classics of the 80's (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Home
(uncredited)
(Title Theme)
Written by David Mackay and Carla Lane
Performed by The Cast
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User Reviews

 
Yet another great BBC comedy
28 December 2015 | by biffgrimes-19023See all my reviews

My wife and I have watched the first 3 seasons of Bread and we both love it.It is often described as the Northern England version of Only Fools and Horses. For my money, Bread is superior to the beloved Only Fools. The series is about the close knit Boswell family that live in a bleak row-house estate flat in the gritty city of Liverpool. The family consists of the devout Catholic, tough, separated Mum, Nellie Boswell and her 5 grown children ,four sons and one daughter, all living together. Jean Boht , in a role she seemingly was born to play does a simply magnificent job portraying Nellie. She dotes on her children, cooking meals for them and for the cranky Granddad that lives next door. The family always sit together at mealtime while they take turns knocking on Granddad's door ,tray in hand , bringing his meal. He rudely grabs the tray, complaining about the meal and slams the door. None of the family has a proper job, They all exploit Britain's generous welfare system and all have schemes to bring in money which they all contribute to Nellie in a bowl during a pre - dinner ritual. One of the show's strengths is these actors have wonderful charisma and they seem like a real family. The eldest son Joey is a handsome smooth talking leather clad Jaguar driving dude that serves as a surrogate father to his siblings in the absence of Nellie's husband. He regales the skeptical female welfare office worker with tales of new expenses the family has incurred, all for a bigger welfare check. He is supremely confident and wise and he always has advice for his bewildered brothers. His brother Adrian, a recently laid off real estate salesman, has a pretty blonde oversexed girlfriend and he cannot satisfy her voracious desires. He is quite embarrassed by it and is very nervous with her. He is philosophical about it all. The youngest son Billy , is a father to a little girl named Franchesca. He earns money first by busking and when that didn't work out, sells sandwiches from his cranky little car. He cannot figure out his sarcastic girlfriend Julie and he is not ready for fatherhood. The other brother Jack, earns money finding or buying junk and selling it for profit. His character so far is the least interesting. Then there is the ditzy lone sister Aveline. She is a delight. The brothers are fiercely protective of her. She aspires to be a model and her life revolves around it. Her catchphrase is "I need to do me modeling". Gilly Coman is simply adorable as Aveline. Every line she delivers makes me laugh or smile. Smaller roles are Freddie Boswell and Lilo Lil. Freddie is Nellie's husband and the kids father that left the family for his mistress Lilo Lil. Freddie cannot make his mind up which woman he wants , he bounces back and forth to his family and Lilo Lil, of which Nellie often says "she's a tart". This comedy is so enjoyable , the half hour just breezes by. It has a bit of a soap opera feel to it, there's a story line wrapped up around the comedy. I am eager to find out what happens to this Boswell family. I love the outdoor scenes of Liverpool and the Liverpool accents too. Another British comedy gem.


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