Dad's Army games

How David Jason almost joined sitcom

David Jason has revealed how he was hired and fired from Dad's Army in the same day.

The Del Boy star, who will next week receive the highest accolade from Bafta, was ousted by Clive Dunn.

"I was cast at 12 o'clock and sacked by three," he told this week's Radio Times.

"Bill Cotton (BBC's then head of variety) was in the bar and he cast Clive Dunn.

"He came back and told [writer] David Croft, 'I've got you Clive Dunn.' And David said 'We've already cast it.'

"So he said, 'Who've you cast? David Jason? Well, no one's ever heard of him and plenty of people know Clive, so we'll go with him'."

Jason will be honoured with a Bafta Fellowship at the London Palladium on Sunday, for his 35-year career.

He started in TV in the 1967 comedy Do Not Adjust Your Set alongside Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

Palin says that Jason was "a bit miffed" when the others went off to form Monty Python

But Jason denied it, saying: "If I'd become a Python, I'd never have been able to play Del Boy."

Published: 8 Apr 2003

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.