Buster Merryfield, an amateur actor at the time was chosen to play the part because of his ‘Captain Birdseye’ style whiskers. He made his first appearance in the 1985 episode ‘Strained Relations’ he stayed with the program through to the end of it’s regular run in 1991 and appeared in subsequent Christmas Specials until his death in 1999.
The regular series took a break after the 1986 Christmas Specials only returning for Christmas Specials in 1987 and 1988. When the series returned in 1989 episodes were now 50 minutes duration. The 1989 series is perhaps Only Fools And Horses greatest moment. After the 1989 Christmas Special it was back to just Christmas Specials with series 7 (the last regular series) beginning at the end of 1990.
Among the mourners at Grandad’s funeral - who have come from as far away as North London – are Del’s cousins Jean and Stan, and they’re accompanied by Grandad’s brother, Uncle Albert.
As the wake comes to an end it appears that Jean and Stan have forgotten Uncle Albert. Del decides to let him stay the night. When morning comes it appears that Jean and Stan want nothing to do with Albert, so Del who’s not keen on the idea of letting him stay , packs him off to the seaman’s mission. It’s not long before the old Sea Dog is back as the seaman’s mission has been demolished. Reluctantly Del agrees to let him stay and so begins a new era for the Trotters.
Written By: John Sullivan
Original Run (this posting): 1985 – 1991
Repeats: Only Fools And Horses enjoys regular repeats on satellite and cable channel G.O.L.D.
All episodes of Only Fools And Horses are available on BBC DVD