BBC Breakfast: David Jason on Only Fools and Horses interview
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Only Fools and Horses starred Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Derek “Del Boy” and Rodney Trotter respectively. The on-screen brothers lived together with their grandad, followed by Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield) and later on their wives and Del Boy’s son Damien. It was in this flat that the pair dreamed of becoming millionaires through dodgy deals and selling shoddy goods.
Is Del Boy Trotter’s Peckham flat still there?
Del Boy and the family lived together in the flat situated in fictional Nelson Mandela House in Peckham, southeast London.
The building was seen at the beginning of every episode during the title sequence.
However, in reality, the actual block of flats was Harlech Tower which is in Ealing, 13 miles away from Peckham.
The flats are part of Acton Gardens which used to be known as the South Acton Estate.
The iconic building is still standing to this day, 18 years after the classic sitcom came to an end.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the flats will be there for too much longer.
Acton Gardens has been undergoing redevelopment since 2012 with Ealing Council being granted outline planning permission for thousands of new homes.
The regeneration of the area does mean that Harlech Tower will be demolished.
An Ealing Council spokesman explained how the estate was going through a £650m rejuvenation which will also build a new community hall and youth centre.
They said: “Some of those homes will count towards our ambitious plans to create 2,500 more genuinely affordable homes by 2022 – the highest council homebuilding target in London.
“The regeneration has proved very popular with existing residents – the vast majority have requested a new home at the redeveloped estate.
“The demolition of Harlech Tower is provisionally earmarked for 2025.”
Del Boy actor Sir David Jason talked of his disapproval of the demolition in his book.
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In Jason’s autobiography, Del of a Life: The Lessons I’ve Learned, the star said how he believed the building needed to be preserved because of its links with Only Fools and Horses.
He wrote: “Imagine by trepidation and despair, then, when I learned that Harlech Tower – the crucible, if you will, of the Only Fools story – was slated for demolition, part of a £650 million rejuvenation of the area.
“Asked to share my opinion of this scheme at the time – the papers coming to me on account, no doubt, of my renowned expertise in matters of urban planning – I said I thought the tower should become a listed building and have a preservation order on it forthwith, effectively saving the building for the nation.
“Did they listen? Did they heck.”
For now at least, what was used as Nelson Mandela House continues to stand in Ealing.
So fans of the show can still visit the site and walk in the footsteps of Del Boy and Rodney.
This will only be until 2025 though when Harlech Tower is scheduled to be demolished.
Only Fools and Horses is available to watch on Dave.
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