Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses star Sir David Jason wants to stop iconic Nelson Mandela House from being demolished

The setting for the Trotter's famous flat was filmed in a West London tower block which is due to be bulldozed in the coming years

Since 1981 fans of Only Fools and Horses have watched the Trotter family dream of becoming millionaires from their flat in Nelson Mandela House.

For decades Nelson Mandela House, on the fictional Nyrere Estate in Peckham, was home to Derek Del Boy Trotter, his brother Rodney and his grandad.

In later years the flat also became the humble abode to Uncle Albert, Raquel Turner, and Damien Trotter.

Viewers will recognise the miss-match interior of the family’s living room and the exterior of the tower block which is always seen in the opening credits of the BBC One sitcom.

For the first five series, the tower block was filmed in EalingWest London, at a block called Harlech Tower.

It is part of Acton Gardens, formerly known as the South Acton Estate, which has been undergoing redevelopment since 2012.

Harlech Tower was used to show Peckham’s Nelson Madela House (Image: Mirrorpix)

Sir David Jason, who played Derek Trotter in Only Fools and Horses between 1981 and 2003, explained how much West London has changed over the years within his new autobiography called Del of a Life: The Lessons I’ve Learned.

The television legend also explains his ‘despair’ at the proposed demolition of the Nelson Mandela House set at Harlech Tower and wants to save it for the nation.

In his book, David explains: “But in the first instance the Trotters’ high-rise abode was actually, by the magic of television. a picture of Harlech Tower in Park Road East in Acton.

Sir David Jason as Derek Trotter in Only Fools and Horses (Image: BBC)

“Imagine by trepidation and despair, then, when I learned that Harlech Tower – the crucible, if you will, of the Only Fools story – was slated for demolition, part of a £650 million rejuvenation of the area.

“Asked to share my opinion of this scheme at the time – the papers coming to me on account, no doubt, of my renowned expertise in matters of urban planning – I said I thought the tower should become a listed building and have a preservation order on it forthwith, effectively saving the building for the nation.

“Did they listen? Did they heck.”

MyLondon reported back in January 2019 that Harlech Tower was to be demolished to make way for new homes as the planning permission was granted for the ongoing redevelopment of Ealing’s largest housing estate, South Acton Estate.

Harlech Tower is currently still standing and is expected to be bulldozed in four years’ time.

An Ealing Council spokesperson said: “As it is nearing the end of its life expectancy, the South Acton estate is currently undergoing a £650m rejuvenation to become Acton Gardens, which will provide around 3,700 brand new high-quality, safe and energy-efficient homes alongside a community hall, youth centre and other facilities.

“Some of those homes will count towards our ambitious plans to create 2,500 more genuinely affordable homes by 2022 – the highest council homebuilding target in London.

“The regeneration has proved very popular with existing residents – the vast majority have requested a new home at the redeveloped estate.

“The demolition of Harlech Tower is provisionally earmarked for 2025.”

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