BBC Breakfast: David Jason on Only Fools and Horses interview
Sir David, 80, continues to hold the legacy of playing wheeler and dealer Del Boy on Only Fools and Horses, a role he held intermittently for the best part of 33 years. The actor starred alongside Nicholas Lyndhurst, 59, who played his character’s younger brother Rodney Trotter. In the iconic BBC sitcom, the pair were always send driving around in a yellow car, but it seems the OBE recipient would have rather the motor didn’t feature in the programme.
The vehicle was a fundamental part of the show as it helped the brothers with their mostly fruitless business ventures.
Inscribed on the side of the yellow car was the tagline: “Trotters Independent Traders,” followed by the name of several capital cities from around the globe.
Despite only having three wheels and looking rather dishevelled, the motor continued to feature in some of the sitcom’s biggest moments.
However, Sir David held a rather different opinion on the iconic Reliant Regal as he has described it as being “hell on three wheels.”
Speaking of his dislike filming with the car, the actor said: “It was probably the most uncomfortable, noisy, smelly car ever.”
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“It had a crashed gearbox and the seats were all ripped but we had an affection for it,” Sir David continued.
The veteran television star told Saga Magazine he “wouldn’t drive” it now, even if someone “paid” him to get behind the wheel.
Originally, the BBC bought several of the vehicles and then painted them yellow to make it more identifiable as Del Boy’s car.
In the 2001 episode ‘If They Could See Us Now’ when the brothers became millionaires, the interior of one of the motors was given a makeover with the inclusion of tiger skin print.
I wouldn’t drive it
This was done to reflect Del Boy’s new, wealthy status and when filming on the show wrapped in 2003, a superfan purchased the prop.
They then went on to sell the yellow 1968 Reliant Regal van and it was bought for a staggering £41,625 after auctioneers thought it would go for no more than £20,000.
Addressing the sale of the vehicle, a spokesman for Silverstone Auctions of Warwickshire, said: “I think most people thought it would settle around the £15,000 mark so the amount it sold for was fantastic. You could say it was cushty.
“The vendor was delighted with the outcome,” they continued astonished by how much the motor actually sold for.
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Despite driving the car being one of the more “uncomfortable” moments filming the show, the programme did bring Sir David and Nicholas together.
Almost 17 years after the last-full episode of the sitcom aired, the two friends remain in close contact with one another.
The latter has addressed the actors’ relationship off-screen as recently as last year when he explained they would often go to extreme lengths to make sure they weren’t recognised in public.
“David had a pork pie hat and sunglasses and I had a baseball cap and sunglasses. It obviously worked, because one day in Bristol we walked right past one another in the street,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
However, it wasn’t just his friendship with Sir David he held dear as Nicholas said the entire cast felt like a family.
“I don’t want to see friends who are no longer with us on screen. We used to go and surprise them on their birthdays.
“We used to wind them up. We used to tease each other. It was a family. So yeah, it’s sad [we’re not together].”
Channel 5 are broadcasting two special episodes to commemorate the stars of the sitcom over the festive period, with two specials airing on Sunday evening.
David Jason: Britain’s Favourite TV star airs tonight at 7:40pm on Channel 5. We Only Love Fools and Horses airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 5.
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