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Sir David Jason
Born David John White
2 February 1940 (1940-02-02) (age 70)
Edmonton, North London, England
Occupation Actor
Years active 1963–present
Spouse(s) Gill Hinchcliffe (m. 2005–present) (1 daughter)

Sir David John White, OBE (stage name David Jason, born 2 February 1940), is a multi-award winning English television actor. He is best known for his long running British television roles as the main characters of Derek "Del Boy" Trotter on the BBC sit-com Only Fools and Horses from 1981, and detective Jack Frost on the ITV crime drama A Touch of Frost from 1992. Other high profile television roles were as Granville in the sitcom Open All Hours, and Pop Larkin in the comedy drama The Darling Buds of May. The last original appearance of Del Boy was in 2003, while Jason retired his role as Frost in 2008.

Jason was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1993, and knighted in 2005, both for services to drama. Jason has won four British Academy Television Awards (BAFTAs), (1988, 1991, 1997, 2003), four British Comedy Awards (1990, 1992, 1997, 2001) and five National Television Awards (1997, 2001, 2002 twice, 2003). These included the British Comedy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, and the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award in 2003. In 2006, Jason topped the poll to find TV's 50 Greatest Stars, as part of ITV's 50th anniversary celebrations.

While his most well known roles have spanned three decades from 1981, he started his television career in 1964 as Bert Bradshaw in the soap-opera Crossroads, and after several appearances as Captain Fantastic on the children's television show Do Not Adjust Your Set, by the 1970s Jason was already an established screen comedy actor with recurring appearances in television series. In 1974 he starred in the title role in The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs and in 1977 he played the main character of Peter Barnes in A Sharp Intake of Breath. He had also debuted in the Granville role in 1976 for the first series of Open All Hours, before it resumed for three more from 1981. Later television roles have included two appearances in Sky One's two-part adaptations of Terry Pratchett's fantasy novels, as Albert in Hogfather in 2006, and Rincewind in The Colour of Magic in 2008. Jason has also appeared on several radio comedy shows, and had numerous voice acting parts, notably in the long running animated series Danger Mouse and The Wind in the Willows of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Jason lived with his long term partner and actress Myfanwy Talog for eighteen years until her death from breast cancer in 1995. Jason became a father for the first time at age 61, after his girlfriend, 41 year old Gill Hinchcliffe gave birth to a baby girl in 2001. In 2005, Jason and Hinchcliffe married. Jason's older brother, Arthur White, is also an actor.

Contents

Early life and education

Brought up in Lodge Lane, North Finchley, he went to Northside primary school on the same road as where he lived. After leaving school, he trained as an electrician while negotiating his way into repertory theatre. He was still just 15 years old in July 1955 when noted local drama critic, W.H. Gelder, spotted his talent and warmly praised his performance in the Incognito Theatre Group's production of "Robert's Wife" by St John Ervine. Later, Gelder wrote in the Barnet and Finchley Press praising his performances for another local amateur dramatic group, The Manor Players, as the highlight of the evening: '... the extraordinarily precocious schoolboy by David White, looking like a young James Cagney, and playing, though only 16, with the ease of a born actor.... possibly the highlight of the evening, which was bright enough in all conscience...' The acclaim delighted David, who carefully cut out Gelder's reviews and made sure they didn't escape his parent's notice.. Later, on discovering there was already a David White on Equity's books, he took the stage name Jason from his favourite film at the time Jason and the Argonauts (1963). This however may not be true as David is quoted as saying he took the name Jason from his twin brother who died at birth.

Radio and TV career

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Early years

Jason started his television career in 1964 playing the part of Bert Bradshaw in Crossroads. In 1967 he played a spoof super-hero Captain Fantastic (and also other roles), in the children's television sketch comedy series Do Not Adjust Your Set (Rediffusion London/ITV). His co-stars were Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Denise Coffey and Michael Palin. Humphrey Barclay, who recruited David Jason to appear in Do Not Adjust Your Set (partly to offset the rather intellectual style of Idle, Jones and Palin), admired Jason's sense of timing. DNAYS had a very successful run on ITV and ended in 1969.

Jason was considered for the role of Lance-Corporal Jack Jones in the Jimmy Perry and David Croft BBC comedy Dad's Army. Croft had been very impressed with the actor and knew that he had the ability to play a man much older than his real age. David Jason appeared in the BBC comedy series Hugh and I, which starred Hugh Lloyd and Terry Scott as two friends who lived together in south London.

