Billy Hardcastle

Denton Pette

Active Member
I may have missed some episodes as Billy Hardcastle stopped appearing, was it ever referred to in the plot?, I understand Keith Clifford is still with us, so I assume he chose to leave ?
 
Did he definitely leave the show through his own choice or was he dropped. I thought it was deemed with the new characters he just didn't suit the dynamic of the latter characters ?
 
Alan Bell in his book said he left for health reasons, specifically back problems. Never seen any confirmation of that from Keith Clifford, though, and have always wondered since that was after a few years of the four person group that also included Alvin. Just my opinion, but it always seemed to me in that period that Clarke wasn't quite sure how to have those two characters co-exist. So, I've always wondered if they simply decided to go forward with Alvin and drop Billy. That they never even referenced him after was also disappointing.
 
I like to think he got his (not so) merry man Smiler to indulge in a game of hide and seek at the group's AGM. Unfortunately Clem disappeared after realising he owed Aunty for far more than she never paid him. Sadly Billy was still in hiding and waits in hope of being found one day living off the occasional hat whilst he waits.
 
I'm getting deja vu about this subject now and I'm sure it's been discussed on this forum before. The upshot is we don't know why he left, but I do definitely recall a Roy Clarke interview saying he never quite integrated into the trio. I'm not sure whether that comment from Roy was a consequence of him leaving or the cause.
 
I'm getting deja vu about this subject now and I'm sure it's been discussed on this forum before. The upshot is we don't know why he left, but I do definitely recall a Roy Clarke interview saying he never quite integrated into the trio. I'm not sure whether that comment from Roy was a consequence of him leaving or the cause.
Does anyone know if Keith Clifford is still with us ?
 
I was disappointed Keith Clifford wasn’t in any of the 50 year reunion photographs from last year, that is presuming that he is in good health and still resides in Yorkshire. He must be in his 80s by now.

I liked Billy Hardcastle, there was a certain honesty and sincerity that came across in the character. I remember one episode where he was talking with Pearl. The camera angle was such that you could not see his face from the front, only an oblique side view, and Keith Clifford was making faces at Juliette Kaplan, trying to distract her while she perfectly delivered her lines! I will have to keep my eye open for that episode next time through.
 
I'm getting deja vu about this subject now and I'm sure it's been discussed on this forum before. The upshot is we don't know why he left, but I do definitely recall a Roy Clarke interview saying he never quite integrated into the trio. I'm not sure whether that comment from Roy was a consequence of him leaving or the cause.
Bell is the one who said he never quite fit, again in his book. I don't agree with him, as I liked the character and felt he was a good direction to go right after Bill Owen's death. Trying to fit in another "Compo" wasn't going to work, as we saw with Tom. Alvin brought some of those elements back and that worked, but it was a few years later when the audience wasn't going to try and directly compare Alvin to Compo.
 
Bell is the one who said he never quite fit, again in his book. I don't agree with him, as I liked the character and felt he was a good direction to go right after Bill Owen's death. Trying to fit in another "Compo" wasn't going to work, as we saw with Tom. Alvin brought some of those elements back and that worked, but it was a few years later when the audience wasn't going to try and directly compare Alvin to Compo.
I'm sure I heard Roy Clarke say it in an interview once too. I'm not sure whether I like Billy or not, he definitely worked in his original appearance as a one off barmpot, but he just seemed a one joke act to me. The Robin Hood piece just seemed a little far fetched, but again it was the same with Hobbo too.
 
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