27/02/2021 11:21 GMT

Only Fools And Horses Star Reveals The Comeback That Nearly Was But Never Happened

Creator John Sullivan died while writing a script to celebrate the sitcom's 30th anniversary.

Only Fools and Horses fans were nearly granted a revival to celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary, one of its stars has revealed.

John Challis, who played Boycie in the hit BBC sitcom, said that writer John Sullivan was working on a comeback episode but died before completing the script. 

The episode would have seen Del Boy celebrate his retirement in the Nag’s Head.

Only Fools And Horses stars Nicholas Lyndhurst and David Jason

Speaking to The Sun, Challis said: “The 30th anniversary was coming up and John was in the process of getting together a Christmas special or something.

“It was going to be Del Boy’s 65th birthday, he was going to retire and there was going to be a bit of a get-together in the Nag’s Head. But unfortunately he (John) got ill and didn’t come out of it.”

Sullivan died after contracting viral pneumonia in April 2011, five months before the 30th anniversary of Only Fools And Horses’ debut. 

Recalling his death, Challis said: “It was a complete shock to everybody. We got a phone call from the producers giving us the bad news.”

Radio Times via Getty Images
The cast during filming for the 1988 Christmas special of Only Fools and Horses

Sullivan wrote all 64 episodes of Only Fools And Horses, which ran between 1981 and 2003. 

Over 19 million people tuned in to see its final episode on Christmas Day in 2003. 

Sir David Jason, who played Del Boy in the show, recently admitted he had watched an old episode of Only Fools And Horses during lockdown, and was left in fits of giggles at the iconic moment when his character fell through a wine bar hatch. 

He told The Mirror: “It gave me great joy. The hatch scene still makes me laugh out loud. Normally I’m very critical of what I do, I don’t enjoy watching very much. But that one just works.”