In the 1970s he also acted in radio comedies, including the weekly topical satire Week Ending (in which he regularly played such figures as then UK Foreign Secretary Dr David Owen) and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (as the "B Ark Captain" in the sixth episode, in an in=joking reference to his Week Ending role as Owen). Jason also appeared in The Next Programme Follows Almost Immediately and made appearances on panel games such as The Impressionists as well as his own series, The Jason Explanation. In the early 1970s he appeared in Mostly Monkhouse supporting Bob Monkhouse with Josephine Tewson.

Jason appeared in variety shows in support of stars such as Dick Emery, and his performances caught the attention of Ronnie Barker, who soon became a mentor to Jason. In 1969 Jason was recruited to appear in Hark At Barker, starring Ronnie Barker as Lord Rustless, as Dithers, the hundred-year old gardener. There was also a sequel, His Lordship Entertains. That year he also made an appearance in the popular ITC show Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) in the fifth episode of the series "That's How Murder Snowballs" as Abel, a framed performer in a major London theatre. In 1973 he played junior employee Granville in the first programme of the comedy anthology Seven of One, called Open All Hours (BBC) and starring Barker as the miserly proprietor of a corner shop. Four series of Open All Hours were made from 1976 to 1985. He featured in Barker's Porridge (BBC), a prison-based comedy, as the elderly Blanco in a couple of episodes. He also took the lead role in the ATV sitcom A Sharp Intake Of Breath. In 1974, Jason played the part of the inept spy Edgar Briggs in the television comedy series The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs (ATV/ITV).

In 1979 Jason appeared as Buttons in the pantomime Cinderella at Newcastle's Theatre Royal with Leah Bell and Bobby Thompson produced by Michael Grayson and directed by John Blackmore.

In 1976 Jason starred in London Weekend Television's Lucky Feller, written by Terence Frisby and produced by Humphrey Barclay. About two brothers in South-East London, the series was in many ways a forerunner to Only Fools And Horses, only Jason was in the more dopy 'Rodders' role, with Peter Armitage playing the cleverer of the two. The brothers drove around in a comical bubble car, a precursor to the famous Trotters' van; and there was even the gag where, just as he was trying to impress the girl (played by Cheryl Hall) Jason casually leaned back against the bar, without his knowing that barman had just lifted it behind his back, and fell through. This situation was re-enacted in Only Fools And Horses.

Years later, LWT approached Jason hoping to revive Lucky Feller but Jason, conscious that he was being over-exposed, refused to let it be shown again.

Maturity and success

In 1981 he found his most enduring and popular role, Derek 'Del-Boy' Trotter in the BBC situation comedy Only Fools and Horses (created by John Sullivan). Del-Boy is a wide-boy who makes a dubious living in Peckham, south London, trading in shoddy, stolen, and counterfeit goods. He is assisted by his brother Rodney (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Grandad (played by Lennard Pearce) or, in later episodes, Uncle Albert (played by Buster Merryfield). In this role Jason popularised some slang words and phrases; examples being the mild insults "dipstick" and "plonker", and the celebratory "lovely jubbly". His portrayal of the elder brother to Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) produced classic comic scenes and touching serious moments.

He has also earned acclaim for a string of straight roles. These include Skullion in Porterhouse Blue (for Channel 4), Pa Larkin in the rural idyll The Darling Buds of May (Yorkshire Television/ITV) and based on the H. E. Bates novel, which also featured Catherine Zeta-Jones. He also appeared as Detective Inspector Jack Frost in the long-running TV series A Touch of Frost (Yorkshire Television/ITV).`All these roles had sharp comic touches.

In addition to these roles, he has also worked as a voice artist for Cosgrove Hall on a number of children's television productions, providing voices for Danger Mouse, The BFG, Count Duckula, Hugo from Victor and Hugo and Toad from The Wind in the Willows (all produced by Cosgrove Hall for Thames Television/ITV), as well as several other cartoon voice-overs and advertising work including the DIY chain Do It All in 1988 and supermarket chain Morrisons in the 1980s and 1990s.

He also did the voice of Father Christmas in Father Christmas and the Missing Reindeer and Rola Polar in The Adventures of Dawdle the Donkey and did voices in animated films including Wombling Free and The Water Babies.

