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5 November 2020, 11:51 | Updated: 5 November 2020, 13:03
Sir David Jason is a British TV icon, and the Only Fools and Horses actor caught up with Smooth's Jenni Falconer for a new Virtual Coffee Break interview.
Sir David Jason is back with a brand new book of his personal life lessons - A Del of a Life - and he caught up with Jenni about keeping busy, reflecting on his favourite characters and how he'd love to bring back Only Fools and Horses.
Watch the interview in full above.
Looking back on his incredible career, including roles in massive TV hits including Open All Hours, The Darling Buds of May, Danger Mouse and Only Fools and Horses, Sir David told Jenni that he joined pretty much the rest of the UK in 1996 by watching the Only Fools Christmas special, which was watched by over 24 million people.
"To be honest, it was because it was such a huge success and most of the nation was switching on that I did, my family wanted to see it so I sat there and [watched it]," he said.
"And one of the things I do remember about that, at the height of its fame, because there were only about three channels, I seem to remember then, you’ve got hundreds now, was that the effect was that we had one of the biggest, if not the biggest, viewing figures ever and it’s 24 million people were watching the show.
"And so much so, that I love the story that the power stations around the country were having to juggle when they knew because after the show people got up and put the kettle on to make a cup of tea. And so when they knew that Only Fools and Horses was on and after when they were going to switch on all their kettles.
"I always imagine these guys in power stations going, 'Standby, standby. Fools and Horses coming to an end, standby. Right, turn up the power, turn up the power!' So that is one that has always remained with me as an amusing moment."
However, he admitted that he can't imagine Only Fools would be as successful today, particularly as they wouldn't have been able to keep their finest moments a secret until broadcast.
"We’ve sold our soul to commercialism," he explained. "And one of the things that I would say about that, we were very, very careful about saving our jokes and making sure that it had a beginning, a middle and an end.
"Today they can’t help but give away the end of the joke so to get you to come back after the commercial break. Whereas we took a lot of care to make sure that nobody saw the end of the joke before it happened on the show.
"And the one that I’m thinking of was the care that we took to hold back, to not let the public or the press or anybody know about Batman and Robin. Me and Nick Lyndhurst dressed as Batman and Robin, coming out of that smoke to meet the councillor who was being robbed.
"We were so careful that the press weren’t there to take photographs of it. And so we were very protective of the joke so that the audience would get the best reward.
"And unfortunately today they don’t think of that, they just think, 'Oh we need the hook, we need the hook to get them back after the break.' And it’s sad and the cost of it is the enjoyment of the audience."
Sir David added that he would love to bring back the famous sitcom, saying: "Well, you see it’s got to be, hasn’t it? Fools and Horses, it’s got to be because it’s still going on and playing to new audiences.
"So, yeah I would certainly love to do that if dear old John was with us but I don’t think we could do it without him."
"There are one or two. I tell you who I really am fond of because when I see them, I’ve never been to their concert, but when I see them, I’ve seen the film and everything, is Queen.
"And what I love about Queen, it’s not only their music but the performance of Freddie Mercury. And of course that guitarist, Brian May, well the man is a genius. He makes it sit up and beg, he’s brilliant. So I’ve always had a great fondness for them.
"And the other one that I was thinking about, in Fools and Horses there was a song. It was about when Rodney got married and it was that song ‘Holding Back the Years’. Simply Red. Lovely, very emotional."
A Del of a Life by Sir David Jason is out now.