Voted Britain’s favorite sitcom in the 2004 Britain’s Best Sitcom poll, Only Fools and Horses returns Friday for a one-time-only special on BBC One as part of Sport Relief.
While original creator and sole writer on the series, John Sullivan, passed away in 2011, the new Sport Relief sketch has been written by his sons, Jim and Dan Sullivan, based on notes their father left behind. While the task of re-creating brilliance was a daunting one, they were helped along from interest by retired ex-England footballer David Beckham to be a part of the Sport Relief sketch. Beckham will be seen joining Del Boy and Rodney in a greasy spoon café in Peckham. Filmed earlier this month, the sketch will also see market trader Del Boy marking his 65th birthday.
Even though the series has been a part of endless conversations and rumors of a return, its been over a decade since anyone has revisited south London market trader Del Boy and his brother Rodney’s hourly attempts to strike it rich. The most recent effort, the 2003 Christmas Day finale, “Sleepless in Peckham”, was seen by over 16 millions viewers.
Beckham revealed recently that nerves got the best of him on the eve of filming. “The day of filming started off with a slightly sleepless night, going over my script. The thought of being on set with Nicholas (Lyndhurst) and David (Jason) was obviously very nerve-wracking. I woke up that morning with my script on my chest. I’m a huge fan of the show. I have been for many years, as far back as I can remember,” Beckham told Radio Times. “Being from the East End of London, it’s what I was brought up on.”.”
The Sullivan brothers were admittedly (and rightfully) hesitant to recreate brilliance by bringing back OFAH. “We were surprised and flattered by this, but a little hesitant to commit at first. Since dad passed away the question of whether we’d be interested in writing any new material for Only Fools has been raised a few times, and we have always said no, our intention being to protect the work, not to attempt adding to it.”