OVER 24million Brits tuned in to watch Del Boy and Rodney finally becoming millionaires in 1996.
That staggering audience is still the record for a UK audience to this day – but where are the stars of Only Fools and Horses now?
David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, and Lennard Pearce in Only Fools and Horses[/caption]
One star of the beloved sitcom, which originally aired between 1981-1991, was the tower block in Acton used as the setting for Del’s flat.
Harlech Tower, which was used to portray the fictional Nelson Mandela House, is due to be torn down as part of a £650million redevelopment.
Sir David Jason even said the building’s destruction was a “shame”, adding “I think it should be a listed building.”
But what happened to Jason and the rest of the cast since the show ended?
His performance as wide boy Del Boy Trotter turned David Jason into a national treasure.
The 81-year-old was even knighted for his services to acting and comedy in 2005.
But although Del Boy was arguably his defining role, Jason went on to have a string of other leading man parts in hit series, including as detective Jack Frost in A Touch of Frost.
Sir David Jason, 81, won four BAFTA awards thanks to his unforgettable performance as Del Boy[/caption]
Last year, Jason released memoir a Del of a Life, and revealed he wanted to mentor Love Island stars through their overnight fame.
“I’m concerned for them,” he said in November. “I wish I could get a message across to them to be careful because you are your own currency, so spend it wisely.
“I have come through a long journey, painful sometimes, and learnt to live with success and, if you like, fame. I served a sort of apprenticeship.
“These people have, very quickly, gone from nothing, no-one, if you like, to instant success and fame, mainly on their looks and their body and whatever. That’s so dangerous.”
Rodney was always loyal to his reckless older brother – even when he made him look like a right plonker.
Nicholas Lyndhurst, 60, was nominated for a British Comedy Award and three BAFTAs for his portrayal of Rodney.
He also went on to win a BAFTA for his acting playing multiple members of one family in adverts for WH Smith.
In 2010, Lyndhurst reprised his role as Rodney in the OFAH prequel, Rock & Chips, before joining the cast of New Tricks in 2013.
But in recent years, tragedy struck when his CBBC actor son, Archie, died suddenly at the age of 19.
In September last year, Archie died in his sleep from a brain tumour.
“To get through today without you is the hardest thing ever,” Lyndhurst’s ballerina wife Lucy wrote this Mother’s Day.
“I miss you every minute of every day. I will never stop loving you. Not ever.”
John Challis’ Boycie was so beloved by OFAH fans that he got his own spin-off series, The Green Green Grass.
Now 78, Challis has also become well-known for playing Monty in four series of the ITV sitcom Benidorm.
Later this year Challis is planning to go ahead with a delayed theatre tour where he talks about his career as Boycie and other subjects.
And in 2020, Challis made a documentary, Boycie in Belgrade, exploring how OFAH had become a huge hit in Serbia.
“I felt like a pop star, it was extraordinary,” he told The Sun. “They kept asking me where Marlene was.”
Sue Holderness was unforgettable as Boycie’s long-suffering wife Marlene.
Now 72, Holderness joined Challis in The Green Green Grass and has had other TV work in Casualty and Still Open All Hours alongside David Jason.
And soap fans were delighted when Holderness was unveiled as Billy Mitchell’s new love interest in EastEnders earlier this year.
“After more than 50 years in the business it was my first time working on a soap and I loved the whole experience,” Sue said in March.
“I was absolutely delighted to have been given the chance to visit Walford.”
Rodney and wife Cassandra’s relationship wasn’t always plain sailing – but they ended up together in the end.
Cassandra was played by Gwyneth Strong, who joined the cast in the programme’s sixth series.
Now 61, Strong went on to have other TV roles including in Casualty and a two-part episode of A Touch of Frost, reuniting with OFAH co-star David Jason.
She most recently had a recurring role as Geraldine Clough on EastEnders.
In 2018, Strong appeared on Loose Women with Tessa Peake-Jones, who played Racquel on OFAH.
During the appearance, Nadia Sawalha called Strong “Cassandra” by mistake.
Mickey Pearce’s ridiculous exaggerations and incredible brags gave Del Boy a run for his money as OFAH’s most incredible spiv.
But actor Patrick Murray, 64, ended up at the opposite side of the earth from Peckham.
During a 2018 appearance of Loose Women, Murray revealed he’d gone to Thailand for 10 years.
He then said he’d had to work as a chauffeur in order to get a visa to bring his Thai wife and daughter to the UK.
“I wanted to get her a visa but it was hard so I had to come back here. Being out of the industry for so long, the work dried up so I went back to driving an executive car, a Mercedes, to do it.
“I only saw my baby on the phone for two years, I was a Skype dad.”
He confirmed that he’d been reunited in Britain with his family two weeks before appearing on the show.
Raquel Turner was the love of Del Boy’s life.
And for Tessa Peake-Jones, 64, the part was the love of hers.
After OFAH, Peake-Jones had TV appearances in The Demon Headmaster, The Bill, and Holby City.
And more recently she’s had a recurring role on ITV detective drama Grantchester as Sylvia Chapman.
In 2019, she also sang Mamma Mia in front of a West End audience and a panel of judges on All Star Musicals.
Her turn on the show came six years after she split from husband Douglas Hodge – who once played Raquel’s son, Damien, in OFAH.
Paul Barber played lorry driver and Del’s pal Denzil Tulser on OFAH.
Now 70, he also revived the role on The Green Green Grass and landed other TV shows like Corrie and Casualty.
But he also starred in films like The Full Monty (1997) and in the Samuel L. Jackson action comedy The 51st State (2001).
More recently, Barber made guest appearances at Dreamland in Margate, Kent, for the 30th anniversary of the Christmas special set in the resort.
And late last year, Luther star Idris Elba revealed Barber inspired him to become an actor.
Del Boy falling through the bar has been repeatedly chosen as the best TV moment in British history – thanks in no small part to Trigger’s hilarious reaction.
The lovable road sweeper was played by Roger Lloyd-Pack, who also found sitcom stardom playing farmer Owen Newitt on the Vicar of Dibley.
In more recent years he starred alongside Stephen Fry at Shakespeare’s Globe in its production of Twelfth Night and Richard III.
Tragically, in 2014, Lloyd-Pack died from pancreatic cancer – he was 69.
Roger Lloyd-Pack in 2013 – he passed away aged 69 the following year[/caption]
Other favourites from the show have also passed away since the final broadcast.
Buster Merryfield, who played Uncle Albert, died aged 79 in 1999 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
His character was written into the show after the sudden death of Lennard Pearce in 1984.
Pearce played Grandad in the first four series of OFAH before dying from a heart attack aged 69 in 1984.
Kenneth MacDonald, who played publican Mike Fisher, also died from a heart attack.
He was on holiday in Hawaii at the time in 2001.
We have lost our country’s greatest comedy writer
Sir David Jason on John Sullivan
The show’s creator and writer, John Sullivan, died in 2011 after a bout of pneumonia – he was 64.
Sullivan had been awarded an OBE in 2005 for his services to drama and OFAH stars paid tribute to him when they heard of his passing.
“We have lost our country’s greatest comedy writer but he leaves us a great legacy, the gift of laughter,” David Jason said.
Mark Freeland, the BBC’s head of comedy at the time, said: “No-one understood what made us laugh and cry better than John Sullivan.
“He was the Dickens of our generation. Simply the best, most natural, most heartfelt comedy writer of our time.”
Comedy channel Gold will be celebrating 40 years of Only Fools and Horses throughout September starting from the 8th by airing every episode of the classic comedy on weeknights and weekends.