What happened to the cast of Only Fools and Horses?

If They Could See Us Now: What happened to the cast of Only Fools and Horses? From deaths to family tragedy, a secret child, EastEnders and Mamma Mia – how life changed for Sir David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and their co-stars

It might have first appeared on TV screens four decades ago, but the BBC’s Only Fools and Horses remains hugely popular among audiences both young and old.

The show, famous for catchphrases such as ‘cushty’, ‘lovely jubbly’ and ‘plonker’, starred aspiring entrepreneur Del Boy (Sir David Jason) and his younger brother Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) who lived in a flat in Peckham, South East London.

When Del Boy finally struck it rich after auctioning an antique watch during the 1996 Christmas special ‘Time on our Hands’, more than 24million people watched.

No new episodes of Only Fools have appeared on British TV screens for two decades, with the last one being a special shown on Christmas Day 2003.

Many of the programme’s stars are now no longer with us, including Lennard Peace who was in the show from 1981 up until his death in 1984, at the age of 69.

Buster Merryfield, who was Uncle Albert, died aged 78 in 1999, while Trigger actor Roger Lloyd-Pack died at 69 in 2014 and Boycie star John Challis died at 79 in 2021.

The show’s writer John Sullivan died in 2011, but Only Fools has since found further success as a West End musical which launched in 2019. It will close this Saturday.

Yesterday, Mickey Pearce actor Patrick Murray sadly revealed that his cancer had returned and spread, just three months after claiming ‘liver surgery saved his life’. 

Also yesterday, it was revealed actress-turned-novelist Kate Saunders, who played a policewoman called Sandra who was a love interest of Rodney, had died aged 62. 

Here, MailOnline looks at what the hit comedy’s cast did before and after the show:

The BBC’s long-running comedy Only Fools and Horses starred Sir David Jason as Del Boy (centre), Nicholas Lyndhurst as Rodney (right) and Buster Merryfield as Uncle Albert (left) 


Enterprising cockney Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter wanted nothing more than to be a millionaire 

Sir David Jason starred as the iconic wheeler dealer Del Boy (left). He is also pictured in 2015

Despite a string of TV hits under his belt, Sir David Jason, now 83, will forever be known as enterprising cockney Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter, who drove a three-wheeled 1967 Reliant Regal Supervan III and wanted nothing more than to be a millionaire – with the least effort required possible.


The BBC comedy launched what felt like a thousand catchphrases, with many now firmly fixed in British language. Here are some of Del Boy’s finest quips: 

The cast during filming of the 1991 episode ‘Three Men, a Woman, and a Baby’

‘Au contraire, Rodney, Au Contraire’ 

‘Lovely Jubbly!’ 

‘He who dares, wins!’ 

‘Cushty!’ (meaning ‘fantastic’)

‘This time next year we’ll be millionaires’  

‘You know it makes sense’ 

‘You plonker!’

‘Shut up, you tart’ 

‘Mange tout!’ (meaning ‘no problem’)

‘Crème de la menthe’ (meaning ‘the best…’)

Born in Edmonton, London, Sir David started out in 1964, playing the part of Bert Bradshaw in Crossroads, before going on to play spoof super-hero Captain Fantastic, among other roles, in the children’s comedy series Do Not Adjust Your Set, alongside Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Denise Coffey and Michael Palin.

His career very nearly didn’t take off when he missed out on the part of Lance Corporal Jines in Dad’s Army; after initially being cast by David Croft, he was swiftly replaced by Clive Dunn after BBC exec Bill Cotton overruled Croft.

Sir David joked he was ‘cast at 12 o’clock and saved by three.’ He also missed out on the starring role of Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em in 1973 because BBC honchos thought he lacked ‘star quality’.

He spent 18 months in the West End in 1973, in the farce No Sex Please, We’re British, and appeared as the support act for Dick Emery in a number of variety shows, where he caught the eye of Ronnie Barker.

Sir David was subsequently recruited to play Granville alongside Ronnie in the sitcom Open All Hours, and jailbird Bianco Webb in Porridge in 1973.

He reprised his role of shopkeeper Granville in the sequel, Still Open All Hours, in 2014, and appeared again in the third series in 2017. By November last year, the energetic octogenarian had wrapped up a sixth series.

