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John Challis reveals his favourite Only Fools scene and what it’s like working with Sir David Jason

February 22, 2021

BBC’s Only Fools and Horses is considered the best British comedy of all time and with seven series and fifteen Christmas specials, there are a fantastic selection of episodes to determine your favourite from.

The consensus is that the 1989 Christmas special The Jolly Boys Outing is most fans’ favourite episode. Others such as Yuppy Love, Time on Our Hands and Heroes and Villains are also a popular choice for the number one spot.

And when it comes to classic scenes, you cannot recount them all on just two hands alone. There is the scene where the chandelier drops to the floor, the Batman and Robin scene, Trigger’s broom and Del Boy’s bar fall just to name few.

Although the bar scene ranks number one in terms of the fans’ favourite, the actors themselves have shared different moments. Recently, Sir David Jason shared his favourite moment stating:

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“To be honest with you, there are so many. Because the scripts were so rich and varied.

“Half the time we were trying to be serious and do a proper job and get paid for it we were all falling about laughing at each other.

I remember Ronnie Barker said that to me once, “It’s not a bad life is it? We are both getting paid very well for making ourselves laugh!”

“And one of those moments for me that will never be forgotten, Nic Lyndhurst dressed as Robin and me as Batman in the car, in Trotter’s van trying to be serious. If you’ve ever trying be serious dressed as Batman and Robin and don’t laugh you are a better man than I am.

“We kept getting halfway through the scene and ended up laughing because Nic looked so silly as Robin and me as Batman.

“The Director eventually got angry at us and said: “You’re supposed to be getting paid as actors, will you shut up!”

And now more recently, John Challis who played the role of Second-hand Car Dealer Boycie revealed his favourite scene to MyLondon and it may come of no surprise:

“There are so many wonderful moments in the show involving all the characters.

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“I suppose one of my favourites is the Batman and Robin sequence in Heroes and Villains.

“Del and Rodney were dressed as Batman and Robin and were running towards what they thought was a fancy-dress party, and on the way – by accident- they stopped this mugging which made them superheroes.

“And then their van had broken down, so they carried on running, by the time they turned up at the fancy dress party it was actually a wake because the gentleman who was holding the party had passed away that morning.

“So now everyone is dressed in funeral suits looking glum and fed-up.

“Boycie lets Del and Rodney in and suddenly gets the opportunity to put one over on Del when he sees how they are dressed so he doesn’t tell them someone has died.

“I just think it was a brilliant piece of writing, and visually very funny too. And Trigger coming as a chauffeur and turning up to the party in his normal clothes was brilliant.

“But there are so many wonderful bits of Only Fools, I liked the seance scene too when Boycie’s name is mentioned, the setup for that too was incredible.”

Like David, John also explained how the cast used to struggle filming at times because they were laughing so often.

He also explained that working with David and Nic was a great experience and their relationship off screen was very strong.

“I generally liked it when we are all sitting around the table in The Nag’s Head joking with each other.

“David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst were a great double-act, one of the greatest of all time I think.

“There have been so many terrific moments including Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) had his wartime stories which were hilarious, and Roger Lloyd Pack as Trigger of course.

“When we got the scripts, you can imagine the character saying the lines you were reading, then you would hear those characters say their parts for the first time, and it was just hilarious.

“So we would have to have another coffee break to recover from laughing.

Trigger, Rodney, Del Boy, Boycie, Marlene and Uncle Albert in The Nag’s Head (Image: BBC)

“But then the hard work starts because you have to stand in the right places, there could be a lot of people in The Nag’s Head and suddenly it becomes very technical.

“And then the humour drains and you think maybe it’s not funny at all until the audience comes in and you realise of course it is funny, it all lights up again, and then it’s shown on TV and millions of people watch it.”

So there you have it, John Challis’ favourite moment is the same as Sir David’s. What is yours? Please let us know in the comments below or on social media!

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