Only Fools and Horses

The 1950’s treat that inspired Only Fools and Horses iconic phrase ‘lovely jubbly’

The TV comedy phrase that has travelled the world

There surely can not be a more iconic phrase from a TV programme than when Only Fools and Horses character Del Boy rubs his hands together and gleefully says “lovely jubbly”.

The BBC sitcom phrase has fused itself into the British psyche and has even travelled the world, with locals in South East Asia shouting the phrase at any tourist that mentions they are from Britain.

There is something beautifully simple about this Only Fools and Horses phrase, the way it rhymes and makes you smile instantly whenever you say it.

And the actor David Jason’s, who played Del Boy, voice can heard in your ear as if he has been magically transported into the room.

It is a phrase that can’t be rivalled by any apart from perhaps Homer Simpson’s famous sign of frustration, “Doh!”

The phrase in its simplest form means Lovely, great, and fantastic, but where did it actually originate?

The origin of ‘Lovely Jubbly’

It is impossible to know exactly where Only Fools and Horse’s writer John Sullivan picked up the phrase but it is pretty much universally accepted that the origins lie in an advert around the 1950s and 60s.

The Jubbly was actually an orange flavoured drink which could also be frozen and eaten as an ice lolly.

It came in a triangular, 3D carton drink that could be torn or cut open and were hugely popular with children.

The slogan and advertising was all based around the phrase “lubbly jubbly” and to this day a Jubbly can still be bought from makers Calypso.

We can’t be sure if John Sullivan purposely had Del Boy saying the phrase incorrectly, as he often does with his attempts at French, or John changed it slightly for the TV audience.

However we do know that John Sullivan was born in 1946 so he would have been a young boy during the dizzy heights of the Jubbly and maybe the phrase just stuck with him.

Either way it is a phrase that will forever be connected with Only Fools and Horses and the lovable Derek Trotter.

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