Only Fools and Horses has featured a number of household British acting names since it first aired in 1981. But the showbiz world is small on this little island and it’s no surprise that some stars have gone on to feature on popular soaps and even Hollywood films and others have had relationships with actors who have their own links to the much-loved BBC sitcom.
Take the Driscoll brothers as an example. Although they were mentioned various times throughout Only Fools and Horses they actually only appeared in one episode. Danny and Tony are Peckham’s answer to the notorious Kray twins as the hang around South London with their aggressive gangster ways.
East London born actor and familiar face Roy Marsden starred as Danny in the last episode of season 6 – Little Problems – where Del Boy attempts to raise money for Rodney’s upcoming wedding to Cassandra by selling mobile phones supplied by the Driscoll brothers.
Fans will remember that in The Nag’s Head, Mickey Pearce and Jevon reveal they have been beat-up by the Driscoll’s before they come looking for Del and payment for the phones, and it doesn’t end well. Danny is very much taller than Tony and the unlikely brothers went to star in three episodes of Boycie and Marlene’s spin-off series The Green Green Grass.
Although Boycie once said this about Driscoll’s: “One of them looks like he was evicted from the Planet of the Apes.” Before taking on the role of Danny Driscoll, Roy attended the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and made numerous theatre appearances.
The star also played the role of Arthur Chipping in 1984’s Goodbye Mr. Chips. Not only do British actors appear across different shows in TV land, they sometimes marry people from shows too. Roy married Emmerdale actress Polly Hemingway, who played the character Kathy Davis, the daughter of the oppressive Jim Gimbel between 1974 and 1977.
The actress also appeared with Only Fools and Horse actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, in Goodnight Sweetheart episode – Turned Out Nice Again in 1996. Nicholas played Gary Sparrow in the time-travelling series while Polly played Beryl Formby.
The actress also played another role on the soap, Catherine Simmons in 2007 and went on to appear in Casualty, Heartbeat, Doctors and Midsomer Murders. Ray and Polly eventually divorced and share two children.