Gold Orders Two Sir David Jason Specials


LONDON: UKTV has commissioned two retrospective specials featuring Sir David Jason as part of Gold’s 25th birthday celebrations.

Gold has greenlit David Jason: My Life On Screen (3×60 minutes) from Shiver and The Story of Only Fools & Horses (5×60 minutes) from North One Television. Both specials pay tribute to the comedy actor.

For the first time, Jason looks back at his life in television in the exclusive three-part special David Jason: My Life On Screen. It offers personal insight into the life and career of the actor in his own words. Jason will talk about the comedy stars who inspired him, including the pivotal role his friend and mentor Ronnie Barker played in his career. He will also discuss his first big break in TV and give a tour of his childhood roots.

Jason commented: “As my life on screen has now gathered variety and quantity, I am hoping that I can offer a documentary which gives the audience an accurate range of my work. Fingers crossed, it should make for an enjoyable program to reflect the enjoyment I’ve had in making each and every show.”

The Story of Only Fools & Horses, meanwhile, offers a definitive look at Britain’s best-loved TV family. In the five-part series, Jason will analyze his favorite sequences, experiences and memories from the show.

He added: “It has taken a lot of persuasion for me to take part in an official documentary about Only Fools & Horses but, as time has gone on, it seems to have been imprinted in television history and I thought it was only right that I tried to give an accurate insight into how the show was put together. In doing so, I hope we can create a definitive program, which appeals to the many fans [who] have been the stalwarts of the show and are growing with the next generation. It should be fun!”

Commissioned by Steve North, the general manager for Gold, and Richard Watsham, UKTV’s director of commissioning, both series were ordered by UKTV’s senior commissioning editor, Iain Coyle. David Jason: My Life On Screen will be executive produced by Mark Robinson for Shiver. The Story of Only Fools & Horses will be produced by North One TV, with John Quinn as executive producer.

UKTV’s Coyle said, “What a day. I’m just so immensely proud to be working with a television icon in Sir David Jason, paying tribute to a British cultural phenomenon in Only Fools & Horses and the extraordinary legacy of John Sullivan.”

Gold’s North added, “I am so excited to be working with Sir David Jason to help celebrate Gold’s 25th birthday this year, and really delve into one of the most-loved shows and actors on the channel. Gold viewers will get a real treat from both series, and I personally can’t wait to get to know more about the man behind some of our best-performing comedies on Gold.”

Robinson, the creative director of Shiver, remarked, “We feel totally privileged to be working with Sir David on this project. He is an actor who has constantly been voted the nation’s favorite TV star, so it is a dream project to be asked to tell the story of his life on screen, and to help celebrate over 50 years of an incredibly diverse career, combining classic comedy with award-winning drama. We want to reveal not just how Sir David’s television journey has evolved but also why it evolved in such a way; in Sir David’s story there are so many twists of fate, without which some of our all-time favorite TV moments might never have taken place.”

Quinn added, “Thanks to the late John Sullivan’s family, we have access to some exclusive behind-the-scenes material. Driven by firsthand insights and anecdotes by many of those who were there, including Sir David, this will be a fresh, we hope definitive, telling of the Only Fools & Horses story.”