Sir David Jason doubts that the Only Fools and Horses US remake can work

The Del Boy actor fears that the classic comedy will get lost in translation

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Actor Sir David Jason has expressed doubt that his classic sitcom Only Fools and Horses can be turned into a success when it is remade for American audiences.

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“They can do brilliant comedy [in America] but I don’t see that they can bring off Fools and Horses,” he said to the BBC. “I don’t see that it will travel across the pond.”

The ABC network is to make a pilot for a US version of John Sullivan’s comedy about two brothers whose get-rich-quick schemes lead to various misadventures. Sir David played the role of Del Boy Trotter from 1981 to 2003 and the following year, Only Fools and Horses topped a poll to find the UK’s greatest ever sitcom.

When asked who should recreate his most famous role, the actor suggested Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp.

“You would never get him because he’s too big but I’d go for Johnny Depp because he’s such a good actor,” he said.

But Sir David remained unconvinced that a series with such a distinctive British sense of humour could translate:

“It might work but you’ve got to change it so much that, in the change, in order to Americanise it, do you lose the whole concept of the piece? The language will have to change so much and there will be so many parts of the storyline you have to change.

“It’s so London and so British, [in] its humour, that you wonder. It’s London based and it took quite a long time for the rest of the country to catch up with the phrases.

“I have no idea what the American equivalent of ‘plonker’ is, for example. Or ‘dipstick’.”

The actor’s words echo the feelings of RadioTimes.com users, who expressed incredulity at news of the remake:

“Utterly ridiculous!” wrote D Sweetenham. “The whole reason it is funny is because of the British humor!”

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