Only Fools and Horses

The Only Fools and Horses character who fans say ‘ruined the last 3 episodes’ of the show

There was one character who viewers really, REALLY didn't like

While most of the Only Fools and Horses cast remained well-loved throughout the series, there was one character who viewers really, REALLY didn’t like. In fact, hardcore fans of the BBC sitcom have gone as far as to say this character was so “awful” he totally ruined the show’s final episodes for them.

While the last official series of Only Fools and Horses aired between 1990 and 1991, the BBC continued to produce one-off special episodes throughout the nineties and noughties. The three final episodes, ‘If They Could See Us Now’, ‘Strangers on the Shore’, and ‘Sleepless in Peckham’ aired in 2001, 2002, and 2003 respectively – but fans say they were ruined by one character.

While the show simply wouldn’t be the same without Del Boy, Only Fools fans simply hated his son. Damien Derek Trotter was born in season seven, in the episode Three Men, a Woman, and a Baby, and got his namesake when Rodney sarcastically suggested ‘Damien’ because he was convinced the baby would be born half-demon.

Actor Ben Smith as Damien Trotter in Only Fools and Horses (Image: BBC)

Although Rodney had intended the name as a joke, little Damien began showing every sign of being a spoilt brat from the moment he could walk and talk, tormenting Rodney while being spoilt rotten by an oblivious Del and Raquel. Del’s son threw things at Rodney, deliberately roused Uncle Albert while he was sleeping, and even urinated in a swimming pool from the top of a diving board.

Presumably the naughty behaviour was supposed to be funny – but fans of the show didn’t see the funny side, and simply hated Damien (dubbed “Rat Boy” by Rodney). Posting in an Only Fools and Horses Appreciation Society Facebook group this week, one fan posted a picture of him, writing: “To me this character ruined the last three episodes.”

Others were quick to agree, commenting, “He was horrible,” and, “He was awful,” and simply: “True.” Meanwhile someone else described the episodes with Damien as: “WAY OTT,” blaming the script-writing not the actor for the oversight. However, actor Ben Smith actually said he had a great time on the OFAH set, after which he went on to appear in Nowhere Boy, Misfits, and Hidden.

In an interview, Ben was once asked, “How similar do you think your character is to Del Boy,” to which he replied: “I think Damien really is a modern, young Del Boy, maybe a young Del Boy that we never actually saw from when the series started.

“But, I mean, from all the references we get from the show, from when he was younger, it seems like he was a real jack the lad. So I would imagine that Damien just really is a kind of typical young version of him.”

The actor said he had loads of fun making the show, particularly with Nicholas Lyndhurst – aka Rodney Trotter – who he said was very supportive of him when he joined, as an already huge fan who found the prospect of working with his heroes “terrifying.” He said: “Nick was absolutely wonderful because stepping into any show as an actor is daunting, it’s intimidating.”

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