Sir David also famously starred as Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May in 1991, the show that launched the career of Catherine Zeta Jones.

But arguably his biggest role after Del Boy came playing Detective Inspector Jack Frost in the crime drama A Touch of Frost from the 1992 until 2010.

In 1993 he was awarded an OBE, and 12 years later, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2005, Sir David was knighted for services to acting and comedy. 

He released an autobiography in 2013 entitled David Jason: My Life, and followed it up with a second volume, Only Fools and Stories: From Del Boy to Granville, Pop Larkin to Frost in October 2017. 

His third autobiography, A Del Of A Life, was published in October 2020. He also published a Christmas book called The Twelve Dels of Christmas last year. 

Sir David, pictured playing Granville alongside Ronnie Barker in Open All Hours in 1973

Sir David Jason is seen in A Touch of Frost, left, and reprising his role as Granville in Still Open All Hours, right, in 2016

In 1995, Sir David was left grief-stricken after his girlfriend of 18 years, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, died of breast cancer (pictured together in 1993)

Sir David has an impressive collection of silverware, having picked up four British Academy Television Awards, in 1988, 1991, 1997 and 2003, four British Comedy Awards (1990, 1992, 1997, 2001) and seven National Television Awards (two in 1996, 1997, two in 2001, 2002 and 2011).

READ MORE — Only Fools and Horses policewoman Sandra dies aged 62: Actress-turned-novelist Kate Saunders who found fame opposite David Jason in 1982 episode of beloved sitcom passes away at her home

In recent years, a plethora of documentaries including David Jason’s Great British Inventions and David Jason: Planes, Trains & Automobiles have kept the star on screen and a bank balance so healthy, it would turn his alter-ego Del Boy’s eyes green.

There’s been tragedy too, though. In 1995, Sir David was left grief-stricken after his girlfriend of 18 years, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, died of breast cancer.

He found happiness again with Gill Hinchcliffe, 20 years his junior, whom he married in 2005. Gill gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Sophie Mae, in February 2001 when the actor was 61. The couple now live in Buckinghamshire.

But in March this year, his life had a remarkable twist when he found out that he actually had another daughter who was 30 years older than Sophie.

Sir David was left shocked to find he was the father to 52-year-old Abi Harris and grandfather to her 10-year-old son Charlie after having a brief fling with her mother Jennifer Hill in 1970.

Hill starred in the James Bond film Octopussy and alongside Sir David in a stage production of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood at the Mayfair Theatre in London.

It was during this production they had a brief relationship, during which he fathered Ms Harris – although he was unaware of their connection even when he appeared in a revival performance of Under Milk Wood in 2008 with Ms Harris and her mother.

Despite his advancing years, Sir David’s national treasure status has ensured his earnings have stayed buoyant. His company, Peglington Productions Ltd, revealed the star had earned around £2.3million in 2018 and 2019. 

Sir David found happiness again with Gill Hinchcliffe, 20 years his junior, whom he married in 2005. They are pictured together at the Royal Albert hall in 2019

Sir David Jason was left shocked to discover 52-year-old Abi Harris (pictured with him here) was his daughter, it emerged last month

Sir David had previously thought he only had one daughter, 22-year-old Sophie (pictured here with Sir David and his wife Gill Hinchcliffe)

In 2017, he made it to the BBC’s list of top earners, with an estimated salary from the broadcaster of between £300,000 and £349,999.

Sir David is a patron of the Shark Trust, a British charity working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks, and he’s also been Honorary Vice Patron of the Royal International Air Tattoo since 1999.

Last month Sir David was reunited with actress Sue Holderness – best known for her role as Marlene Boyce in Only Fools – in Milton Keynes for the annual Only Fools And Horses convention.

And last December, Sir David revealed that he and his Only Fools And Horses co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, who played his brother Rodney, have drifted apart.

The actor said his long-time friend is now more ‘self-contained’ than he once was and that he doesn’t get to see him as often as he would like to.

Also last year, Sir David described contracting a ‘seriously bad’ bout of Covid-19 in July 2022, which saw his muscles stop working, causing him to collapse against a radiator and crawl ‘like a walrus’ across his carpet. 


