It is always worth checking how much your old antiques and family heirlooms are worth. Just ask the Trotter brothers.
The Only Fools and Horses episode ‘Time on Our Hands’ is known to still bring a tear to the eye of many die hard fans. Del Boy and Rodney finally became millionaires in the 1996 Christmas special which was watched by 24.3 million viewers, nearly half the population of the country at the time and the highest viewing record ever for a comedy TV show in the UK.
Although the episode is best known for the main characters stumbling upon their fortune, at the start of the episode Del Boy meets Raquel’s parents James and Audrey for the first time. Actor Michael Jayston played Raquel’s dad James in the episode and was subject to an awful coffee coated meal courtesy of a comical kitchen mix up by Uncle Albert.
Fans will remember that when picking up his car from the Trotters’ garage the following day, antiques dealer James spots an old pocket watch. It is engraved “Harrison”. After closer examination, he suggests that it may be the work of John Harrison, the man who designed and built the world’s first successful maritime clock in the 18th century.
And this leads the Trotters to Sotheby’s where the watch sells for £6.2 million at auction. It was Michael’s only appearance in the hit show but without his character James the Trotters would not have had their happy ending.
Michael has starred on both stage and screen throughout his career, with another notable role being when he played the Valeyard in all fourteen episodes of the Doctor Who serial The Trial of Time Lord. Few Only Fools and Horses fans will be aware, though, that Michael used to be married to an actress who has also made a name for herself in theatre and TV.
So who was Michael married to?
In 1965 he married Lynn Farleigh. The pair divorced in 1970 but both continued to have successful careers as actors. Lynn joined the Royal Shakespeare Company shortly after the pair were married and went on to have a theatre career for 40 years.
Following her time on the stage Lynn played Nora White in EastEnders between 2013 and 2014. She has appeared in four EastEnders episodes to date.
Nora is the mum of Carl White and Adam White. She first appeared in July 2013, when Carl and his ex-girlfriend Kirsty Branning decide to visit her in her nursing home for her birthday. Nora returned to Walford in March 2014 as her son Carl had not been in contact with her for more three months – he had been killed in January that year.
She ends up discovering Ronnie Mitchell killed her son by slamming the boot of a car onto his head and then having the car crushed with his body inside. Ronnie later had Nora’s other son Adam beaten up and she then threatened Nora and the rest of the White family to leave her alone. Nora has not been seen since in Albert Square.
Lynn is now married to the actor John Woodvine (who played an Archbishop in Netflix’s The Crown) and together they have two children. Michael has been married to Elizabeth Ann Smithson since 1978. They have two children.
Outside of Only Fools and Horses Michael made a wide variety of appearances on the small screen. He acted in Doctor Who, Coronation Street and even made an appearance in EastEnders himself. We are not sure if he bumped into his ex wife on set!