Only Fools and Horses

The Only Fools and Horses star you never realised wrote a number one hit single 5 years before starring on show

He went from scoring a number one to appearing on the Peckham sitcom 5 years later

The cast of Only Fools and Horses was chock full of talent, with several household names in Nicholas Lyndhurst and Sir David Jason, as well as a huge list of supporting actors with glittering careers.

But even the most die-hard fans of the show may not realise that one of these supporting cast members actually scored a number one single in the UK as a songwriter years before he even joined the sitcom.

Philip Pope, 66, is well-remembered by Only Fools fans for playing the iconic binman Tony Angelino with his voice of an angel and unforgettable spray tan and wig.

Tony Angelino with his famous wig and tan (Image: BBC)

Tony only appeared once in the 1991 episode Stage Fright, in which Del wins a contract to put on the evening entertainment at local club the Starlight Rooms.

Looking to put Raquel’s name in lights he arranges for her to duet with a binman who moonlights as a club singer named Tony Angelino, after Trigger’s recommendation. We then meet the hilariously over the top character for the first time wearing a frilly pink shirt.

When the evening rolls around Tony and Raquel sing the duet Crying by Roy Orbison, with Raquel opening and leaving the audience captivated until Tony comes out, revealing that he has a rhotacism, causing him to pronounce his Rs as Ws and making “Crying” sound like “Cwying”.

Philip was a musical star long before he sent audiences into fits of laughter with ‘CWYING’ (Image: BBC)

Actor Philip made sure to ham up this musical performance and eeked out as much comedy as possible from the iconic scene.

But Philip’s musical talent started long before his time on Only Fools and Horses, having written and composed a number one single back in 1986 as a writer for the puppet based satire programme Spitting Image.

Along with lyric writers Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, Philip wrote the music for and produced the hit single The Chicken Song, a parody of well-known holiday songs like Agadoo, and Do the Conga, which were popular at the time.

He also starred in TV shows like Not the Nine O’Clock News and Blackadder over the years as well as writing alongside famous filmmaker Richard Curtis for spoof 80s pop band the Hee Bee Gee Bees.

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