Nicholas Lyndhurst played Rodney Trotter, Del Boy’s younger brother. He has had a successful acting career but endured personal tragedy in 2020 when his son Archie died aged 19

Lynhurst played Rodney alongside his long-suffering partner Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong)

Born in 1961 in Emsworth, Hampshire, Nicholas Lyndhurst was intent on being an actor as a child although after graduating from drama school, he might not have envisioned the role that would mould his career.

Lyndhurst bagged the role of gangly sibling sidekick Rodney Trotter, Del Boy’s younger brother, as a young actor in 1981 and quickly became known to the nation as ‘Rodders’ – a moniker that has stuck.

During the mid 80s and 90s, Lyndhurst played Ashley Phillips in ITV’s The Two of Us, which co-starred Janet Dibley, and MI5 agent Peter ‘Piglet’ Chapman in The Piglet Files.

Now 62, the actor also achieved success playing Gary Sparrow in the popular time-travelling sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart. He won two National Television Awards for his performance in the show, which aired from 1993 to 1999 and returned for a one-off special in 2016.

From 1997 to 1999, Lyndhurst was the public face of the stationery chain store WH Smith, starring in their adverts as all four members of one family, and even winning a BAFTA for his acting in the commercials.

In 2007 Lyndhurst returned to the BBC with his first new sitcom in 14 years, After You’ve Gone, in which he played a divorced father moving back into the marital home to look after his daughter (Dani Harmer) and son (Ryan Sampson), together with his mother-in-law, played by Celia Imrie, after his ex-wife went to work as a recovery nurse on a third world disaster relief mission.

Goodnight Sweetheart: A more debonair Lyndhurst hit screens when he took on the role of time traveller Gary Sparrow, seen with co-stars Michelle Holmes, left, and Dervla Kirwan, right

Then there was the Only Fools and Horses prequel Rock & Chips, which also starred Inbetweeners actor James Buckley, in 2010. Lyndhurst played Rodney’s biological father Freddie Robdal.

There was a missed opportunity in 1997 when he turned down the role to play Gary in the film The Full Monty.

The UK-made film, about a group of men left unemployed by the end of the steelwork industry, went on to be a huge hit, turning its central star, Robert Carlyle, into a household name.

Lyndhurst’s co-star on Only Fools and Horses, Paul Barber who played Denzil, did appear in the film as Barrington ‘Horse’ Mitchell.

A role in the long-running BBC detective drama New Tricks, as the aloof retired Detective Chief Inspector Dan Griffin, followed in 2013.

His earnings, like his on-screen big brother’s, have remained handsome, with both Sur David and Lyndhurst offered £100,000 an episode to film the 2003 comeback series of Only Fools and Horses.

Lyndhurst married former ballerina Lucy in 1999 and the couple live in West Wittering on England’s south coast.

But huge personal tragedy hit them in September 2020 when their 19-year-old son Archie, a children’s TV star, died in his sleep from a brain haemorrhage caused by Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma/Leukaemia. He was found at his home in Fulham, West London.


Nicholas Lyndhurst’s wife Lucy posted a photo of father and his late son, calling the actor ‘My soul mate and Archie’s hero’

Archie was found dead at his home in Fulham in September 2020 after suffering a brain haemorrhage in his sleep

Lucy Lyndhurst wrote at the time on Instagram that losing Archie, who had starred as Ollie in So Awkward on CBBC, had had a ‘catastrophic effect’ on their family.

She posted a photo of father and son and called her husband ‘My soul mate and Archie’s hero.’

She added: ‘I never thought this would be part of our story but I will be forever grateful for every moment we all had together. Every day an absolute joy, filled with adventure, laughter and incredible love.

‘Archie is immensely proud of you as I am. It is an honour to be your wife and journey the rest of my days with you even though they are tough without our boy.’

Lyndhurst’s hobbies reportedly include underwater diving, beekeeping and piloting his own aeroplanes.

More recently Lyndhurst has busy filming the revival of popular US sitcom Frasier.

He is expected to appear in two episodes of the Paramount+ reboot of the show – which was a Cheers spin-off – as Alan, a friend of Kelsey Grammer’s character Dr Frasier Crane. It is due to air in mid-2023.

Grammer and Lyndhurst became friends when they starred together in the 2019 West End production of The Man of La Mancha.


