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Sir David Jason

  1. Clive Dunn, Dad’s Army, TV, 1968-1977.     “It was a long time before TV wanted me - I would’ve had to commit murder to get a part.” He made up for losing Lance-Corporal Jones (“Don’t panic!”) by winning Derek “Del Boy” Trotter in the even more successful BBClassic comedy
  2. Leonard Pearce, Only Fools and Horses, TV, 1981-1983.    Aunty invited Jason to be Grandad…at age 43! No, no, no, he’d read the script and he was “Del Boy,” no doubt about it and no matter how much writer John Sullivan complained. The rest is history - 65 episodes during 1981-2003, various acting awards, 24 million viewers for one Christmas Special and, in 2005, the most astonishing acting knighthood of ’em all. Pearce died as the fourth season’s Xmas Special was getting underway. All his scenes were re-shot with Buster Merrifield, who Grandpopped to the end.
  3. Ian Carmichael, The Wind in the Willows, TV, 1983.    More suits… The Cosgrove Hall combined wanted Jason to voice Ratty in the new toon of the Kenneth Grahame classic.   No, no, said Jason again - I’m Mr Toad! What’s more, he moved away from the usual thoroughly unpleasant cliche and made him a lovable showoff. Del Boy II…! Once again, he wuz right.
  4. Edward Peel, Doctor Who #147: Dragonfire, TV, 1987.     The usual suspects were up for Kane, the icy director of Iceworld, on the dark side of planet Svartos… Jason, John Alderton, Nicholas Ball, Tom Chadbon, Michael Gothard, Ian Holm, Ronald Lacey, TP McKenna, Clifford Rose, Simon Ward, David Warner. The Doctor was Doc7 Sylvester McCoy.
  5. Rowan Atkinson, The Lion King, 1993.        Also in the mix to voice Zazu in the 32nd Disney toon - Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa! - were Jason, Chris Barrie, Simon Callow, Spike Milligan, Vic Reeves, Patrick Stewart. Plus various UK comedy giants: Peter Cook and Dudley Moore; The Two Ronnies: Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett; The Goodies: Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Bill Odie; and the Monty Pythons: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin.
  6. Clive Swift, Doctor Who #188: Voyage of the Damned, TV, 2007.       After Dennis Hopper passed (yes, Dennis fracking Hopper!), Jason was invited aboard the Christmas (cum Titanic) Special. But he was also booked elsewhere. Probably the last actor one would think of to substitute Hooper, Swift was fourth choice after Bill Treacher’s back problems ruled him out.




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