He also narrated and supplied all the voices for the popular BBC children's animated series Angelmouse.

In 1999 he starred as Captain Frank Beck in BBC's feature-length drama All the King's Men about the Sandringham regiment lost in World War I.

David Jason more recently starred in the two part ITV drama Ghostboat (Yorkshire Television/ITV) and presented a special programme celebrating the work of Cosgrove Hall Films `Cartoon Kings' for ITV1.

In December 2006, he starred in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather on Sky1 as Albert. In early 2007, he starred in Diamond Geezer (Granada Television/ITV). This series ran for 3 episodes of 90 minutes each. There was a pilot in 2005. In March 2008, he starred as Rincewind in The Colour of Magic.

On 16 September 2008, Jason announced that he would retire his role as Det Insp Jack Frost after 16 years.[1] Three new episodes of the show were shown in autumn 2008, and will be followed by a two-part finale in 2010.

In September 2006, he was voted by the general public as number 1 in ITV's poll of TV's Greatest Stars.

Honours

In 1993, David Jason was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and twelve years later, in the Queen's Birthday Honours List of 2005, he was knighted for services to acting and comedy. On the day his knighthood was announced, many British newspapers used the headline "Arise Sir Del Boy" or similar, in reference to his most famous role. The Daily Mirror ran the headline "It's Sir Del and Sir Tel" (popular BBC Radio 2 DJ Terry Wogan was also knighted on the same day). Upon receiving the knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 1 December 2005, he said he was "humbled" by the "fantastic tribute".[2] [3]

Personal life

He lived with long-term partner Myfanwy Talog, a Welsh actress, for eighteen years, and nursed her through breast cancer until her death from the disease in 1995. This experience inspired him to organise his own charity - The David Jason Trust - for terminally ill children.

On 30 November 2005, he married Gill Hinchcliffe in a private ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel. He has one daughter - Sophie Mae - by her in 2001.[4]

Career

Radio

Year Title Role Other notes
- Mostly Monkhouse Various
1970–1998 Week Ending Various
1977-1981 The Jason Explanation Various
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Various
2008 Book at Bedtime Reader A 10 part abridged reading of A Christmas Carol for BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime.[5]

Television

Year Title Role Other notes
1964 Crossroads Bert Bradshaw Unknown character duration.
1966 Softly, Softly Smith Episode ‘Overtake’
1967–1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set Various A children’s sketch show; popular with adults.
1968 Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) Abel Episode ‘That’s How to Murder Snowballs’
1969 Counterstrike Taffy Sadler Episode ‘On Ice’
1969 Canada Goose Unknown
1969–1970 Hark at Barker Various
1970 Doctor in the House Mr Drobnic Episode ‘What Seems to be the Trouble?’
1970 Two D's and a Dog Dingle Bell
1971 Six Dates With Barker Odd Job Man Episode 3 – ‘The Odd Job’; Starred with Ronnie Barker
1971 Doctor at Large Victor Bligh Episode ‘Let’s Start at the Beginning’
1972 His Lordship Entertains Dithers Starred with Ronnie Barker
1973 Seven of One Various Episodes 1 (Open All Hours) and 2 (I’ll Fly You For A Quid)
1974 Doctor at Sea Manuel Sanchez
1974 The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs Edgar Briggs
1975; 1977 Porridge Blanco Webb Guest starred in two episodes. Starred with Ronnie Barker.
1976 Lucky Feller Shorty Mopstead
1976–1985 Open All Hours Granville Broadcast: 1976; 1981-1985. Starred with Ronnie Barker.
1977–1981 A Sharp Intake of Breath Peter Barnes
1981–2003 Only Fools and Horses Del Boy Broadcast: 1981-1983,1985–1993,1996,2001–2003
1987 Porterhouse Blue Skullion
1989 A Bit of a Do Ted
1990 Amongst Barbarians George
1991–1993 The Darling Buds of May Pop Larkin
1992–2010 A Touch of Frost DI Jack Frost
1993 The Bullion Boys Billy Mac
1997 The Ice House Unknown
1998 March In Windy City Steven March
1999 All the King's Men Captain Frank Beck A 1999 television film.
2001 Micawber Micawber
2002–2004 The Quest Dave A three-part film series.
2005–2007 Diamond Geezer Des Pilot in 2005; Series in 2007.
2006 Ghostboat Lt. Prof. Jack Hardy R.N. Rtd Two part ITV drama.
2006 Terry Pratchett's Hogfather Albert Two part Sky1 drama.
2006 Cartoon Kings Narrator Documentary.
2006 Prehistoric Park Narrator Documentary-style drama.
2008 Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic Rincewind Two part Sky1 drama.
2009 The Green Green Grass Del Boy Archive footage: Episode 'I Done It My Way'
2010 Albert’s Memorial Harry Complete; awaiting broadcast.

