Only Fools and Horses star was replaced for emotional scene ‘Couldn’t control himself’

John Challis: Only Fools And Horses star dies aged 79

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Iconic Only Fools and Horses star Sir David Jason opened up about his days filming the comedy sitcom from 1981 to 1991. Despite airing 25 years ago, Only Fools And Horses remains the nation’s favourite TV show with its hilarious jokes and limericks. So much so, David revealed a moment where even their cameraman couldn’t hold his laughter together and had to be replaced in order to finish filming the scene.

It wasn’t just the cast that had the people on set laughing at their jokes; it was often the mishaps that happened with props which ended up being the joke on set.

In the 1982 episode Ashes to Ashes, the Trotters intended to scatter the ashes of Trigger’s (Roger Lloyd Pack) grandfather in the River Thames but, of course, suffered a few mishaps along the way.

In one iconic scene, they place the urn on the side of the road, and a street cleaning lorry accidentally sucked it up.

Suddenly, the gang realised what had happened and chased after the vehicle with Rodney shouting to the driver: “You’ve just sucked up our urn.”

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The lorry driver apologetically responded: “Oh my God, what was he? A kitten?”

Leaving the cast and crew in hysterics, Sir David revealed one of the cameramen “couldn’t control himself” and “would get the shakes” as he tried to hide his laughter.

He recalled: “We had to haul out the cameraman and replace him for that shot in the end.”

Sir David joked they may have still been filming the scene “even now” if they hadn’t got another cameraman to take over and finish filming the shot.

A recent poll by The Sun showed viewers voted the Christmas special Heroes And Villains as the nation’s favourite TV show to watch over the festive period. 

The iconic episode sees Del Boy and Rodney dressed as Batman and Robin and sees their misadventures unfold.

Only Fools And Horses first aired in 1981 and over the course of 22 years released a staggering 64 episodes.

Despite the episode being rated best by viewers, according to Sir David, the episode was nearly “ruined” due to a number of problems.

Before the release of Heroes and Villains, Sir David said he “shuddered” at the thought of how the episode was going to be received by viewers.

Unfortunately, despite the popularity of the episode, it followed a clash with the BBC’s publicity and press department, which Sir David described as “fighting a battle on two departments”.

The drama unfolded when it was suggested a trailer could be released before the episode aired to give viewers a teaser of what to expect.

In the episode, the brothers believed they were going to a fancy dress competition with a £1,000 speaker system as a prize.

However, they discovered no one was in costume because the organiser died, and it was now a wake.

In Sir David’s memoir A Del Of A Life, he explained the reason he felt a teaser trailer of the episode would have ruined the episode.

He felt showing them dressed as the caped crusaders would have “shredded all that careful build-up” in the scene.

“Even a glimpse of Del or Rodney in those stupid costumes before the episode was broadcast, indeed at any moment… would have been ruinous,” he wrote.

Thankfully, Sir David and the team “had the clout” to make a strict demand to the BBC: “Nothing showing Del and Rodney in those outfits should be leaked.”

Only Fools and Horses is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. 

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