The lads hit our screens 35 years ago this month! November 11th will always been a special day for fans, the day Auf Wiedersehen, Pet first hit our screens.

The lads hit our screens 35 years ago this month! 

November 11th will always be a special day for fans, the day Auf Wiedersehen, Pet first hit our screens. To celebrate this milestone, we bring you a special edition newsletter which includes all of this!

  • Happy 35th Birthday Auf Wiedersehen, Pet!
  • Timothy Spall AKA ‘Barry Taylor’ looks back on 35 Years!
  • Martin McKeand - 'A Haze of Beer and Schnapps Fumes...' Part One
  • Limited Edition 35th Anniversary Hoodie!
  • Beco Building Site: Episode One

35 Years Of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet!

11th November 1983 saw Auf Wiedersehen, Pet hit British TV screens. It would become one of the 1980's most popular programmes. Who would believe that a TV series about a group of builders living on a building site in Dusseldorf would become so popular, with viewing figures hitting almost 20 million?!

Based on an original idea by Franc Roddam, and conceived to be a one-off film, writers Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement were convinced the concept would make a fantastic series, and so they encouraged Franc to let them develop and write 13 episodes with assistance from Stan Hey. As early production got under way, it was the task of the producer and director to find actors to the fill the now famous roles.

Casting unknowns in a prime-time Friday night drama was risky, but this is exactly what happened. Tim Healy formally starred in 'The Captains Tale' made by 'Tyne Tees Television', Jimmy Nail was singing in pubs and clubs in a very heavy rock band, and Kevin Whately was appearing at 'The Playhouse' in Henry IV.

We look back when Tim Healy and Jimmy Nail spoke to ‘The Evening Chronicle’ about the show and its early beginnings in November 1983.

Tim: "You see, Clement and La Frenais don't just write funny scripts, they give you rock solid characters on which to build. Three-dimensional people you can understand. They may have a humorous way of looking at life, but at least they're believable...." 

Jimmy: "I've met people like Oz, my role, before - In fact I even used to work on a German building site (for 2 years) and was a bit of a hard nut myself, and also a general ne'er-do-well. Of course I'm not at all like that now!..."

Read the full length article which includes more from the cast and crew by clicking the button below! Find out how Tim & Jimmy were both real life bricklayers, how writer Stan Hey got involved and how Martin McKeand and Roger Bamford went scouting for talent in the North East and found Oz!

Credit: The Newcastle Chronicle and Dave Morton.

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet at 35 - Full Length Article

Timothy Spall AKA ‘Barry Taylor’ looks back on 35 Years

The Official Auf Wiedersehen, Pet fan site recently touched base with award winning actor Timothy Spall and asked him about his memories playing the part of a ‘loveable yet pedantic motorbike obsessed Brummie’. Read on for some incredibly heartfelt words as we celebrate televisions no.1 comedy drama…

36 Years ago I was sent scripts for a wonderfully written 13 part Drama/Comedy. I was very pleased because I was skint but also cautious about committing myself to something that might not be the right choice. (I was a young newlywed hand-wringing idealist). I got the part and accepted it and had a thoroughly good time making it. I met some people who have become dear and lifetime friends and sadly lost a couple too.

That series was of course ‘Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’. It has become what can only be termed, ‘A cherished popular classic‘. There have been times when I have cursed it particularly when I couldn’t get arrested at the height of its popularity because all the casting directors thought I was a boring pedantic motorbike obsessed Brummie, and couldn’t be perceived as anything else. But my effrontery and grumbling shameful ingratitude has long gone. The passage of time has bought generation after generation of people who discover it and love it once again.

“Hallo are you Tim Spall?. My Grandad showed me this series he used to love back in the day now I’m a big fan and can’t wait to be able to show it to my little girl when she’s old enough!“ and other similar heartening statements are a regular occurrence.

Now as a long time happily married man and still a hand-ringing idealist I look back at the times making it with huge affection and happiness. Rafe our son the famous actor was born during the making of the first series and Sadie our second daughter was born during the second series so it was a momentous time all round.

It’s fantastic to be part of something that has become ingrained in the fabric of our entertainment culture and held with such affection and esteem and continues to go on delighting people as they discover it anew. I don’t think there’s ever been anything quite like it since, it caught a particular important time in our shared consciousness and delivered it up with great humour and seamless non sentimental poignancy and I’m totally delighted to have been a part of it. The fact that it goes on to delight people who rewatch it over and over and those discovering for the first time is a testament to its honesty, warmth and humorous celebration of the British Working Man.

Yours with the heartiest of best wishes

Timothy Spall

8th November 2018

The Official Auf Wiedersehen, Pet fan site would like to sincerely thank Timothy Spall for taking the time out of his busy schedule to speak with us and share his memories.

'A Haze of Beer and Schnapps Fumes...’ Part One.

Have you ever wondered what life was like on the road filming Auf Wiedersehen, Pet? In this, the first of a three-part special, we speak to Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Series 1 and 2 Producer Martin McKeand who recalls his time on set.

Find out why Kevin Whately nearly didn't make the ferry to Holland prior to filming his first scene, why cast & crew were almost kicked out of the hotel in Hamburg, why Jimmy Nail didn’t turn up for rehearsals and how phenomenal a director Roger Bamford really was!

The Official Auf Wiedersehen, Pet fan site would like to sincerely thank Martin for taking the time out to speak with us and share his memories.

Read, 'A Haze of Beer and Schnapps Fumes...’ Part One.


Get Your Limited Edition Hoodie Here!

Strictly limited to 100 units, our grey embroidered hoodie is available in a wide range of sizes in luxurious grey heavy cotton complete with ‘35th Anniversary’ classic logo in black and red stitch!

Over the coming months join us and celebrate 35 years of televisions no.1 comedy drama. Join Tim Healy and  legendary Auf Wiedersehen, Pet writer Stan Hey and wear yours with pride! Available in sizes Small to 4XL. Please check out our size guide for more sizing information.

Please note this product is strictly limited to 100 units. Only available while stocks last. 

A minimum of 10% of proceeds from all sales goes to the Sunday For Sammy Trust based in the North East of England. Charity Number: 1144531 

Get Your Limited Edition Hoodie Here!

Beco Building Site

Go right back to the beginning, November 11th 1983 and discover the location of each and every scene filmed on the backlot at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, UK with our unique ‘Interactive Episode Guide’. Simply select your favourite episode to view the positions, locations and direction of each scene. Select a scene number and watch a classic scene unfold!

This image beautifully illustrates an elevated view of how the film set would have looked during filming back in 1983. Central to the image is Hut B, home of our ‘Magnificent 7’. 

You can view this image, along with many more together with a potted history of the Elstree back lot at the official Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Fansite at

Image copyright of and is not to be used or reproduced without permission.

View The Beco Building Site Here!

Got something to say? We love to hear from you so why not get in touch with the team? Simply drop us a line at

Yours ‘till the next point of interest,

Lee, Andy and The Team

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

Official Website:

Official Shop:



A minimum of 10% of proceeds from all sales goes to the Sunday For Sammy Trust based in the North East of England. Charity Number: 1144531

© The Official Logo Copyright Auf Wiedersehen, Pet & Franc Roddam. 

© These exclusive Auf Wiedersehen, Pet designs are copyright of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet 2018.

Sections of an original article were used in this newsletter from the Newcastle Chronicle Archive.

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