Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses: How old the surviving stars are in real life as Nicholas Lyndhurst turns 60

Can you guess the real-life ages of these old TV stars?

Nicholas Lyndhurst, aka Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, recently celebrated his 60th birthday.

The actor turned 60 the week before last, on April 20.

These days the sitcom star is looking a little greyer than when he played the starring role back in his early twenties.

But Nicholas still has the same boyish face and gentle smile as he did in the 80s, during his Only Fools days.

Nicholas Lyndhurst in April 2019. (Image: Ian West/PA Wire)

Nicolas stayed with the series until its end in 2003 and has since confirmed there will never be a reunion.

In 2019 the actor said he cannot watch Only Fools And Horses because it is too upsetting seeing the cast members who have since died.

As well as his starring roles in Only Fools and Horses and Goodnight Sweetheart, Nicholas has appeared on TV dozens of times in the last five decades, including playing a BAFTA-winning role in the WHSmith adverts.

In 2013 he joined the regular cast of crime drama New Tricks, as former detective chief inspector Dan Griffin.

And Nicholas has recently switched his talents to theatre, appearing in two separate operas, Man of La Mancha and Carousel.

Nicholas turning 60 is a big milestone since his Only Fools and Horses days, which don’t seem so long ago for many people.

It got us wondering – how old are the rest of the Only Fools cast now, and what are they up to in their later lives?

Sir David Jason – Age in real life: 81

Sir David Jason, aka Del Boy (Image: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images and BBC)

National treasure Sir David Jason, aka Del Boy, has been a familiar face on our screens since his rise to fame in the 80s.

Playing DI Jack Frost in A Touch of Frost for no less than 18 years, David has now reached the grand old age of 81.

But that hasn’t stopped the star from continuing to pursue his buzzing career.

The actor’s next pursuit, it was recently revealed, will be a role as a retired spy at the Oxford Playhouse.

John Challis – Age in real life: 78

John Challis, aka Boycie (Image: Essex Chronicle and BBC)

Best known for his role as Boycie in Only Fools, John Challis followed the show with an extensive television career, including starring alongside Sue Holderness in the spin-off series The Green Green Grass.

In 2015, John began making guest appearances as Monty Staines in the hit ITV comedy Benidorm , before later becoming a regular from series 10 of the show in 2018.

But earlier this month the 78-year-old comedy veteran poo-pooed new TV comedies, insisting they’re just not funny.

“Some modern stuff has got some great ideas but I just don’t latch on to it. I find it all a bit cynical and pleased with itself,” he said.

Tessa Peake-Jones – Age in real life: 63

Tessa Peake-Jones, aka Raquel (Image: Target Live/BBC)

Tessa played Raquel Turner, long-term partner of Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter in Only Fools, from December 1988 until the programme ended in 2003.

The actress, now 63 years old, has starred in London’s Burning (1988), Spooks (2005), Skins (2010), Outnumbered (2010) and Black Mirror (2017) – just to name a few.

Regular readers or Only Fools mega-fans might remember that Tessa dated her on-screen son Douglas Hodge for 29 years.

Earlier this month the actress admitted the cast now ‘all feel the same’ about the idea of an Only Fools reunion.

She said: “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.”

Gwyneth Strong – Age in real life: 61

Gwyneth Strong, aka Cassandra

Gwyneth Strong, who played Rodney’s better half Cassandra, like Tessa, was originally brought in by scriptwriter John Sullivan who wanted to write women into the show.

The 61-year-old was last seen on TV screens when she appeared in EastEnders in 2016, as pub landlady and darts fan Geraldine Clough.

She is a vocal campaigner of ovarian cancer awareness, becoming a patron of a charity Ovarian Cancer Action after losing her mum to the illness.

Her most recent acting pursuit was in 2019, when she starred in legendary Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap in Edinburgh.

Sue Holderness, aka Marlene Boyce, as Estelle in EastEnders this week (Image: BBC)

Sue Holderness, aka cockney man-eater Marlene Boyce, was the on-screen wife of Boycie in Only Fools, also appearing alongside him in the spin-off The Green Green Grass.

The 71-year-old, who is also known for her roles in the 80s comedy TV series Dear John and the 90s comedy Cold Feet, has hit the headlines this week after appearing in EastEnders.

During her one-week guest stint on the BBC soap, Sue is playing theatrical agent Estelle Jones, who has her eye on Billy Mitchell.

Benjamin Smith – Age in real life: 71

Benjamin Smith, aka Damien Trotter, as Frankie Nash in BBC drama Accused (Image: BBC)

In the early years of Only Fools and Horses, the role of Del Boy’s son Damien was played by various child actors, but most notably by Ben Smith from 2001.

The 31-year-old has since gone on to play roles in Holby City and Doctor Who, and has even appeared in both Eastenders and Skins.

Ben’s most recent role was in 2019, as Robbie Lennox in TV mini-series Resistance.

Paul Barber – Age in real life: 70

Paul Barber, aka Denzil, leaving the funeral of comedian Sir Ken Dodd in 2018. (Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)

Paul Barber became repeatedly wrapped in Del Boy’s hair-raising schemes to make money in his role as Denzil in Only Fools.

The 70-year-old Liverpudlian has had an acting career spanning over 45 years, including parts in Coronation Street, Casualty and Death in Paradise.

He is perhaps best known for his starring role in The Full Monty in 1997, when he was cast as Barrington ‘Horse’ Mitchell.

In a moment of nostalgia for fans of Only Fools, Paul was recently invited onto the Mixtape Assembly podcast, hosted by the son of the Roger Lloyd Pack (aka Trigger).

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