There’s a reason Only Fools and Horses is one of the most popular sitcoms in this country’s TV history. With classic slapstick humour which harks back to the earliest days of on-screen comedy, combined with clever jokes and a setting that couldn’t be more grounded in British culture, it’s obvious why the show has such mass appeal.
In fact, Only Fools’ appeal is so broad that you can even count the Royal Family amongst its legion of fans. They weren’t just casual fans either, the Queen and her family so enamoured with the antics of the Trotters that they would regularly ask a special favour of creator John Sullivan and the producers of the show.
This was revealed by Nick Lyndhurst who explained that the royals would often send Buckingham Palace Officials to ask for advance copies of the latest Only Fools episodes. The Rodney Trotter actor joked that they must have enjoyed the exclusive tapes as they never gave them back.
Further evidence of the royal family’s love for the show can be seen in the Trotter’s Royal Variety performance in 1986, when they were invited to perform in front of the Queen Mother and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
David Jason has since explained how the three of them, himself, Nick, and Buster Merryfield who played Uncle Albert, were all petrified going into the performance having had barely any time to rehearse, and having never tried the planned material in front of an audience before.
In the end though, the performance went down a treat, the trio even receiving a wave from the Queen Mother after a risqué joke where Del mistakes those in the royal box for his pal Chunky Lewis. They must have been huge fans to let that fly!