In 2014, eleven years after Del boy bowed for the final time and almost three years after the death of writer John Sullivan, Only Fools And Horses returned for a one off Spprts relief special.
The script was adapted by John Sullivan’s sons Jim Sullivan and Dan Sullivan from some unused material. David Beckham made a cameo appearence, and also had hand in bringing Del Boy back. Beckham had got in touch with Jim Sullivan, the son of the late Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan about doing something for Sport Relief 2014.
The sketch was a huge success and had been eagerly awaited by fans who had hoped for a new series. However rumours were soon quashed when John Sullivan’s sons said that only he could write Only Fools And Horses. Rumours keep circulating about a return, however Sullivan’s sons comments were echoed by Tessa Peake-Jones in February 2016. In an article for The Sunday People she said “The show’s legacy is remarkable but it was John’s baby. He was the most amazing writer. I can’t see it coming back.”
Now Tessa says: “We keep meeting up at funerals.”
Roger Lloyd-Pack, who was Trigger, died aged 69 in 2014 from pancreatic cancer.
Kenneth MacDonald, landlord Mike, was 50 when he died after a heart attack on a family holiday to Hawaii in 2001.
Buster Merryfield, who played Uncle Albert, died of a brain tumour in 1999.
But their legacy lives on, as the show still airs on Gold to a new generation of fans.
We’re back in Peckham market and it’s business as usual. Del Boy is trying to sell “Golden Balls” underpants which are supposedly endorsed and signed by David Beckham (in return for Del Boy securing a bouncy castle for the birthday party of one of Beckham’s children), with Rodney serving as a less-than-enthusiastic model.
After having no success they retreat to the cafe, where they find themselves sharing a table with David Beckham. As it turns out he actually has endorsed the underpants. The three briefly chat, including Rodney and Beckham discussing their favourite artist (Rodney choosing Matisse, and Beckham choosing Tony Hart), before Beckham gives Rodney tips on how to model underwear effectively, advising him to “glide” and “oscillate.”
Back in the market again, Del is again trying to sell the underpants, with Rodney practising his tips by putting on a bizarre, vaguely feminine walk, and being even more angry at Del than he was before.
Beckham is discreetly watching this, when a young boy walks up to him, and asks him if he’s David Beckham. He says that he is, and signs the boy’s football, but says not to tell anyone he is there, as he does not want too much attention. Beckham then attempts to lean back on a goods cart, but a trader moves it away while he isn’t looking and he falls to the ground (just like that famous moment in the episode “Yuppy Love”), getting the attention of everyone in the market. Del and Rodney comment, “What a plonker!”
David Jason – Del Boy
Nicholas Lyndhurst – Rodney
David Beckham – Himself
Joe Sullivan – Young Boy
Channel: BBC1 (as part of Sports Relief)
Written By: Jim Sullivan and Dan Sullivan
Original Transmission Date: 21st March 2014