Only Fools and Horses

Jim Broadbent reveals why he turned down role as Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses

It’s hard to think of a character who would play the iconic Del Boy in the popular British sitcom Only Fools and Horses other than Sir David Jason.

However, producers of the show were just a distance away from hiring another actor to play the role as one of Britain’s most-loved characters in television.

Harry Potter star Jim Broadbent appeared on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show last night and revealed why he turned down the iconic role.

The 72-year-old instead played the recurring character Roy Slater.

Although not as iconic as Del Boy, his character is definitely a memorable one to many.

You might recognise him best appearing in episodes, including May the Force Be With You, To Hull and Back and The Class of 62.

Jim appeared on the Graham Norton’s BBC talk show last night alongside guests Adele, Oscar-winning Brits Dame Helen Mirren, Golda Rosheuvel and George Ezra.

When the questions turned to the Only Fools and Horses star, he opened up about the classic role that he came just short of bagging.

Unlcle Albert, Del, and Rodney (Image: BBC)

Jim said: “Originally I was the second choice for Del Boy.

“The first choice was Enn Reitel, but he didn’t fancy it and I couldn’t do it because I was doing a show in the West End.”

Enn, 71, is a Scottish actor who is best known for specialising in voice work.

His voice-overs are recognised by many for appearing in video games, movies and TV shows.

Jim added: “Luckily David Jason was available so my biggest contribution to British culture is not being available!”

Despite missing out on the Del Boy role, his character in the sitcom is still loved by many.

Jim said: “It’s Only Fools and Horses more than anything else and it goes across the generations – kids who weren’t even alive when we made it say Slater is their favourite.”

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