If you could pick a dream TV job to be the biggest role of your career, you really couldn’t do much worse than one of Del or Rodney in Only Fools and Horses. The pair were the leading characters in one of the most watched and most loved British programmes of all time, smashing records and raking in acclaim over the course of 20 years and 64 episodes.
You would imagine that David Jason, who played Del, and Nicholas Lyndhurst, who played Rodney, would have been set for a lifetime of luxury following their starring roles in a smash hit with such longevity. But you might be surprised at just what the two actors received for their work on the show at its very peak.
Whilst the pay that David and Nicholas received for the bulk of their work on the show is not known, when the cast were re-united for three last Christmas episodes in the early 2000s, the show was given a much bigger budget than normal, with a £1.69m pot per episode making them function more like TV movies.
It’s been reported by The Express that for these final episodes of the beloved sitcom, principal star David Jason earned £100,000 per episode, with Nicholas Lyndhurst also receiving a similar amount for his role. Whilst of course that sum of money is nothing to be sniffed at, and no doubt it was the best the BBC could do at the time, it does seem somewhat low given the huge success the show had behind it as well as the importance of David and Nicholas to its success.
This is especially true when you look at the kind of money being thrown around by streaming giants for stars of TV series these days with child star Millie Bobby Brown, star of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things, earning a reported $350,000 per episode (£278,000).
Regardless, David and Nicholas were clearly both well looked after, as both have been able to enjoy their lives after Only Fools and be a little more selective with the roles they take on, or enjoy retirement in David’s case!