Inside the Only Fools and Horses episode that show creator and David Jason hated

Inside the Only Fools and Horses episode that show creator and David Jason hated

Only Fools and Horses is synonymous with British culture and its lead actor, Sir David Jason, is a national treasure.

The show’s catchphrases, Del Boy’s tragi-comedy relationship with his brother Rodney Trotter and cast of characters are known by audiences of all ages and in its heyday, was attracting up to 24 million views an episode.

In fact, the 1996 Christmas special was the most-watched episode ever.

But not all Christmas specials enjoyed the same success. Fans may recall 1986’s A Royal Flush which flopped with viewers, crew, the show’s creator John Sullivan and David Jason.

It racked up 18 million viewers when it aired but it’s pretty unanimous that it should never have been made.

For those who don’t know, the episode centred around Rodney – played by Nicholas Lyndhurst – starting a relationship with a young artist who turns out to be related to the Queen.

Del Boy sees this as an excellent opportunity to marry Rodney off into the aristocracy and make them all rich.

Filming took place at the opera, at a stately home, at a clay shoot and the episode turned out to be a mammoth 76-minutes long.

Production was horribly delayed by David, 82, losing his voice and Nicholas, 61, catching the flu.

Things were so rushed that there was no time to record a real-life laugh track and final scenes were still being edited on the day of broadcast.

Boycie actor John Challis was even said to have bought everyone a T-shirt with a thumb and finger pinching the bridge of a nose to outline how stressed everyone was, according to MyLondon.

Another aspect of the show that didn’t go down well was its tone.

Del Boy was known and loved for his roguish charm and dodgy dealing but in A Royal Flush he came across as spiteful and cruel.

John Sullivan has since said he wished he had never made the episode at all.

In other news, David Jason recently made an unexpected flying visit to Jeremy Clarkson's Diddly Squat Farm Shop.

The dad-of-one hasn't been seen in an official public capacity since he appeared on This Morning earlier this year but he last month paid an unexpected visit to the former Top Gear presenter's Chipping Norton farm – and arrived by helicopter!

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