The woman who married Del Boy and gave birth to Damien: Tessa Peake-Jones appeared as Rachel ‘Raquel’ Turner from 1988 until 2003

Peake-Jones pictured in 2016 after an appearance on the Lorraine show. Her biggest role following Only Fools and Horses was as Mrs Sylvia Maguire in ITV series Grantchester

It’s a brave lady who would take on Del Boy Trotter, but Rachel ‘Raquel’ Turner (Tessa Peake-Jones) didn’t shy away from the task, becoming a hugely popular character in the comedy.

She first appeared in the ‘Dates’ Christmas special and despite only being written into one episode became a staple in the series, appearing in episodes from 1988 to 2003.

In 1985, the actress married co-star Douglas Hodge, who would later portray an adult version of her on-screen son Damien, and they spent 27 years together before splitting in February 2013. They have two children, Mollie Rose and Charlie, together.

While a series of appearances in British TV shows followed, including Holby City, Midsomer Murders and Casualty, it was her appearance in ITV series Grantchester as Mrs Sylvia Maguire, a belligerent housekeeper, that has kept her firmly in the public eye.

The British drama follows an Anglican vicar and former Scots Guards officer who solve crime in the Cambridgeshire village of Grantchester during the 1950s, with the devoutly religious Sylvia keeping a keen eye on goings-on in the village.

In 2019, Peake-Jones sang Mamma Mia in front of an audience in London’s West End for the ITV programme All Star Musicals. 

While a series of TV shows followed, it was her appearance in ITV series Grantchester as Mrs Sylvia Maguire (pictured), a belligerent housekeeper, that has kept her firmly in the public eye

While Peake-Jones has been vocal about her fondness for Only Fools and Horses, she disappointed fans after being asked whether she would consider a reunion episode on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch in April 2021.

After being asked whether she and the other cast members would consider returning, she said: ‘I think we all probably feel the same now if you asked any of us.

‘I think we feel that time has now gone and because John Sullivan the wonderful writer who isn’t here anymore, who was a genius at writing the scripts, I think probably wouldn’t be the same.

‘I wonder if it’s best left where people remember it for what it was rather than seeing us sort of all elderly and perhaps not remembering our lines quite as well. It may be better to leave it.’

In April 2022, Peake-Jones and Gwyneth Strong – who played Rodney’s wife Cassandra – made a surprise appearance on Loose Women to discuss Only Fools

Actors David Jason and Tessa Peake-Jones in ‘The Chance of a Lunchtime’ episode in 1990

They revealed that they were originally only set to star in one episode of the show in 1988, but were so popular they remained a part of the cast until its end.

Peake-Jones, who lives in London, has also opened up about how her mother developed bi-polar disorder while growing up in Middlesex. 

She revealed how her mother would spend long stretches of her childhood in in psychiatric units, and continued to battle her demons until her death in 2014.

Speaking to the Daily Mail in April 2021, she said: ‘The slight chaos, emotionally speaking, that must have caused me, and also seeing her fight this awful illness, taught me to make the most of every day because you never knew what was round the next corner.’


Rodney’s better half, Cassandra, pictured right, was played by Gwyneth Strong, who has enjoyed a string of smaller parts on screen since leaving Peckham

Gwyneth Strong, now 63, played Del Boy’s younger brother Rodney’s longstanding love interest and eventual wife, Cassandra.

Like Tessa Peake-Jones, she was brought in by scriptwriter John Sullivan who wanted to write women into the show to balance out the abundance of male characters.

Last seen on screens in 2016 as pub landlady and darts fan Geraldine Clough in EastEnders, Strong is also a vocal campaigner on awareness of ovarian cancer after losing her mother to the disease.

She is patron of a charity Ovarian Cancer Action and said of her campaigning: ‘Ovarian cancer kills more women than all the other gynaecological cancers together.

In 2016, Strong also headed to Albert Square, starring as darts player Geraldine on the soap

‘It’s not right, then, that it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. More awareness will lead to better funding, and that means fewer lives lost.

‘That’s why I am so dedicated to my role as patron to the charity. I will do all I can to make more people aware and improve outcomes for women affected by the disease.’

She was reunited with Sir David Jason when she appeared in a two-part episode of A Touch of Frost, and later took on roles in the West End and made an appearance in Midsomer Murders.

