David Jason was meant to be Grandad instead of Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses icon Sir David Jason has revealed that he nearly ended up playing a different character on the BBC sitcom.

The legendary Del Boy actor was originally destined to play the part of Grandad in the comedy series.

Having played similar roles prior to Only Fools and Horses, the director and writer assumed the Grandad part, which went on to be played by Lennard Pearce, was set aside for David.

Thankfully, this wasn’t the case as David, 80, confirmed on BBC Breakfast on Thursday morning.

Presenter Charlie Stayt asked: "You were possibly going to play Grandad, is that right?"

David replied: "When I went into the interview with the director and (writer) John Sullivan, because I’d played so many silly old fart parts, like Blanco in Porridge and the 100 year old gardener in Hark at Barker, they thought I’d come up for the grandad part.

"When I said no, I wanted to read Del Boy, that’s the part, that is the part that I want, and so they said, well go on see if you can read that and the rest I suppose is history."

Only Fools and Horses, which also starred Nicholas Lyndhurst as Rodney Trotter, was first aired in 1981 and ran for three decades, including seven series and a multitude of specials.

The final episode of the show was aired on December 25, 2003 with the cast going on to have success in various other shows to date.

David recently revealed that he was the fifth choice to play Del Boy, but he ended up having the last laugh.

Writing for Daily Mail earlier this week, he penned: "I wasn't the original choice for the part. Enn Reitel, a great comic actor and voice specialist, was apparently the first port of call.

"He was busy on something else, so Jim Broadbent was offered the role. He turned it down because he was about to start work in a play.

"I'm told that Robin Nedwell, of the Doctor In The House comedy series, and Billy Murray, who was later on The Bill and EastEnders, may also have been considered.

"There could well have been others. By the most conservative estimate, I was merely the fifth option on the list."

In a 2001 Channel 4 poll, David's character Derek "Del Boy" Trotter was ranked fourth on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.

Only Fools and Horses influenced British culture, contributing several words and phrases to the English language.

It spawned an extensive range of merchandise, including books, videos, DVDs, toys, and board games.

A special Sport Relief episode aired in March 2014, guest starring David Beckham.

In July 2018, John Sullivan's son, Jim Sullivan, announced that a musical adaptation of the show was nearing completion and launched on 9 February 2019 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London.

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