Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses: The very normal job that David Jason trained for before making it in acting

While we all know him as Del Boy, David could have had a very different career

Sir David Jason is probably known as one of the most recognisable actors on TV thanks to his starring role in Only Fools and Horses through the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. But what many fans of the actor don’t know, by his own admission, is that he actually trained up for a completely different job before landing a career in showbiz.

It turns out that despite his expert portrayals as a market trader in Only Fools, a shop worker in Open All Hours, and a detective in A Touch Of Frost, David, 82, was actually on track to be a car mechanic before his big break.

Asked in 1984 on ITV morning chat show TV AM about his old job, the actor joked: “Actually I did [train to be a mechanic] how did you know that? Not many people know that actually.

“When I left school that was the first thing I did for a year. I was lucky really because I was what they call a grease monkey. A 15-year-old which I was back then, couldn’t become an apprentice until they were 16, so I spent a year making the tea and scrubbing the loos and things like that.

“So I did that for a year and I was lucky because when it came to signing the apprenticeship forms I realised that this was not the way to spend your life underneath dripping cars covered in oil.”

Fortunately David was an amateur actor at the time and decided instead to pursue this passion professionally, eventually climbing his way to the success he’s now recognised across the country for as Del Boy.

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