David Jason's long lost daughter, 52, says she's 'incredibly proud'
David Jason’s long lost daughter, 52, says she’s ‘incredibly proud’ to discover her father’s true identity after writing to Only Fools star asking him to take a paternity test… because they have the same shaped nose!
- The Only Fools and Horses icon received the news after taking a paternity test
- He found out he was the father of actress Abi Harris from a relationship in 1970
Sir David Jason today revealed his ‘delight’ at discovering he has a 52-year-old daughter he had no idea existed until they appeared on stage together and a friend in the audience noticed they had similar profiles and the same shaped nose.
The Only Fools and Horses star, 83, who previously believed he only had one 22-year-old daughter, has ‘welcomed’ Abi Harris and his grandson Charlie, ten, into the Jason family – and they spent their first Christmas together in 2022.
Ms Harris, who was born in 1970, is the daughter of actress Jennifer Hill – who starred in Octopussy and had a brief relationship with Sir David in a stage production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood also starring Hi-de-Hi’s Ruth Madoc and Windsor Davies, from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.
Incredibly Abi is an actress who appeared in a revival performance of Under Milk Wood in 2008 where Sir David and her mother also took part.
Friends who saw the legendary actor and Abi stood next to each other remarked on their similar facial profiles, especially her nose, and as the years went past, she worked up the courage to find out the truth.
Ms Harris wrote to Sir David asking him if he would take a paternity test, and the comedy legend agreed, given his relationship with her mother, and it confirmed she was his daughter. He said: ‘To say it was a surprise to find out I had a daughter from years ago is an understatement. I am delighted that I am now able to get to know Abi and so we meet up when we can’.
Until last year, Sir David had believed that he had become a father for the first time aged 61. But actually he was 30. Abi, now a casting director, believed, until later in life, that her father was actor Geoffrey Davion, who appeared in Miss Marple and The Stars Look Down but died in 1996. A source close to Abi said: ‘Things just didn’t seem to add up’.
Pictured: Jennifer Hill and David Jason (circled) stand with the cast of Under Milk Wood at the Mayfair theatre in 1970, including Windsor Davies, from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (top left)
The legendary actor (left in Darling Buds of May) discovered actress Abi Harris (pictured) was his daughter after taking a paternity test – after her friends noticed how similar their profiles are, especially their noses
Sir David Jason, pictured here with his future wife Gill Hinchcliffe and their daughter Sophie Mae in April 2001, was shocked to find he had another daughter born more than 30 years earlier
The news came as a shock to Sir David, as well as his wife Gill Hinchcliffe and daughter Sophie Mae, but the family say they have since welcomed Abi and Charlie with open arms.
Abi’s mother is 86 and lives in Brighton.
READ MORE HERE: Sir David Jason takes to the skies in his own Robinson R44 helicopter before touching down in Buckinghamshire
Sir David married Lady Gill in 2005, four years after the birth of their child. Previously Sir David was in a long relationship with Myfanwy Talog, a Welsh actress who died from breast cancer in 1997.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said: ‘My wife, Gill, and daughter, Sophie, have been very supportive and understanding and have embraced Abi and welcomed her and her young son into her now wider family.’
Abi’s belief she was related to Sir David grew stronger after realising she shared the same shaped nose as him, and her parentage has now been confirmed.
She had previously thought her father was Geoffrey Davion, who was married to her mother, until his death in 1996.
Since the surprise discovery was made, Abi and Charlie have been to visit him and spent a period over Christmas with him and his family at his home in Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire.
The Mirror reports she wrote a letter to Sir David asking him to take a paternity test, emotionally beginning it with a line from the Thomas play, saying: ‘To begin at the beginning. Or to be more precise, my beginning…’
A source told the publication the letter came as a shock to Sir David, but he was touched by the request and agreed to do it.
The insider said: ‘It’s a lovely letter, which David has kept.
‘It was light-hearted but serious, without being overwhelming. It was obvious whoever had written it was a nice person who just wanted to find out her heritage. The Dylan quote was the perfect way to start it.
‘It was a sympathetic way of saying, ‘Brace yourself’.’
The legendary actor thought he only had his 22-year-old daughter Sophie from his current relationship with Gill Hinchcliffe (pictured together)
Abi was born after Sir David had a brief relationship with actress Jennifer Hill in 1970. Pictured: Ms Hill in the James Bond film Octopussy in 1983
Sir David, pictured here at the Royal Albert Hall in January 2022, was reportedly ‘surprised’ to discover he had another daughter and a grandson
The revelation he has another daughter and a grandson has shocked the former Only Fools and Horses star, pictured here as his character from the show Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter
After the bombshell, the two families agreed to meet up in London to figure out how to move forward from this life-changing news.
Abi said: ‘In discovering my father’s identity, I am starting to piece together my own.
READ MORE HERE: Sir David Jason reveals ‘seriously bad’ Covid battle that saw him collapse on the floor with paralysed arms and legs
‘Of course, I am tickled pink and incredibly proud but, frequently, completely overwhelmed with sorrow for the years we have lost.
‘After a measured start, now I hope we can consciously make time to see each other more often, so that I can master the art of being the best big sister and build a meaningful father-daughter relationship in its truest sense.’
Sir David added: ‘We hope we are all allowed the privacy to continue our new relationship and get to know each other more and more.’
Sir David was knighted for his services to acting and comedy in 2005. He married Ms Hinchcliffe in November of that year.
He started dating Ms Hinchcliffe after his long-term partner of 20 years, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, died from breast cancer aged 45 in 1995.
The TV star believed he became a father for the first time at the age of 61, and after Sophie was was born he said it had been ‘thrust upon him’ as most of his life was focused only on being a success.
He previously said: ‘My life has been in reverse. It wasn’t fame and it wasn’t money, but I always wanted to succeed. The only way I could do that was to try with every job to be better than I was in the last one, and to learn.
‘Because of that I needed to be footloose and fancy free.’
One of the nation’s best-loved TV stars, other roles have included starring as Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May, alongside Catherine Zeta Jones and Granville in Open All Hours with Ronnie Barker.
He also provided the voice for Mr Toad in an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows.
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