1. Who Made The Theme Tune?
Sharp listeners will know that the theme tune of the show is actually sung by the creator of the show itself, John Sullivan. While there have been rumors that the actor who plays Rodney Trotter, Nic Lyndhurst, is the singer, such is not the case.
2. The Show Was Initially A Failure
The BBC initially considered terminating Only Fools because the first airing in 1981 was met with negative reception from the public. However, their rule was to give any sitcom two seasons before coming to a close, so they did exactly that. After a repeat of the first season and the release of the second was aired, the show gained popularity and snowballed since then.
3. The Name Of The Show
After finding out about the 19th century American phrase: “Why do only fools and horses work for a living?” the name of the show was implemented by John Sullivan. Prior considerations included “Big Brother” and “Readies,” a slang word for money. But the writer wanted something more original and attention-grabbing, hence the name that was implemented.
4. Record-Breaking Achievement
The record for the amount of viewers of a British comedy was actually set by an episode titled “Time on Our Hands,” which aired in 1996 and was watched by 24.3 million people.
5. The Original Theme Tune
The first season of Only Fools saw a different theme tune being used to what viewers have become accustomed to. Back then, Del Boy was trying to flog dodgy briefcases to an instrumental version of the current tune.
6. Lovely Jubbly
Del Boy occasionally used the phrase “Lovely Jubbly” in certain episodes of the show. This was a reference to an advertising slogan used for an orange juice drink that sold between the 1950’s and 1970’s. Sullivan believed that it would be something Del Boy would use to explain “something good.”
7. Trotter’s Independent Traders
There used to be a pack of Dunhill cigarettes that had the phrase “London – Paris – New York” printed on the packaging. This was what inspired the use of “New York – Paris – Peckham.”
8. Buster Merryfield’s First Role
Buster was discovered in a theatre after becoming involved in amateur dramatics. Prior to this, he retired from a 40-year job in banking. His role as Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses was his first ever.
9. Roy Slater Could Have Been Del Boy
Before Sir David Jason was offered the role of Del Boy, his nemesis in the show, Jim Broadbent, was first encouraged to take the casting position. Jim declined the offer as he had important theatre commitments at the time. Due to other commitments, Enn Reitel, who was also offered the same role, also declined.
10. Trigger’s Real Name
While it has never been revealed on-screen, Trigger’s real name is Colin Ball, which can be seen in the cast listings.