Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses legend David Jason turned down by Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em bosses for not having ‘star quality’

David was apparently only suitable for 'supporting actor' roles

The much-loved David Jason has been appearing on our screens for over 50 years.

The 81-year-old has been making us laugh in numerous British comedies such as Only Fools and Horses, Open All Hours and Porridge.

He’s had a whole host of awards to accompany his acting career including multiple Baftas, NTAs and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Before his illustrious career, it was recently revealed that David had been rejected for the lead role in the 1970s BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em because he was thought to be “only funny in supporting roles”.

This was according to BBC bosses at the time which the sitcom’s screenwriter, Raymond Allen, revealed to Best of British Magazine.

After Raymond suggested to BBC bosses that David Jason should play bumbling Frank Spencer, he recalled how they didn’t agree with his casting choice.

Raymond explained that he was told: “‘Yes, he is very funny.

“‘But he’s only funny in supporting roles. He hasn’t got star quality.'”

Before his unsuccessful flirtation with Some Mothers, David had been in minor roles on TV like detective show Randall and Hopkirk and sci-fi show Counterstrike.

In the end, Frank Spencer was played by Michael Crawford who always landed himself in a predicament to the despair of his wife Betty.

Michael had a propensity to star in comedies where he put his body on the line, especially when he made his debut on Broadway where he would walk into walls and fall down staircases.

He was then invited to Some Mothers after his stage performance in No Sex Please, We’re British , in which he played the part of frantic chief cashier Brian Runnicles.

This franticness is what we’ve come to know from Frank Spencer.

Infamous for his caption ‘Ooh Betty’ (Image: BBC)

Raymond Allen also revealed that other actors turned down the role like comic Norman Wisdom, who ‘didn’t see the jokes’, and Ronnie Barker, who was ‘too busy’ with other roles.

Allen found comedy writing “stressful” and said: “People think comedy is easy to write.

“But you’re sitting there and it’s absolutely… really stressful.”

As we know, David went on to win the hearts of the nation as Del Boy, while Frank Spencer went down in comedy lore as well.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button