Tessa Peake-Jones played the much-loved but no nonsense Raquel Turner in Only Fools and Horses between 1998 and 2003 – and the actress has forged out a successful actor career out of her role as Del Boy Trotter’s (David Jason) partner. She’s one of the most recognisable faces from the BBC sitcom, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.
The pair travelled on a rocky road to their happily ever after, but they were happily married at their Peckham flat with their son Damien when the show ended in 2003. She even helped her man get back on his feet after he lost all his cash on the Central American stock market.
Now 64 years old, Tessa’s acting career appears to be far from over, having starred most recently in ITV period drama Grantchester as Sylvia Maguire, the vicarage’s devoutly religious housekeeper who rarely smiles.
Hailing from West London, the actress grew up in Hammersmith and she actually made her first television appearance in a little-known series called Fallen Hero back in 1978. A decade later, she made her Only Fools and Horses debut as Racquel in the Dates episode.
On the show, Raquel and on-screen husband Del Boy gave birth to baby Damien, who was played by numerous actors as a child. He was later played by Douglas Hodge as an adult in the Only Fools and Horse episode Heroes and Villains, which was broadcast on Christmas Day 1996.
The actor, now 62, is renowned for his roles in series including Black Mirror, Penny Dreadful and The Night Manager. He has also appeared in films such as Red Sparrow, The Report, Joker, and The Devil All The Time.
What even some super fans of the show might be unaware of is that Peake-Jones and Hodge were in a long-term relationship for 27 years, from 1984 to 2013. They even share two children together – a son, Charlie, and a daughter, Mollie Rose.
The couple went their separate ways nine years ago, but both remain big names in British acting circles. Nowadays, though, they tend to keep their private lives private.
After Only Fools’ final episode, Sleepless in Peckham, aired in 2003 the only way was up for Tessa as she continues to carve out a very successful acting career. She’s played major parts in some of the UK’s most popular dramas such as ITV’s Unforgotten, Midsomer Murders, Marchlands, Doctor Who and Holby City. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the star is worth more than £2 million, so it appears that more than 40 years working on TV sets has certainly paid off.