Only Fools and Horses is one of those beloved shows that just worked – on comedic, emotional, and cultural levels.
It remains one of the most popular comedies on TV, replayed frequently on certain channels, nearly 20 years after the last ever episode wrapped up with 2003’s Christmas special.
And as such, the stars are still just that – and Sir David Jason, who portrayed the loveable-if-untrustworthy Del, still gets questions from fans.
One he’s gotten used to over the years, as he writes in his autobiography A Del of a Life, is whether the show will come back for one last hurrah.
Sadly, show pen John Sullivan has died – and that seals it for Sir David.
“Not for as long as John is no longer with us,” he writes, “and all the indications are that the situation is set to continue.”
And he admits that maybe they stretched out the show a bit too long – it did run from the early eighties until 2003, after all.
Part of the problem, David reckons, was that the later episodes depicted Del and Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) as wealthy businessmen, having finally pulled off one of their schemes and made it big.
“Maybe we did go back to the well a couple more times than we should have done,” David reckons.
“Maybe being rich, as they were, briefly, in 2001, didn’t suit the Trotters as well as being poor.”
In 1996, the sitcom shattered British TV records with the Christmas special, Time On Our Hands.
“With hindsight, it would have been the perfect get-out point, the neatest of tie-ups,” David adds.
“But hindsight is easy.”
He does struggle with the meteoric fame that the role of Del bestowed upon him, too.
“That instant recognition thing can get in the way of real life,” he writes.
“People want a piece of you sometimes, which you don’t want to give. You might be right in the middle of the supermarket getting a loaf of bread and a tin of beans and a couple of eggs and they’ll say, ‘Can I have a selfie?’
“That side of the exposure is sometimes not so much fun.”