CLASSIC comedy On The Buses ran from 1969 to 1973, but one of the show's main stars left halfway through the final series.
Reg Varney played Stan Butler, the jovial but hapless bus driver of the number 11, for 69 episodes of the series.
Why did Reg Varney leave On The Buses?
Varney's final episode of On The Buses, and the 69th episode in the series overall, was titled "Goodbye Stan" and explained the character's absence by revealing that Stan was moving to Birmingham to work in a car factory.
However, it looks like the off-screen reasons for Stan's premature departure from the show were down to Varney's desire to work in films and other projects.
The star found little success outside of On The Buses, and would only appear in one other film in 1973, titled The Best Pair Of Legs In The Business.
Varney would later go on to perform on cruise ships and launched a one-man show that he toured around Australia.
He would later say that he felt that "whatever I did after On The Buses, nobody wanted to know about it".
However, he did credit the show for giving him concert tour opportunities.
Who did Reg Varney play in On The Buses?
Varney played bus driver Stan, who worked on the number 11 bus.
Stan, along with his jack-the-lad conductor companion Jack Harper, played by Bob Grant, spent most of the classic comedy more interested in women and their struggling finances than their jobs.
Stan is regularly late and is rarely able to get the No11 on the road on time, often to the chagrin of their hated boss Inspector Cyril Blake, who was played by Stephen Lewis.
In retaliation, Cyril, who's nicknamed "Blakey", tries his best to make the two men as miserable as possible.
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Who else was in the On The Buses cast?
Varney was joined by Bob Grant, as Jack Harper, and Stephen Lewis, who played miserly inspector Cyril Blake.
Anna Karen regularly appeared in the ITV show as Stan's sister Olive.
Olive spent every day hanging around at home in her dressing gown, until finally being forced to get a job on the buses after her divorce.
The supporting cast included:
- Doris Hare as Stan's Mum
- Michael Robbins as Olive's husband Arthur Rudge
- Glen Whitter as Chalkie
- Michael Sheard as the manager
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