Born in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England, Clement was educated at Bishop's Stortford College, and then spent a year in the United States on an exchange visit. Upon his return, he completed his National Service with the Royal Air Force. He then joined the BBC as a studio manager and started writing scripts and comedy sketches.
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have enjoyed a long and successful career embracing films, television and theatre.
Their partnership began in the mid sixties with The Likely Lads, and by the end of the decade they had also written three feature films: The Jokers, Otley, (directed by Clement) and Hannibal Brooks. Clement also directed Not Only...But Also, with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and, for the big screen, Iris Murdoch's A Severed Head.
In the early seventies two other features were made - Villain, starring Richard Burton, and Catch Me a Spy, starring Kirk Douglas. In this same period they created their award winning series Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, followed by Porridge, Thick as Thieves and Going Straight. There were big screen versions of both The Likely Lads and Porridge, and a 'rockumentary', To Russia With Elton, in 1979.
Earlier in this decade, they adapted Keith Waterhouse's Billy Liar into the stage musical Billy, starring Michael Crawford, which ran at London's Drury Lane Theatre for two and a half years.
By this time they were living in California, where they wrote the American version of 'Porridge' - On the Rocks, and the feature film, The Prisoner of Zenda, starring Peter Sellers.
In the eighties Clement directed John Wells's hit stage play Anyone For Denis? Films included Bullshot and Water, both directed by Clement and produced by La Frenais, and extensive, uncredited writing work on Never Say Never Again. In 1987 they wrote and produced Vice Versa. Their television work included the series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, voted best drama series of the decade.
By the beginning of the nineties La Frenais had created the long running series, Lovejoy, and co-created Spender with Jimmy Nail. In America, for four years they were writers and supervising producers for HBO's Emmy winning show, Tracey Takes On. Films include The Commitments, which won the Evening Standard's Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and BAFTA's Best Adapted Screenplay, Excess Baggage and Still Crazy. In addition they did uncredited rewrites on The Rock, starring Sean Connery and Pearl Harbor for Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay.
Recent television includes The Rotter’s Club and Archangel, starring Daniel Craig, which they adapted from best-sellers by Jonathon Coe and Robert Harris respectively.Their most recent film credits include Goal! The Dream Begins; the animated film Flushed Away; Across the Universe; The Bank Job.
Clement and La Frenais were awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list.
They have written the book for two stage musicals in development, Juke Box Hero and Victoria’s Secret. Two new television series will air in 2017: a new version of Porridge, starring Kevin Bishop for the BBC and Henry IX for UKTV, starring Charles Edwards.The Likely Lads (TV, 1964–66)
Not Only... But Also (TV, 1965)
The Further Adventures of Lucky Jim (TV, 1967)
Mr. Aitch (TV, 1967)
Vacant Lot (TV, 1967)
Hannibal Brooks (1968)
To Catch a Spy (1972)
The Two Ronnies (TV, 1972)
7 of 1 (TV, 1973)
Ha-Tarnegol (with Haim Hefer) (1973)
Thick as Thieves (TV, 1974)
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (TV, 1973–74)
Porridge (TV series) (1974–77)
On the Rocks (TV, 1975–76)
Going Straight (TV, 1978)
The Prisoner of Zenda (1979)
Porridge (film) (US: Doing Time, 1979)
The New Adventures of Lucky Jim (TV, 1982)
Never Say Never Again (with Lorenzo Semple Jr., 1983, uncredited)
Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (TV, 1983-2004)
Sunset Limousine (with Wayne Kline, TV, 1983)
Water (with Bill Persky, 1985)
Vice Versa (1988)
The Commitments (with Roddy Doyle, 1991)
Tracey Ullman: A Class Act (TV, 1992)
The Old Boy Network (TV, 1992)
Tracey Ullman Takes On New York (TV, 1993)
Full Stretch (TV, 1993)
Lovejoy (TV, 1991-94)
Excess Baggage (with Max D. Adams, 1997)
Still Crazy (1998)
Tracey Takes On... (TV, 1996-99)
The Rotters' Club (TV, 2005)
Goal! The Dream Begins (2005)
Flushed Away (with Christopher Lloyd, Joe Keenan and William Davies, 2006)
Across the Universe (2007)
The Bank Job (2008)
Killing Bono (with Ben Bond, 2011)
Spies of Warsaw (2013)Porridge (TV, 2016)
Porridge (TV, 2017)
Henry IX (TV, 2017)
My Generation (2017)