In 2018 Strong was reunited on-screen with Tessa Peake-Jones for the first time since the long-running sitcom ended in 2003, during an episode of Loose Women, and revealed that they had remained firm friends over a decade after the show.

In 2018 Gwyneth was reunited on-screen with Tessa for the first time since the long-running sitcom ended in 2003 during an episode of Loose Women (pictured)

In 2019, she trod the boards in Agatha Christie classic The Mousetrap and has said that her role as Cassandra has influenced her whole career.

She told the Scottish Herald: ‘I remember taking my son out for a walk in his pram – he was six months old, this was my first job after having him. It was a Monday morning, and the show had aired the previous evening.

‘I’d never experienced anything like it and I realised I’d never walk my local streets in quite the same way again.’

In real life, Strong, now a grandmother, is married to ex Footballer’s Wives Jesse Birdsall, and the couple, who live in East Sussex, are parents to Oscar and Lottie.


 Benjamin Smith, pictured centre, as Damien Trotter with on-screen father David Jason, far left 

The role of Del Boy’s son Damien was played by various child actors in the early years, but assumed by Benjamin Smith from 2001. 

One of the show’s funniest moments came when Uncle Rodney was told of his new nephew’s name – and he instantly associated Del Boy and Raquel’s newborn son with Damien from 1976 horror movie The Omen. 

All grown up: Benjamin Smith in BBC programme Accused in 2010. Most recently, he was spotted as Robbie Lennox in TV mini-series Resistance in 2019.

The now 30-year-old has since gone on to win roles in Holby City and Doctor Who, and has appeared in both EastEnders and Skins. 

He played the main character in episode two of the BBC programme Accused, was in the Channel 4 comedy-drama No Offence in 2015, and played a soldier in the TV short Native. 

Most recently, he was spotted as Robbie Lennox in TV mini-series Resistance in 2019.


John Challis played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses and later reprised his most famous role in the spin off show Green Green Grass

John Challis not only played second hand car dealer Aubrey ‘Boycie’ Boyce in Only Fools and Horses, he went on to play him again in a spin-off series called Green Green Grass that aired between 2005 and 2009.

The actor also enjoyed more mileage out of the popular character in the years since – publishing two autobiographies – Being Boycie, and Boycie and Beyond, and even touring a one-man show, Only Fools and Boycie, in 2014.

But he sadly died from cancer at the age of 79 in September 2021.

He had cancelled a 30-date speaking tour earlier that month after only one appearance due to ill health.

Challis was born in Bristol but moved to South East London when he was one.

Playing Monty in another BBC comedy, Benidorm (Pictured with Steve Edge, who played Billy)

He attended the state boarding Ottershaw School near Woking, Surrey, and worked as a trainee estate agent before becoming a professional actor.

Early roles included gangster drama Big Breadwinner Hog in 1969 and a recurring role on Z-Cars as Sergeant Culshaw between 1971 and 1975.

In recent years he became an honorary citizen of Serbia, where the BBC sitcom remains hugely popular.

Challis made the documentary Boycie In Belgrade, exploring why the show was so beloved in the Balkan country.

The film explored the legendary sitcom’s cult following there, with murals across the city including a painting of Del Boy sipping drinks from the Nags Head.

He was also known for playing Monty Staines in ITV sitcom Benidorm. 

In February 2020, Challis told how the finale of Only Fools And Horses would have seen millionaire Del Boy celebrate his retirement in the Nag’s Head.

The actor, pictured on ITV programme Loose Women in April 2018, died in September 2021

Challis explained that the ‘lost episode’ was supposed to mark the hit comedy show’s 30th anniversary, but the sitcom’s writer John Sullivan died before he could finish the script.

Sullivan, who also wrote hit shows Citizen Smith and Just Good Friends, died at the age of 64 in April 2011 after a battle with viral pneumonia.

In 2016, Challis appeared as Captain Peacock in a revival of another classic sitcom, Are You Being Served?.

However in April 2020, the star admitted in an interview with Norfolk magazine Iceni that work had dried up since his stint on Benidorm ended in 2018.

‘As for television, my career came to an end with the end of Benidorm’, he said.

