Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses: David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst’s brilliant first meeting years before they became Del Boy and Rodney

The two stars first met in an interview on kids TV

It’s fair to say that starring in one of the best-loved and most successful TV sitcoms of all time would be a career highlight for anyone, so it’s no slight to say that their roles on Only Fools and Horses were the pinnacle of David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst’s. In their time on the show, playing the role of the Trotter brothers Del and Rodney, they filmed a whopping 64 episodes over the course of more than 20 years.

This is enough time to form a bond with anyone, and the pair have regularly talked about how close their relationship is, with the entire Only Fools cast one big ‘family’ and David’s rep admitted in 2020 to the Sun that “despite no longer being on screen together, David and Nick remain very close”.

What many fans may not know though, is that David and Nicholas’ friendship can actually be traced back even further than the first episodes of Only Fools back in 1981, with the pair actually having first met in 1976.

David Jason in the 1976 series Lucky Feller, broadcast for one season on ITV (Image: ITV)

At the time David, then aged 36, was working on a TV series for ITV called Lucky Feller, in which he played the star Shorty Mopstead. The series came out just before he got his big break playing Granville in Open All Hours that same year, but was not quite as successful, running for just one season of 13 episodes.

Doing some promotional work for the new show though, David was invited for an interview on the LWT Kids morning talk show, Our Show. This short-lived programme was one of the first to give children a go presenting and also led to a famous gaffe clip when a young Melissa Wilkes (Zammo’s girlfriend from Grange Hill) mispronounced Grand Prix when reading a sports news item.

Nicholas Lyndhurst in the Prince and the Pauper aged just 15, not long before he first met David Jason (Image: BBC)

On the day David Jason was being interviewed though, who should be his young interviewer other than a wide-eyed 15-year-old called Nicholas Lyndhurst. Nick was something of a child star at this point having just had his TV film adaptation of the Prince and the Pauper released that same year where he played both title roles.

Fortunately there were no gaffes in this interview, though few watching could have known the incredible comedy double act this unlikely pair would go onto become, not to mention their enduring friendship.

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