Only Fools And Horses 40th anniversary will be SNUBBED by BBC, says Boycie actor John Challis

IT’S one of the BBC’s greatest-ever shows, sold around the world and loved by millions.

But for some reason, those at the Beeb would rather focus their energy on the likes of Frankie Boyle than proper comedy.

Only Fools And Horses legend John Challis, who played car dealer Boycie, says the BBC has made no plans to mark the sitcom’s 40th anniversary later this year.

The iconic show hits the milestone in September.

John has been in contact with Del Boy actor Sir David Jason and The Only Fools and Horses Appreciation Society about what they are going to do to mark the anniversary.

But so far the corporation has made no contact.

A bemused John said: “I spoke to David just a couple of days ago, actually, on the phone. He had rung up about something.

“With the 40th anniversary of Only Fools And Horses coming up, there’s a lot going on and a lot of people throwing stuff our way, asking us to do stuff. So we’ve had discussions about what would be a good thing to do.”

When asked if the BBC had been in contact about its plans, he replied: “I haven’t heard anything.

“I would think there would be something going on, I don’t know how they would do it. But I haven’t heard anything at the moment from the BBC. I’d have thought it must be terribly proud of the show. 

“It has sold in a lot of places all over the world, it’s very popular. So you’d have thought the BBC would want a great celebration for it, but who knows what’s going to happen.”

Only Fools And Horses was first screened on September 8, 1981, and ran for seven series, plus 16 specials. 

The sitcom focused on wheeler-dealer Trotter brothers Del Boy and Rodney, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst, and their attempts to get rich. 

At its height, the show attracted 24.3million viewers. 

Benidorm star John — who has just launched his new website and has a spoken word UK tour planned to start in August — said: “The show is pretty much on every day on Gold, which is great.”

The BBC’s loss is certainly Gold’s gain.


Gwen on duty in Square

SHE may be named Violet but this new character arriving in Albert Square seems anything but a shrinking one.

Gwen Taylor will play Stuart and Callum Highway’s gran who has no qualms about putting people in their place. 

Vi arrives later this spring in the run-up to Ben and Callum’s wedding ­­– and she is sure to make even EastEnders hardman Ben Mitchell squirm.

A Bit Of A Do star Gwen is best-known for playing Amy in Marbella-based sitcom Duty Free, which ran for three series on ITV during the Eighties.

Gwen, who played the wife of Keith Barron’s character David, said: “I remember when the first episodes of EastEnders launched and I was desperate to be in it. After all these years, here I am playing a wonderful character.”

I’m sure Violet will add plenty of colour to the BBC1 soap.

PEAKY Blinders star Charlie Murphy has confirmed she will not appear in the sixth series. The Irish actress played Jessie Eden, the love interest of Cillian Murphy’s character Tommy Shelby from series four. She said: “I’m done now. But it was a lot of fun when we shot it.”

Britney saga by the Beeb

THEY say imitation is the best form of flattery – and clearly the BBC agrees. 

Hot on the heels of the New York Times’ slightly underwhelming documentary last month about Britney Spears, the Beeb is doing the same. 

Bafta-winning filmmaker Mobeen Azhar is going to take a second look at the Free Britney saga – the conservatorship the star has been under for 13 years. 

Britney has not controlled her own finances or many of her business decisions since 2008. Instead, her father Jamie has been, despite the singer asking for him to be removed from the position. 

Hopefully the new show tells us something we don’t know or speaks to people we’ve not yet heard from.

But I’m not going to hold my breath.

STRICTLY professional Graziano Di Prima has revealed he was forced to postpone his wedding to fellow dancer Giada Lini for a second time due to the lockdown restrictions. Graziano said that delaying the special day once again was “a nightmare” and it was “hurting” the couple.

Jed: New Duty not finished

LINE Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio has revealed the new series – which launches on Sunday – is not finished.

The AC-12 mastermind said the likes of Adrian Dunbar, Martin Compston and Vicky McClure were still filming scenes earlier this month after the BBC fast-tracked the show to air.

He told the Must Watch podcast: “The fact is we are still in post-production with the series and we’ve only delivered the first few episodes to the BBC.

“We’ve still got plenty of time. We will get them all finished by the time they need to go out, although we did actually shoot a little bit of extra stuff a week or two ago just to help with the end.”

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