Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses: The Grandad scene that made David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst laugh so much producer got ‘seriously annoyed’

The cameraman also had to be replaced as he couldn't hold it together

Since its conception in 1981 Only Fools And Horses has aired 64 episodes across the seven series – that’s a huge number of scenes competing for the accolade of the show’s funniest. But there’s one OFAH scene which the cast found so amusing to film that it reportedly left the producer fuming at the actors laughing too much.

The scene saw Grandad – played by Lennard Pearce – regale viewers with a tale about how a silver cigarette lighter deflected a bullet fired at his own grandfather during the South African Boer War. As Rodney Trotter (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) stared in amazement at the relic, Grandad said: “See, the bullet ricocheted up his nose and blew his brains out.”

Lyndhurst and co-star Sir David Jason, who played his brother Del Boy, laughed through so many takes of the scene that the producer Ray Butt “was getting seriously annoyed”. However other members of the OFAH crew also struggled to keep it together during filming.

Rodney and Del Boy Trotter
Rodney and Del Boy Trotter (Image: Mirrorpix)

In Sir David’s new book A Del of a Life, which was released in October 2021, he revealed that at one point they were forced to “haul out the cameraman and replace him”. The incident happened during the episode Ashes to Ashes in 1982, which was the second episode of season two.

Del Boy and Rodney are put in charge of looking after an urn containing the mortal remains of Trigger’s grandad. The brothers unsuccessfully attempt to dispose of them at the bowling green and another time in the River Thames because police were watching them.

Eventually, after they temporarily place them on the side of the road, a street cleaning lorry drives past and unknowingly sucks up the ashes. Upon realising what has happened the Trotters race after the vehicle and have a “panicked conversation” with the driver. They urgently told him: “You’ve just sucked up our urn.”

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