Only Fools and Horses star David Jason felt ‘uneasy’ with reactions to Del Boy
Only Fools and Horses: Del Boy and Rodney dress in costumes
Only Fools and Horses may have aired its last episode in 2003 but the series remains a huge hit amongst fans and attracts a new following every time a repeat is shown on TV. However, Del Boy star Sir David Jason has revealed he struggles to cope with being recognised as fans shout the character’s famous catchphrases at him.
Derek Trotter has a catalogue of phrases Only Fools and Horses fans will remember in a heartbeat.
“Lovely jubbly” and “this time next year I’ll be a millionaire” are just a few of his words of wisdom.
However, the iconic actor who starred in Open All Hours and A Touch of Frost admitted fame has his drawbacks.
In a recent interview, he said: “That instant recognition thing can get in the way of real life. People want a piece of you sometimes, which you don’t want to give.
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“You might be right in the middle of the supermarket getting a loaf of bread and a tin of beans and a couple of eggs and they’ll say, ‘Can I have a selfie?’
“That side of the exposure is sometimes not so much fun.
“But then on the other side, it does open a few doors that would remain closed to most people.”
David also appeared in The Darling Buds of May and his co-star Philip Franks shared an insight into the actor’s day-to-day experience of fame.
Philip said: “We couldn’t walk two steps without somebody rushing up to him and going, ‘Del Boy, Del Boy. Give us a joke. Tell us a joke.’
“People used to want him to be what he was on screen and I think he felt quite ill at ease with that.
“He’s not a stand-up comedian. He doesn’t write his own material. He’s an actor,” he told the Daily Star.
Meanwhile, in his new book A Del of a Life, the actor expressed regret on the series lasting for as long as it did.
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David explained there was “so much pressure” on the show’s writer John Sullivan to keep producing more episodes.
Even now, hopeful fans regularly ask whether Only Fools and Horses will return.
David said: “Not for as long as John is no longer with us and all the indications are that the situation is set to continue.
“Maybe we did go back to the well a couple more times than we should have done.
“Maybe being rich, as they were, briefly, in 2001, didn’t suit the Trotters as well as being poor.”
However, the actor did confess he felt there were “some really good things” in the late Christmas specials.
David suggested perhaps the series should have ended with Time on Our Hands when the brothers finally became millionaires.
He reflected: “With hindsight, it would have been the perfect get-out point, the neatest of tie-ups. But hindsight is easy.”
David Jason: Britain’s Favourite TV Star, which is on Monday at 9pm on Channel 5. A Del of a Life was written by Sir David Jason and published by Century last month. It is available here.
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