Films

Year Title Role Other notes
1972 Under Milk Wood Nogood Boyo Originally offered to Jason's brother, Arthur, however Jason was cast in the role.
1973 White Cargo Albert Toddey
1975 Royal Flash The Mayor
1977 Wombling Free Womble Voice
1978 The Odd Job Odd Job Man
1983 The Wind in the Willows Toad Spawned a 52-part series.
2010 All the Way Up Director

Animation

Year Title Role Other notes
1978 The Water Babies Principal Characters
1981–1992 Danger Mouse Danger Mouse/Narrator/Buggles Pigeon/Count Duckula/numerous others
1983–1990 The Wind in the Willows Toad
1988–1993 Count Duckula Count Duckula Spin-off from hit series Danger Mouse starring David Jason as the lead voice.
1989 The BFG The BFG
1991–1992 Victor and Hugo Hugo
1993 The Adventures of Dawdle the Donkey Rola Polar
1995 The Snow Queen Eric
1998 Father Christmas and the Missing Reindeer Father Christmas
1999 Angelmouse Narrator 22 parts.
2010 Muddle Earth Randolf 26 parts.

Awards and nominations

David Jason has won a total of twenty-three awards between 1986 and 2003. His hit comedy show, Only Fools and Horses won many of these awards, and was also nominated many times. His crime drama, A Touch of Frost, has also won and been nominated a few times. Porterhouse Blue, The Second Quest, All the King's Men and A Bit of a Do have won David Jason one award each.

Year Group Award Film/Show Result Win/Nom
1986 BAFTA TV Award Best Light Entertainment Performance Only Fools and Horses Nominated 0–1
1987 BAFTA TV Award Best Light Entertainment Performance Only Fools and Horses Nominated 0–2
1988 BAFTA TV Award Best Actor Porterhouse Blue Won 1–2
1989 BAFTA TV Award Best Light Entertainment Performance Only Fools and Horses Nominated 1–3
1990 BAFTA TV Award Best Light Entertainment Performance Only Fools and Horses Nominated 1–4
1990 British Comedy Award Best TV Comedy Actor A Bit of a Do Won 2–4
1991 BAFTA TV Award Best Light Entertainment Performance Only Fools and Horses Won 3–4
1992 British Comedy Award Best TV Comedy Actor The Darling Buds of May Won 4–4
1997 BAFTA TV Award Best Comedy Performance Only Fools and Horses Won 5–4
1997 National Television Award Most Popular Comedy Performer Only Fools and Horses Won 6–4
1997 British Comedy Award Best TV Comedy Actor Only Fools and Horses Won 7–4
1999 National Television Award Most Popular Actor A Touch of Frost Nominated 7–5
2000 National Television Award Most Popular Actor A Touch of Frost Nominated 7–6
2000 TV Quick Award Best Actor A Touch of Frost
All the King's Men
Won 8–6
2001 British Comedy Award Lifetime Achievement Award N/a Won 9–6
2001 TV Quick Award Best Actor A Touch of Frost Won 10–6
2001 National Television Award Most Popular Actor A Touch of Frost Won 11–6
2002 National Television Award Most Popular Actor A Touch of Frost Won 12–6
2002 National Television Award Most Popular Comedy Performance Only Fools and Horses Won 13–6
2002 TV Quick Award Best Actor A Touch of Frost Won 14–6
2003 National Television Award Most Popular Actor A Touch of Frost Nominated 14–7
2003 BAFTA TV Award BAFTA Academy Fellowship N/a Won 15–7
2003 National Television Award Most Popular Actor The Second Quest
A Touch of Frost
Won 16–7

References

External links


Simple English

Sir David John White, (born 2 February, 1940) known as David Jason is a british sitcom actor who starred as Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses.


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