Fools rushes in

Monday, October 5, 2009 by

The BBC has announced Inbetweeners star James Buckley has been cast as the young Del Trotter.

James Buckley as he appears in E4's The Inbetweeners

James Buckley as he appears in E4's The Inbetweeners

Here’s the full press release.

Filming is commencing on BBC One’s Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Chips, the new comedy drama which focuses on the early years of South London’s most famous family, The Trotters, with Nicholas Lyndhurst returning to Peckham to play ‘art connoisseur’ Freddie ‘The Frog’ Robdal and Inbetweeners star James Buckley stepping into the teenage shoes (1960s winkle-pickers) of the nation’s favourite wheeler-dealer Del Boy Trotter.

Also joining the cast are Kellie Bright (Kinky Boots, Bad Girls, Jericho) as Del Boy’s glamorous (certain neighbours might say “tarty”) mother Joan Trotter and Shaun Dingwall (Soldier Soldier, Above Suspicion, Doctor Who) as her work-shy husband Reg Trotter. Phil Daniels (Outlaws, The Long Firm) appears as Del’s granddad, Ted Trotter and Robert Dawes (The Royal, Roger Roger) features as Joan’s boss, the sleezy Mr Raynor.

“Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Chips hurtles us into the rough and unglamorous world of London in 1960 to discover the circumstances that led to Del and Rodney Trotter turning out the way they did,” says writer John Sullivan.  “Nick Lyndhurst is a comedy genius and I can’t think of anyone better suited to bring the shady but charming Freddie Robdal to life and James Buckley has a tough act to follow but is sure to do for leather bomber jackets and winkle-pickers what David Jason did for camel-haired coats and cocktail umbrellas!”

Shooting entirely in London from October 5th, Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Chips picks up the Trotter story in 1960 as Peckham’s answer to Brigitte Bardot, Joan Trotter, is not-so-happily married with bone-idle Reg and her teenage son, Derek. But the reappearance of ‘art connoisseur’ Freddie ‘The Frog’ Robdal, fresh from a ten year stay as a guest of Her Majesty, is set to ruffle some feathers in the Trotter household.  Centering on the relationships between Joan, Reg, safe-cracker Freddie and teenage Del, the comedy drama will also feature the teenage versions of Only Fools and Horses faves Boycie, Trigger, Denzil and Roy Slater.

“It’s nearly 30 years since Only Fools and Horses first hit our screens and we’ve taken great care to pull together a mixture of exciting new faces and highly-experienced talent to do justice to a fantastically-popular and iconic series and bring this bittersweet new chapter of the Trotter story to life,” says Mark Freeland, Head of Comedy at the BBC.

Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Chips is written by Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan, will be produced by Gareth Gwenlan, directed by Dewi Humphreys and executive produced by Mark Freeland for BBC Comedy. A co-production between In House BBC Comedy and John Sullivan’s production company Shazam Productions Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Chips was commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One and Lucy Lumsden, former Controller, Comedy Commissioning.


4 Responses to “Fools rushes in”

  1. Andy Elms on October 5th, 2009 12:50 pm

    “Sex, Drugs & Rock’n’Chips hurtles us into the rough and unglamorous world of London in 1960 to discover the circumstances that led to Del and Rodney Trotter turning out the way they did,”


    I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t prejudge things. I know I should give them a chance. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t get excited about this. Is it a crime to hate something purely because the punctuation of a title jarrs, and that it reminds you of a cross between “First of the Summer Wine” and “The Green Green Grass”?

  2. Steve Brennan on October 13th, 2009 11:32 pm

    Step back from that nail, Andy, and consider it hit.

    This sounds like an epic flop in the making. Del Boy without David Jason? With a writer at the helm who, like a crap Frankenstein, resurrected the series and kept it lurching on for a succession of painful Christmas specials. Once it became clear even to him that he had squeezed every drop dry, he answered the call of the nation (no?) by giving us a spin-off with Boycie. A cockney snob in the countrysoide? Why, the comedy potential (“canned laughter on stand-by though, lads, just in case..”).

    And ye gods, that title. Since he’s mining the prequel craze he could surely find inspiration elsewhere. Delboy Begins? Trotter Royale? The Phantom Rodney?

  3. Graham Kibble-White on October 14th, 2009 11:09 am

    Actually, on the point of that name, it should be pointed out that my understanding is it’s a working title, so it probably won’t make it to screen. Sullivan is said to be keen to have anything other than the strongly mooted ‘Once Upon a Time in Peckham’.

  4. Nimrod Gently on November 4th, 2009 8:35 pm

    It is a working title, but it’s been a working title for quite some time now, and it might just have stuck.

    Reminder: “Rock” is a kind of fish. Hence the pun. Still not a good title, but wtihout that information it’s even worse.