The adored sitcom, which starred David Jason as flat-cap-wearing Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as brother Rodney Trotter, ran from 1981 until 1991, with 16 Christmas specials until 2003.
The official Only Fools and Horses News Twitter account paid homage to the series with a celebratory message that reads: “Only Fools and Horses first appeared on our screens 41 years ago today with the episode ‘Big Brother’”, followed by the quote: “Body Language? Yeah.. it’s no good for you grandad you would need an interpreter.”
Del and Rodney’s granddad was played by Lennard Pearce until his death in 1984. The show then introduced Uncle Albert, played by Buster Merryfield from 1988 onwards.
Only Fools and Horses is considered one of the best British sitcoms to air on TV, with numerous accolades, including from BAFTA, the National Television Awards and Royal Television society.
It also helped to launch the careers of co-stars including Tessa Peake-Jones and Gwyneth Strong, who played Del and Rodney’s love interests Raquel and Cassandra.
It turns out that while Gwyneth landed the role of Cassandra, another famous face tried out for the part – Liz Hurley.
In the Channel 5 documentary Only Fools and Horses: Secrets and Scandals, Only Fools expert and author Mike Jones explains: “She auditioned for the role and it was felt that perhaps she was probably a little too glamorous for… how can I say it diplomatically? Our lanky Trotter brother.”
In terms of what happened to the Trotters after cameras stopped rolling, Sir David went on to become one of TV’s leading men, fronting series like A Touch of Frost, and even returned to another legendary BBC comedy, Open All Hours in the revival series, Still Open All Hours. He’s recently focused more on documentaries, looking into inventions, the Battle of Britain and the Lancaster Bomber.
For Nicolas, he quickly moved on to sitcoms such as The Two of Us on ITV and Goodnight Sweetheart, and most recently appeared on the CBBC series, So Awkward.
Sir David recently announced that life for wheeler dealer Del Boy might not be over entirely, and gave fans hope for a series revival.
Sir David told The Sun: “I’ve always loved Del Boy, who is such a wonderful loser. I would love to revisit him, I need someone to write me a script.
“As a show it’s very important we don’t forget about it, it has a huge following, it fills in that need for an awful lot of people.”