When The Likely Lads was at the height of its fame Ian La Frenais, one of the writers, and I drove north in Ian’s Rolls Royce to see his mother. We made a detour to where my relatives lived and we walked in the house and there were my grandparents, aunts and uncles, everybody.
I said to my auntie Elsie: “How is my uncle Jim?” and she said: “Well he hasn’t got the breath and he can’t march. He’s finished.”
I thought she meant he was dying because of his asthma but she meant he was finished with the brass band in which he played the euphonium. My mother said: “Well Elsie, I don’t think Dunkirk did him any good, standing in all that water waiting for a boat.”