Fools And Horses
Only Fools and Horses…. is a British television sitcom created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with sixteen sporadic Christmas specials aired until the end of the show in 2003. Set in working-class Peckham in south-east London, it stars David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek “Del Boy” Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney Trotter, alongside a supporting cast. The series follows the Trotters’ highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich. Critically and popularly acclaimed, the series received numerous awards, including recognition from BAFTA, the National Television Awards and the Royal Television Society, as well as winning individual accolades for both Sullivan and Jason. It was voted Britain’s Best Sitcom in a 2004 BBC poll.
Lennard Pearce appeared in the first three series as Del and Rodney’s elderly grandad. After Pearce’s death in 1984, the show replaced Grandad with Uncle Albert, the boys’ great uncle, played by Buster Merryfield. From 1988 onwards, the show features regular characters in Del Boy and Rodney’s love interests, Raquel (Tessa Peake-Jones) and Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong) respectively. Other recurring characters include car dealer Boycie (John Challis), road sweeper Trigger (Roger Lloyd-Pack), lorry driver Denzil (Paul Barber), spiv Mickey Pearce (Patrick Murray), Boycie’s wife Marlene (Sue Holderness), and pub landlord Mike (Kenneth MacDonald).
The show was not an immediate hit with viewers and received little promotion early on, but later achieved consistently high ratings and the 1996 episode “Time on Our Hands” (originally billed as the last episode) holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode, attracting 24.3 million viewers. The series influenced British culture, contributing several words and phrases to the English language. It spawned an extensive range of merchandise, including books, videos, DVDs, toys, and board games. Episodes are frequently repeated on UKTV comedy channel Gold.
A spin-off series, The Green Green Grass, ran for four series in the UK from 2005 to 2009. A prequel, Rock & Chips, ran for three specials in 2010 and 2011. A special Sport Relief episode aired in March 2014, guest starring David Beckham. In July 2018, John Sullivan’s son, Jim Sullivan, announced that a musical adaptation of the show was nearing completion and launched on 9 February 2019 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London.