In honour of her husband, widow Carol Challis had Boycie’s famous saying ‘I Am Here’ inscribed onto the headstone as a tribute

‘Thankful as I am for what Boycie has brought me, I’m still an actor and actors want to show off their capabilities. I really thought my Benidorm character had legs, so that’s a sadness.’

Challis was married to his fourth wife Carol Davies, with whom he tied the knot in 1995 in Brighton. He had no children and lived with his wife near Leintwardine, close to the Shropshire border.

In December last year, Carol revealed she had had his famous quote ‘I Am Here’ inscribed onto his headstone as a tribute.

The phrase refers to the episode where Boycie, Del Boy, Rodney, Trigger and Uncle Albert held a séance in the Nag’s Head.

When the lady conducting the séance told the group a spirit wished to speak to a person called Aubrey, Boycie popped up, and said ‘I Am Here’ revealing his unusual middle name to the group.


Last month Sir David and Sue Holderness – best known for her role as Marlene Boyce in Only Fools – were reunited in Milton Keynes for the annual Only Fools And Horses convention

Old times: Sir David as cockney market trader Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and Holderness as Marlene Boyce in Only Fools And Horses. The show ran from 1981 to 2003

Sue Holderness played Boycie’s wife Marlene in Only Fools and Horses from 1985 to 2003, and then its spin-off The Green Green Grass from 2005 to 2009.

Boycie’s catchphrase ‘Marleeeeeeene’ was directed at her character, who was also known to be popular among the male characters and very flirtatious.

While Holderness was best known for Only Fools, she also made appearances on stage in the West End and on TV shows such as Doctors, Still Open All Hours and EastEnders.

In March, she launched a national appeal to warn the general public about online scams after she was targeted by fraudsters who conned her out of hundreds of pounds.

In March, Holderness launched a national appeal to warn the general public about online scams after she was targeted by fraudsters who conned her out of hundreds of pounds

Career: Holderness is best known for her role as Marlene Boyce on Only Fools And Horses (L-R Roy Heather as Sid, Roger Lloyd Pack as Trigger, John Challis as Boycie, Patrick Barber as Denzil, Sue Holderness as Marlene and Patrick Murray as Mickey Pearce)

The Only Fools star was tricked by scammers who hacked into her computer and convinced her to pay them to ‘fix’ her online security.

Holderness is now supporting a campaign, Take Five To Stop Fraud, which provides advice to help people protect themselves from financial fraud.

Last month she was reunited with co-star Sir David Jason at an Only Fools And Horses convention in Milton Keynes.

The pair were seen posing for a photo, and she wrote: ‘So lovely to be with Sir DJ again.’


Playing Denzil in the hit comedy launched a career for Paul Barber, now 72, that saw him venture into films including The Full Monty in 1997 and Gloves Off in 2017 

You can leave your hat on: Barber starred alongside Robert Carlyle in the hit film The Full Monty playing Barrington ‘Horse’ Mitchell

Paul Barber played Denzil in Only Fools and Horses, with audiences wincing as he would be persuaded again and again to become embroiled in Del Boy’s madcap schemes to make money. 

Arguably his biggest role came in 1997, when he was cast as Barrington ‘Horse’ Mitchell in The Full Monty, a film about unemployed Sheffield steel workers who stripped off to earn money. 

Barber’s career continued with shows including Coronation Street, Casualty and Death in Paradise under his belt. In 2017, he starred alongside Ricky Tomlinson in the film Gloves Off. 

Barber pictured appearing in the documentary The Real Full Monty in 2017, which marked the film’s 20th anniversary to raise awareness of men’s cancers

Barber (second left) is among the cast of The Full Monty for the upcoming Disney+ series

Now living in Clacton, Essex, the actor in 2020 appeared on the Mixtape Assembly podcast, which is presented by the son of Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played Trigger. 

Barber revealed to Hartley Lloyd-Pack that he would sneak off during takes to smoke cannabis with Roger, admitting they were ‘naughty boys’.   

Barber is part of an upcoming Disney+ TV follow-up series to The Full Monty, which was the highest grossing movie ever in the UK until Titanic.

The new eight-part TV series will show what has become of the characters 25 years on, and it is expected to be shown later this year.


