Where is the cast of Only Fools and Horses now – from Del Boy to Marlene
Many who weren’t even born when the famous Broken Chandelier episode aired are familiar with the scene, such is the enduring popularity of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. In fact, a record 24 million viewers watched the show’s heroes finally become millionaires in 1996.
First airing in 1981 and ending in 2003, the program stole our hearts with the seemingly endless exploits of wheel dealer Del Boy, his brother Rodney, Grandpa and later Uncle Albert. The show, as reported by Lincolnshire Livecentered on the trials and tribulations of the family as they struggled to get by, all locked together in a tower in Peckham.
A major part of the show’s charm was the ensemble of strong and, for the most part, likable supporting characters. Who can forget dork Trigger, untrustworthy car salesman Boycie and super spiv Mickey Pearce?
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There was also the sinister and corrupt Detective Inspector Slater, played by East Midlands’ own Hollywood star and Oscar the winner Jim Broadbent. Slater may only have appeared in three episodes of the sitcom, but he made a lasting impression with audiences and is widely considered one of the show’s most memorable characters.
The three episodes he appeared in were May The Force Be With You, The Class Of ’62 and – perhaps most memorable – To Hull And Back. The latter saw him at the center of the plot, where he brazenly got involved in a diamond smuggling spot.
The absence today on our screens of Only fools and horses, with its dazzling screenplay by John Sullivan and a very memorable theme music, truly leaves a gaping void in our television schedule. But we still have our memories, so without further ado, let’s find out what’s happened to the cast members since the series ended in the early 2000s.
Roy SlaterJim Broadbent
Appearing in Hollywood blockbusters like Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Paddington and Moulin Rouge, Jim certainly knows how to keep busy. He even won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 2001 film Iris, which also starred Dame Judi Dench.
Interestingly, Jim was originally the second choice to play Del Boy in Only Fools, passing up the opportunity as he was busy in a West End show at the time.
Jim’s links to the East Midlands are well known. He was born in 1949 in Holton cum Beckering, a village near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire.
He was the youngest son of furniture maker Roy Laverick Broadbent and sculptor Doreen Dee (Findlay) Broadbent. Jim, who now lives in a small village near Louth, has had a successful career.
In addition to his Oscar, he also won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for his starring role as Lord Longford in the TV series Longford in 2006. He also earned four BAFTA nominations and won for his performance in the glitzy Moulin Rouge in 2001.
Recently, Jim starred in the limited series Black Narcissus and starred alongside Helen Mirren in the comedy-drama film The Duke.
Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter (David Jason)
Luvly jubbly. Talented actor David Jason, who spoke much better in real life than his on-screen counterpart Cockney, excelled as the lovable thug.
A defining role, he went on to play a long list of other high-profile TV characters, including Detective Jack Frost in A Touch Of Frost and Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May.
Sir David, who has won four BAFTAs, four British Comedy Awards and seven National Television Awards, was knighted for services to comedy and theater in 2005.
David recently graced our screens narrating the documentary The Lancaster Bomber at 80 with David Jason, in 2021.
Rodney TrotterNicholas Lyndhurst
Your gauge. Del Boy’s poor younger brother was a role Nicholas Lyndhurst absolutely relished. A versatile actor, Nicholas went on to star in many popular sitcoms such as Goodnight Sweetheart, The Two Of Us and After You’ve Gone.
Nicholas was last on our screens in the CBBC sitcom So Awkward in 2019.
Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield)
The charming, affable and likeable Uncle Albert was a huge hit with viewers, who bemoaned the loss of grandfather (Lennard Pearce) in 1984. A latecomer to the role at age 57, Buster made the role his own when he joined in 1985 – with slogans like “during the war” proving a perennial favourite.
Buster was very active in his charity work and wrote his autobiography During the War and Other Encounters in 1996. He sadly died in 1999 aged 78.
Grandpa (Lennard Pierce)
A “true” old-school actor, Lennard worked alongside huge stars such as Anthony Hopkins and Laurence Olivier, and appeared in plays such as Much Ado About Nothing and My Fair Lady before landing the role in Only Fools. Del and Rodney’s endearing grandfather was rarely seen out of his chair, but still played a pivotal role in the sitcom from the start.
Unfortunately, Lennard died of a heart attack in the middle of filming the fourth series in 1984. He was 69 years old.
Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong)
Girlfriend and voice of reason in Rodney’s Reverie, Cassandra first appeared on the sitcom in 1989. After Only Fools, actress Gwneth appeared on the daytime soap opera Doctors, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, New Tricks and as Geraldine Clough in EastEnders from 2016. She also appeared on the West End show Madness’s Our House in 2008.
Mickey Pearce (Patrick Murray)
The fantastically self-expanding Mickey spiv was perhaps Nag’s Head’s flashiest dresser. When Only Fools ended, actor Patrick went to Thailand for a decade before returning to the UK to work as a driver. He last appeared on our screens as an actor in the crime drama series Endeavour, in 2015.
Denzil Tulser (Paul Barbier)
Scouse truck driver and pal of Del Boy, everyone loved Denzil. Since his time at Peckham, actor Paul has appeared in Only Fools spin-off The Green Green Grass as well as Coronation Street. In 2010, he played a fanatical pin shop owner in Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal and also appeared as Captain Jack Parrot in a crime drama. Death in paradise in 2014. Paul was last on our screens in Casualty in 2019.
Trigger (Roger Lloyd-Pack)
Of course, we all know the famous scene. Do we even need to mention it? No, isn’t it? OK, in case you forgot, it was Trigger who was at the bar when Del Boy famously took a fall. The affable sweeper made his way into our hearts with disconcerting ease, thanks to his many memorable moments of endearing naivete.
Actor Roger Lloyd-Pack went on to star as farmer Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley and starred alongside Stephen Fry in Twelfth Night and Richard III.
With appearances in Dalziel and Pascoe, Doc Martin, Doctor Who, New Tricks and numerous film roles including 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Roger has certainly been busy. He sadly passed away in 2014 at the age of 69.
Boycie (John Challis)
That wonderful seal laugh from used car salesman Boycie is forever in our hearts. Another hugely popular character, actor John Challis played the part with the perfect amount of “je ne sais quoi”. After Peckham, actor John has been busy with roles in The Green Green Grass spin-off, Doctors, Benidorm and the 2016 one-off reboot Are You Being Served?
In 2020 he made a documentary called Boycie in Belgrade, exploring how Only Fools and Horses became a huge hit in Serbia. John sadly passed away in 2021. He was 79 years old.
Marlene Boyce (Sue Holderness)
Unforgettable as Boycie’s long-suffering wife, Marlene (it’s impossible not to say her name without thinking of Boycie’s prolonged labor) was a key character in Only Fools. She then teamed up with John Challis in the spin-off The Green Green Grass and also appeared in VictimHolby City and Still Open All Hours with David Jason.
Actress Sue also appeared as Billy Mitchell’s love interest for EastEnders in 2021. She was last seen on our screens in 2021’s The Mysteries of Madame Blanc.
Raquel TurnerTessa Peake Jones
The true love of Del Boy’s life, Raquel certainly managed to calm her wandering spouse. Post Only Fools, actress Tessa has appeared in Holby City, the children’s spooky The Demon Headmaster and The Bill.
She also had a recurring role on the ITV crime drama Grantchester and sang Mamma Mia to a West End audience and panel of judges on the All Star Musicals TV show – where she received 17 out of 20 stars.