Only Fools and Horses (OFAH) is a sitcom which has entered the psyche of the British population. Many of us probably use words (plonker, lovely jubbly, next year we will be millionaires et al.) and we all have favourite scenes from a programme that started over thirty years ago and really only took off, because it was repeated due to industrial action by technicians at the BBC. The BBC would let programmes grow and nurture them. Nowadays unless a programme is a hit instantly, it is immediately a failure and either taken off or moved to a graveyard slot. By reading this book I realise that If OFAH was in its inception now it would certainly not have been the success it was.
This book charts its conception, inception, growth and rise. It covers the actors, the sole writer John Sullivan, the production and the inevitable problems along the way. There are little dialogues from the series, detailed descriptions of episodes and also a lot about what else was going on at the time in the televisual world. It is a thorough history of a well loved programme.
I am a fan, but I understand from other reviews that there are some factual errors, but if this is the case that did not worry me as I did not actually learn anything new. It was interesting to see someone else take on a programme. All it did do was just reinforce my love for it.
What was clear that the book was researched and that if you have a love or know someone who wants to also reinforce their love or perhaps wants to learn some other tid-bits about the programme then this is the book for you. There are many books written about OFAH which I have and I am glad I added this one to my collection.
For some reason, I found this book difficult to review. I read other reviews about the book and saw that there had been factual mistakes in the book, and I suddenly thought I did not know this have I missed the point of the book and I am not really a fan of the programme. Once I gave myself a talking to and thought “it is only a programme” I realised that I could write the review and so there it is above.
OFAH is one of those programmes which reminds me of so many things, times in my life. The ritual of the Christmas episodes becoming an event. The final episodes I watched on my own as my parents were away, one of the first times I was left in the house alone (I was over 18 in case anyone suddenly thinks my parents treated me badly!). The scenes that I know will make my mum laugh more than I and the reminders of certain members of my own family. That is why OFAH is part of the British Pschye and shows how unique the British sense of humour.
Of course writing a post about this, means I can share some wonderful clips; please indulge me and I hope you enjoy.
Now we all like to save money –
and obviously stay standing –
you of course need a friend called Dave –
but you call always rely on false friends –
if in doubt call for backup –
You must remember to respect your elders and listen to their stories –
And of course next year you will be millionaires!