Only Fools and Horses is undoubtedly the most popular British sitcom of all time. Therefore, if we can dig up a story relating to the show that the fans may not be aware of, we seize the chance to publish it.
Buster Merryfield, who played the part of Uncle Albert wrote an autobiography, During the War and other Encounters (1996). His book reveals an endearing story of how Sir David Jason helped settle Buster’s first day nerves. It was his first ever experience of filming for television and he was very stressed about the occasion. Buster recalls:
I met David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, who gave me the once-over and two days later I was picking out my duffel coat, cap and scarf and saying my first words as Uncle Albert. I was nervous as hell. Fluffed my lines. Then David came in and got his words in a twist – in front of a live audience. “What are you lot laughing at,” he joked. “You got in for nuffink, dint ya?” The audience fell about. We all relaxed. That’s when I realised that David had seen how tense I was and deliberately messed things up to put me at my ease.
David’s kindness was always remembered by Buster. He instantly fitted in with the rest of the actors and loved being recognised for his role in Only Fools and Horses.
Buster was born in London in 1920. For 40 years he worked for Natwest bank eventually becoming a manager. Already involved in amateur dramatics, he retired at the age of 57 and further pursued his love for acting. He was spotted for the role of Uncle Albert during a pantomime performance and the rest is history.
Buster Merryfield died on the 23rd June, 1999. Rest in peace shipmate.