Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses: ‘Lost’ episode that had to be scrapped due to illness

The episode planned to show Del Boy's 65th birthday party but was scrapped

Only Fools and Horses completed its iconic run on British TV with a final episode in 2003, 22 years after it began all the way back in 1981.

But what many fans of the show might not know is that one last episode of the show had been planned before writer John Sullivan became very ill and tragically died before the episode could come to fruition.

Actor John Challis, who used to play second hand car-dealer Boycie on the show revealed that the episode would have seen Del Boy retired as a millionaire drinking in the Nag’s Head.

The cast were excited for the reunion according to the now 78 year old Challis, but never got the chance to do it.

John Challis, aka Boycie
John Challis, aka Boycie (Image: Wikimedia)

He told The Sun : “The 30th anniversary was coming up and John was in the process of getting together a Christmas special or something.

“It was going to be Del Boy’s 65th birthday, he was going to retire and there was going to be a bit of a get-together in the Nag’s Head.

“But unfortunately he (John) got ill and didn’t come out of it.”

John Sullivan pictured on set for Rock n Chips with David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst (Image: BBC)

He continued: “It was a complete shock to everybody. We got a phone call from the producers giving us the bad news.”

By the time it ended in 2003 Only Fools and Horses was one of the most popular shows ever on British Tele.

Writer and mastermind of the whole production John Sullivan died in April 2011 aged just 64 after contracting viral pneumonia.

After his death Gareth Gwenlan, a producer of Only Fools and Horses and a close friend of Sullivan, paid tribute to the writer: “The sudden death of John Sullivan has deprived the world of television comedy of its greatest exponent.

“John was a writer of immense talent and he leaves behind him an extraordinary body of work which has entertained tens of millions of viewers and will continue to do so for many decades to come.”

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