He talked a big game! Wheeler dealer Mickey Pearce, played by Patrick Murray, was seen in 20 episodes of the show, starring as Rodney’s best friend 

In 2018, Murray, no longer with his trademark moustache appeared alongside John Challis – better known as Boycie to viewers – on ITV’s Loose Women

Patrick Murray became a familiar face thanks to his recurring role as moustachioed wheeler dealer Mickey Pearce in Only Fools and Horses.

Rodney’s friend Mickey was prone to exaggerating his achievements both in business and with women, and would think nothing of waltzing off with a girl that Rodney liked. 

After appearing in 20 episodes, he went on to star in films the Curse of the Pink Panther and The Firm before turning his attention away from acting.  

READ MORE — Only Fools And Horses star Patrick Murray, 66, says cancer has returned and spread just three months after claiming ‘liver surgery saved his life’ 

A brief career as a professional poker player, a bricklayer and a job as a taxi driver also followed. 

After marrying his wife, Josie, from Thailand, the couple faced heartache when they were separated due to visa restrictions for almost two years, with Murray working as a chauffeur to earn enough money to bring his wife and their young daughter to live in the UK.

He said at the time: ‘I only saw my baby on the phone for two years, I was a Skype dad.’ 

He revealed on Loose Women in 2018 that the family had successfully been reunited.   

But yesterday, Murray sadly confirmed that his lung cancer has returned.

The actor, 66, had said last year that the tumour in his liver was shrinking and his cancer appeared to be ‘cured’.

Murray told his Twitter followers that ‘despite all the wonderful efforts’ of staff at Guy’s, Medway Maritime and King’s College Hospitals his ‘lung cancer has returned’.

The actor, also known for the 1970s’ films Scum and Quadrophenia, added: ‘I thought I had a painful groin strain a couple of months ago, unfortunately that turned out to be the cancer getting into my pelvis and leg bones.

‘It has also entered my lymphatic system.’

He said he is having a combination of radiology treatment and chemotherapy and that doctors are hopeful for his survival.

He revealed in January 2022 that he had an operation to have a cancerous lung tumour in its early stages removed, followed by chemotherapy.

Subsequent scans found another tumour in his liver that was unconnected to his lung cancer and also treatable.

He also said he received transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation (Tace), a minimally invasive procedure performed in interventional radiology to restrict a tumour’s blood supply.


Trigger – real name Peter Baker – struggled to comprehend that Rodney Trotter wasn’t called Dave during much of the comedy series

Roger Lloyd-Pack played one of the show’s most likeable characters, road sweeper Colin ‘Trigger’ Ball, who famously always called Rodney by the name of Dave.

The actor sadly died aged 69 in 2014 following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

He also appeared in another much-loved British comedy, as Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley, which aired in the 90s and also returned for one-off specials right up until 2007.

A succesful career saw Roger Lloyd-Pack star in the Harry Potter franchise and as Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley

The actor (back row, third from left) played Owen Newitt in the BBC show The Vicar of Dibley

He also starred as Barty Crouch Sr in the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as well as in Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy and Made in Dagenham.

His final role was in Law & Order: UK.


Kenneth MacDonald as pub landlord Mike Fisher during a 1990 episode of Only Fools 

Kenneth MacDonald was known for playing both pub landlord Mike Fisher in Only Fools and Horses, and Gunner Nobby Clark in It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

He also appeared in the National Theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls and My Night With Reg in the West End.

MacDonald filmed scenes as Stephen Pearce in the TV series The Last Detective, starring Peter Davison, but suffered a massive heart attack and died at just 50 in 2001 while on holiday in Hawaii, before the show aired.

The actor died tragically at the age of just 50 in 2001 while on holiday in Hawaii

His role in Only Fools and Horses was referenced in the show’s revival that year, in which they said the pub landlord had been imprisoned for embezzling the brewery.

MacDonald previously said: ‘I’m a very, very lucky man. I’ve been blessed with the good fortune to have been in two great sitcoms.’

He was married to his wife Sheila, with whom he had a son and daughter.


Buster Merryfield as Uncle Albert in the hit BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses

Harry ‘Buster’ Merryfield was best known for his role as Uncle Albert in the hit BBC programme but was a bank manager before he become an actor.

He starred in Only Fools and Horses from 1985 after his character was written in to the show following the death in 1984 of Lennard Pearce who played Grandad.

