David Jason: My Life On Screen is a revealing, highly personal insight into the life and career of an actor, who has become an undisputed national treasure, and is told in his own words.
This first episode charts Sir David's journey from working class lad in North Finchley to TV star. It follows his transition from theatre actor to early TV roles, and how his partnership with Ronnie Barker helped establish him as a major comic talent by the mid-70s. Sir David heads back to his North London roots as he visits his old primary school - and he reveals the story of how he landed his first TV role after being spotted while performing in the theatre on Bournemouth Pier. He is reunited with Michael Palin as they look back on a revolutionary children's sketch show they made together early in both their careers. And Sir David reveals how he felt when Michael and his other co-stars went off to form Monty Python together. Finally, David meets up with his Open All Hours co-stars Lynda Baron and Stephanie Cole at the real life Doncaster location used as Arkwright's grocers.
The second instalment looks at Sir David's transition from comedy sidekick to major TV star and follows his attempts to make the breakthrough as a leading man on sitcoms like The Top Secret Life Of Edgar Briggs and Lucky Feller, before he finally got the role of his life as Del Boy on Only Fools And Horses. And yet, it was a role that nearly never happened as the producers needed some convincing that Sir David was the right man. Sir David recalls how his daredevil physical comedy on the ITV sitcom The Top Secret Life Of Edgar Briggs saw him hailed as 'TV's man of action' in the TV Times. He takes a trip down memory lane as he heads back to Margate, the setting for the classic Only Fools And Horses episode The Jolly Boys Outing, with former co-star John Challis (who played Boycie) and director Tony Dow. And he looks back on his memorable voice-over work on the likes of Danger Mouse and The Wind In The Willows, with the help of friend and animator Brian Cosgrove.
This final episode looks at how Sir David's career moved on from sitcoms to lead roles in comedy dramas like The Darling Buds Of May and Porterhouse Blue, through to crime with A Touch Of Frost and historical dramas like All The King's Men. Sir David is reunited with his A Touch Of Frost co-stars Bruce Alexander and John Lyons as they recall his surprising move into TV crime - would the viewers really accept this darker side from an actor they thought they knew so well? He heads back to the real-life Kent farm used as the setting for The Darling Buds Of May, where he meets up with actors Pam Ferris and Philip Franks - there's even a video link-up to Catherine Zeta-Jones in New York. And he learns the real-life story behind Captain Frank Beck, the World War I hero he portrayed in BBC drama, All The King's Men.