Only Fools and Horses actor Michael Jayston dies after ‘short illness’ | Ents & Arts News


Only Fools and Horses star Michael Jayston has died at the age of 88.

Jayston played the father of Rachel “Raquel” Turner (Tessa Peake-Jones), the long-term partner of lead character Derek “Del Boy” Trotter (Sir David Jason), in the much-loved British comedy.

He died after a short illness, Jayson’s agent said.

Starring in the episode Time On Our Hands, Jayston, who plays the character of antiques dealer James, is invited to a dinner at Del’s flat which inevitably goes wrong with a gravy-come coffee mishap.

But James spots an old pocket watch in the garage, revealing to Del and his brother Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) that it was made by 18th-century clockmaker John Harrison and is worth a fortune – leading to an auction where the family finally become millionaires.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Undated handout photo issued by UKTV of Del Boy and Rodney Trotter from Only Fools and Horses inside The Nags Head pub from the television sitcom, as TV channel Gold celebrates the show's 40th anniversary. Issue date: Thursday September 2, 2021.
Pic: UKTV/BBC/PA
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The brothers land on a fortune in the episode. Pic: UKTV/BBC/PA

A statement on behalf of Jayston’s family said: “Michael Jayston sadly passed away this morning after a short illness.

“Those who knew Michael will know he was full of love, laughs and happiness. He adored meeting his fans all over the world.

“His family and friends would appreciate privacy at this time.”

Jayston first took to the stage in the 1960s leading to television roles in Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice and King Lear.

He also portrayed Nicholas II of Russia in the 1970s historical film Nicholas And Alexandra.

The film about the last days of the tsars in Russia and the relationship between the ruler and his wife Alexandra (Dame Janet Suzman) also featured Doctor Who star Tom Baker as Grigori Rasputin and Lord Laurence Olivier.

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 Michael Jayston
Image:
Michael Jayston (L) and David Suchet in The Last Confession. Pic: PA

The Nottingham-born actor would appear in Doctor Who as Valeyard, revealed to be a manifestation of the Doctor’s dark side.

Jayston also starred as Edward Rochester in a 1970s TV adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre, and was also Quiller – in the BBC show of the same name – a British spy with an aversion to guns.

In 2007 he played The Confessor in Roger Crane’s play The Last Confession opposite David Suchet as Cardinal Benelli at Chichester Festival Theatre in May 2007.

In the ITV soap Emmerdale, from 2007 to 2008, Jayston played Nicola King’s (Nicola Wheeler) husband briefly before his character died within a year of moving to the Yorkshire village.

He also appeared in 1990s ITV police comedy-drama The Good Guys with Coronation Street actor Nigel Havers and Call The Midwife actress Jenny Agutter.



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