Merryfield’s character had the catchphrase ‘during the war’ when he would refer to his exploits in the Royal Navy.

In real life, he was in fact an army officer in Africa during the Second World War.

Merryfield – who grew up in Battersea, South West London – died aged 78 years old in 1999 after being admitted to hospital with a brain tumour.

The actor appeared in the show from 1985 and proved a huge hit with fans. He died of a brain tumour at the age of 78

Speaking about auditioning for the role, Merryfield previously said: ‘All they wanted to know was whether I could put on a Cockney accent. As a Battersea boy, I told them, I would have no problem.’

He also fluffed his entrance lines on his debut in front of a studio audience, but Sir David rescued him by deliberately doing the same and joking to the crowd: ‘What are you lot sniggering at? You got in for nothing, didn’t you?’

In 1997, he stumbled and fell when collecting an award at the British Comedy Awards, but continued accepting the gong despite blood dripping from his forehead.

He and his wife Iris were married for 57 years and had one daughter.


Derek Trotter (played by David Jason), his brother Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Grandad (Lennard Pearce) pose for a photograph ahead of the 1981 Christmas special 

Lennard Pearce worked mostly in theatre, but will always be remembered for his role as Grandad in Only Fools and Horses.

He starred in the series from 1981 up until his death in in 1984, at the age of 69.

Pearce had been in the middle of filming an episode with Sir David and Lyndhurst that year, but days later he was found by his landlady at the foot of the stairs to his flat after suffering a heart attack and was taken to Whittington Hospital in Highgate.

Pearce, who had suffered problems with his balance and critical hypertension, then suffered a second heart attack three days later and died on December 15 that year.

They had been filming the episode ‘Hole In One’, which saw Grandad fall into a pub’s beer cellar, before Del and Rodney try to claim compensation against the brewery.

The episode was eventually reshot with Buster Merryfield, who joined the cast as Uncle Albert after Pearce’s death, and broadcast in series four in March 1985.

Sir David wrote about filming the episode in the last few days of Pearce’s life in his 2017 biography Only Fools and Stories.

He said they were filming for a ‘daft series four story in which Grandad takes a tumble into a pub’s beer cellar and Del and Rodney then join him in pursuing a hefty compensation claim against the brewery, only to discover, when their case is heard, that this is not the first time that Grandad has tried this ruse’.

Sir David also recalled being told about the news of Pearce’s death while in make-up with Lyndhurst on a Sunday morning. He said the show’s director Ray Butt stood in the doorway, adding: ‘He didn’t say anything. He just shook his head and walked away.’

Sir David said the team knew Pearce had health issues and was taking tablets for his hypertension, but added: ‘The actuality of it – the finality of it – was overwhelming.

‘Neither Nick nor I knew what to say or do with ourselves. I remember just sitting silently in a chair for a long time, trying to absorb it and failing.

‘The day’s work, obviously, was abandoned. As we left in silence to go home, as if in some kind of maudlin film, there was a sudden flurry of snow.’

Sir David said he thought the show was over following Pearce’s death, but a meeting was called – led by then BBC comedy chief Gareth Gwenlan – about what to do next.

He attended the meeting along with writer John Sullivan amid the assumption ‘we were going to talk about calling it a day and about what the exit strategy would be’.

Only Fools And Horses first aired on the BBC in 1981, featuring Lyndhurst, Jason and Pearce

But the BBC said its transmission dates had been locked into the schedules, and they needed to come up with ideas of how to keep the hugely-popular show alive.

One idea that was initially floated was to bring in a lookalike to play Grandad, but this was crushed by Sir David and Sullivan amid fears it would be an ‘insult’ to Pearce.

However, Sullivan suggested the show could go on if they wrote Grandad’s death into the show, gave him a proper funeral scene and marked the exit of his character.

Sir David was fearful over what was uncharted territory for a TV comedy, but said Sullivan created ‘probably his greatest piece of writing for the show’ to make it work.

The episode, ‘Strained Relations’, was deeply moving for viewers, save for a few jokes including one that saw Del tell the gravediggers to shovel soil over the coffin ‘gently’.

It also memorably saw Del and Rodney drop what they thought was Grandad’s trilby into his grave – although the hat actually happens to belong to the vicar.


Source: Read Full Article