Inside Only Fools stars’ lives – co-star split to child who snubbed Hollywood

John Sullivan's Only Fools and Horses first hit our TV sets on September 8 1981 and its memorable comedy scenes continue to make fans laugh four decades after it first aired.

The series shared the antics of wheeler dealer Del Boy and his younger brother Rodney as they tried to break into high society through dodgy dealings in their London home-town, Peckham.

Only Fools sparked the cast into stardom and won millions of fans, as well as creating a number of unforgettable catchphrases and skits over the years.

The show ended in 1991 so as the series marks a whopping 40 years, Daily Star has taken a walk down memory lane to see what happened to the iconic BBC cast since the final episode.

Del Boy – Sir David Jason

The show's main character, Derek (Del Boy) Trotter, was a loveable rogue who could sell ice to the eskimos and his goal in life was to become a self-made millionaire .

Along with the help of his gullible younger brother, Rodney, the pair wreaked havoc throughout Peckham with schemes and deals to get cash fast.

Sir David Jason, born David John White, chose the screen name Jason in homage to Jason and the Argonauts as the stage name David White was already taken.

Now 81, David Jason is still making television appearances and has since starred as lead character Granville in both the original Open All Hours and 2013 reboot of the hit comedy, Still Open All Hours .

Jason tragically lost his long-term girlfriend Myfanwy Talog to cancer in 1995 after nursing her for 18 years,

David also became a father to his daughter Sophie Mae Jason with his wife Gill Hinchcliffe aged 61.

The pair met on the set of A Touch of Frost, where Gill was working as a production assistant.

He told the Guardian: "She was 20 years younger, we were living in different parts of the country, and I was still numb with grief. Yet work kept bringing us together and fondness turned to love.

"Our daughter, Sophie Mae, was born in March 2001. When she was handed to me, the room seemed suddenly very still."

Rodney Trotter – Nicholas Lyndhurst

Rodney, Del Boy's younger brother and right hand man was an adorably awkward dogsbody who helped in Del Boy's elaborate get-rich-quick schemes but often fell short of the mark.

Hungry to find love and settle down, Rodney had a more romantic outlook on life and was often the voice of reason once Del Boy's plans became too elaborate, not that Del Boy would listen to his younger brother.

Nicholas Lyndhurst has since starred in many other sitcoms such as Goodnight Sweetheart, The Two of Us and After You've Gone.

Lyndhurst appeared in Only Fools and Horses sequel Rock & Chips which aired in 2010, he played Rodney's gangster father Freddie Robdal who was a far cry from his original role as the useless Rodney.

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Lyndhurst lost his 19-year-old actor son Archie who died in his sleep following a brain hemorrhage caused by acute lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia in September 2020.

Lyndhurst also starred as Dan Griffin in three seasons of series New Tricks and he even appeared alongside his son in one episode of So Awkward.

Boycie – John Challis

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John Challis' character Boycie was often boasting about his wealth and would become the main competitor to Del Boy, whose success in the world of dodgy dealings barely managed to match Boycie's growing wealth and lavish lifestyle.

Boycie held and air of superiority over his friends and his work as a car salesman provided him with the fancy suits and cash to wave in front of the jealous Del Boy and Rodney.

Challis' character was so popular that he played the same dashing car salesman in his own Only Fools and Horses spin-off The Green Green Grass which ran for a further four seasons.

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Since the end of the spin-off Challis has been in almost constant employment with roles in Doctors, Are You Being Served and the long-standing hit show Benidorm.

Challis also appeared in Citizen Smith, a series which was also created by John Sullivan.

Now 78, Challis is three times divorced and is currently married to his fourth wife, Carol Davies.

The star announced earlier this week that he would be cancelling his upcoming our due to a secret health battle, as a statement from tour promoter A Way With Media told The Sun: "Due to ill health, John's tour is cancelled with immediate effect.

"He completed the first show of his present tour, intending to continue. However, he has been advised to cancel further engagements."

Grandad – Lennard Pearce

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Lennard Pearce played Ted Trotter, commonly known as Grandad and he was one of the original lead characters for 23 episodes.

Pearce was an esteemed stage actor known for his roles in Antony and Cleopatra and Much Ado About Nothing, as well as his roles in Bless Me, Father and Shroud for a Nightingale.

Grandad was rarely seen out of his armchair and was a father figure to the young Rodney and tried his best to keep control of Del Boy, which was a very difficult task.

Pearce died of a heart attack aged 69 in 1984 and was written out of the show as he was later replaced by new character Uncle Albert played by Buster Merryfield.

Uncle Albert – Buster Merryfield

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The show introduced Uncle Albert after the death of Lennard Pearce's character Grandad when John Sullivan made the decision that the series had to include an older relative character.

Merryfield hadn't always been an actor and in fact too up the new career after he retired from his role as bank manager.

Uncle Albert's character was a loveable figure who often passed comment on Del Boy and Rodney and tried his best to keep the two in line whilst proving that the theory 'older and wiser' is not always guaranteed.

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Merryfield's distinctive white beard and 'sailor' like looks made him the perfect person to take the role and he made the character an icon who is instantly recognisable to this day.

In an interview in 1997, he had said: "I'm 76 years of age, but I'll drop dead working. Maybe it'll be this afternoon, maybe tomorrow. But I suspect it'll be some time yet."

Buster Merryfield sadly passed away in 1999 aged 78 as a result of a brain tumor.

Trigger – Roger Lloyd Pack

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Trigger was Del Boy's dopey friend who could often be found in the pub giving unhelpful advice to Rodney about his latest love affair, though he was unable to remember Del's name and would often misidentify him as 'Dave'.

Lloyd Pack enjoyed a successful career and was a memorable actor for his roles in both Only Fools and Horses and as Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley.

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He also starred in the Harry Potter series as Barty Crouch Sr (father to David Tennant's character) in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which exposed him to a whole new generation of fans.

His final role was in an episode of Law & Order back in 2014 before he sadly died of pancreatic cancer that same year at the age of 69.

He had been married twice and also had four children, including actress Emily Lloyd, who was offered the lead role in Pretty Woman, but turned it down due to scheduling conflicts.

Raquel Turner – Tessa Peake Jones

Tessa Peake Jones played Rachel 'Racquel' Turner, the love-interest of Del Boy, after her introduction into the hit show in a Christmas special in 1988.

Racquel was drafted into the show as a character to help Del Boy settle down and she certainly gave the Peckham businessman a run for his money.

Tessa Peake Jones has since had recurring roles in Grantchester, Doctors and Holby city.

The now 64-year-old wa married to Douglas Hodge, who played her on-screen son, Damien, in a 1998 special episode called 'Heroes and Villains'.

Jones and Hodge have two children together but split back in 2013 after a 27-year-long relationship.

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