The instant highlights are the ones that get replayed time and time again on television. Granddad, Rodney and Del cleaning the chandelier. Del falling through the bar. Rodney’s wedding, the introduction of Uncle Albert, and the infamous outing to Margate. But the set is also a chance to take in the many other features that added up to make the show Britain’s favourite sitcom.
Only Fools And Horses, after all, set a template for the important of supporting characters. Boycie and Marlene enjoyed a spin-off series of their own, with The Green Green Grass, but the truth is that the adventures of Trigger, Denzel, Mickey Pearce and Uncle Albert alone could have equally been given top billing. Often, they are. John Sullivan’s writing has a real skill in bringing character to the fore as required, but his ultimate achievement here is balancing a sizeable ensemble of regular and occasional characters, and wringing so many laughs out of them.
It’s a family comedy like no other, and since new Only Fools And Horses episodes left our screens back in 2003, there’s been nothing really to match it. Arguably, there never will be, either. Because this is a show that brought together an unrivalled collection of talents, and turned them into national treasures. Only Fools And Horses also ensures, rightly, that the work of the late John Sullivan will be celebrated for a long, long time to come. And, with this latest box set, there’s little reason why the show won’t keep Britain laughing for a good few years, either. --Jon Foster
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