March 11

Only Fools and Horses star Roger Lloyd Pack will be heard in radio comedy

Only Fools and Horses star Roger Lloyd Pack will be heard in a radio comedy series later this month.

Roger will star in the second series of Gloomsbury, a comedy about the Bloomsbury Group, and will also feature Miriam Margolyes, Alison Steadman, Morwenna Banks, Jonathan Coy and John Sessions.

Roger, who died in January, will be heard playing long-suffering husband Lionel Fox and amorous gardener Gosling. The first episode will be dedicated to his memory.

During the recording of Gloomsbury last summer he said: “My characters couldn’t be more different as I play Lionel – an anxious aristocrat – and Gosling – a bluff peasant of dubious sexuality.

“I’ve always been interested in the Bloomsbury set and I think it’s a rather brilliant idea to make fun of them as they lived in this extraordinary, slightly snobby bubble.”

The first series of Gloomsbury, which is written by Sue Limb, was transmitted last autumn to critical acclaim. It’s an affectionate send up of the infamous literary group whose arty and adulterous adventures dominated the cultural scene in the early 20th century. This second series continues to follow the fortunes of Vera Sackcloth-Vest (Margolyes), writer, gardener and transvestite, and her amorous antics among her close-knit coterie of writers, poets and artists.

Vera shares a bijou castle in Kent with her devoted husband Henry, but longs for exotic adventures with nervy novelist Ginny Fox (Steadman) and wilful beauty Venus Traduces (Banks). It may be 1921 – the dawn of modern love, life and lingerie – but Vera still hasn’t learnt how to boil a kettle.

Says Miriam Margolyes:  “The first series was met with hysteria and delight from everybody and I’m 100% thrilled to be back playing Vera amongst this extraordinary cast.  Vera is great fun to play because she’s a fount of sexuality and desire and simply doesn’t care how much sex is involved!”

Alison Steadman adds: “Gloomsbury is one of the most enjoyably series I’ve recorded on radio. Sue Limb’s writing is brilliant with wonderful characters. Best fun I’ve had on radio in years!”

Affairs and attachments abound once more as we join the habitants and visitors at Sizzlinghurst Castle.  In this series the aristocrats prepare for an uprising from the oppressed people of Staplehurst; argue over a shoot for Vanity Fair with acclaimed society snapper Manta Ray; seek advice from psychoanalyst Sigmund Void during a chance meeting on Hampstead Heath; and read poetry with the wonderfully modern scribes TS Jellitot and DH Lollipop.

Gloomsbury will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the week commencing March 29th.

January 21

Del and Rodney team up with David Beckham for a one-off special Only Fools and Horses sketch for Sport Relief.

Wheeler-dealers Del Boy and Rodney Trotter are to team up with David Beckham for a one-off special Only Fools and Horses sketch for Sport Relief.

The short sketch, which has already been filmed, will be screened as part of Sport Relief on March 21st.

The short sketch has been written by Jim Sullivan and Dan Sullivan which includes some previously unused material written by their father John Sullivan OBE, who created and wrote every episode of Only Fools and Horses.

I was on set for the filming of the sketch and although I can’t go into details about it at the moment – you won’t be disappointed. I’ll be writing more about it closer to transmission.

Jim Sullivan says: “David Beckham got in touch back in September last year saying he is a big fan of Only Fools and wondering if there was a possibility of doing something together for Sport Relief 2014.”

Jim said recently: “Since Dad passed away back in April 2011 we have been asked a few times whether we’d  be interested in writing any new material for Only Fools and we have always said no, our intention being to protect the work and not to attempt adding to it.

“However, Sport Relief being such a worthy cause, and with the opportunity to help raise a lot of money, we felt things were different this time, and we also knew that Dad would approve.

“So we put together a sketch, incorporating some of Dad’s old notes – bits of dialogue for the show that he never found a place for – and, thankfully, the response was positive and everyone got behind it.

“Working on the sketch has been a lot of fun, but also quite daunting.  The characters are so well loved, but we do feel we know and care for them enough to give them back their voices just this once.

“And we would like to make it clear that it is just this once, and that we are not, and never have been, looking to write any new episodes.  There was only ever one writer of Only Fools and Horses, and it is going to stay that way.”

January 4

CONFIRMED: Del Boy and Rodney to return for a one-off Only Fools and Horses sketch for Sport Relief

I am happy to be able to confirm the following news:

Del Boy and Rodney to return for a one-off Only Fools and Horses sketch for Sport Relief.

Actors David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst will reprise their roles as Del and Rodney in a short sketch written by Jim Sullivan and Dan Sullivan which includes previously unused material written by their father John Sullivan OBE, who created and wrote every episode of the series.

Jim Sullivan says: “Since Dad passed away back in April 2011 we have been asked a few times whether we’d  be interested in writing any new material for Only Fools and we have always said no, our intention being to protect the work and not to attempt adding to it.

“However, Sport Relief being such a worthy cause, and with the opportunity to help raise a lot of money, we felt things were different this time, and we also knew that Dad would approve.

“So we put together a sketch, incorporating some of Dad’s old notes – bits of dialogue for the show that he never found a place for – and, thankfully, the response was positive and everyone got behind it.

“Working on the sketch has been a lot of fun, but also quite daunting.  The characters are so well loved, but we do feel we know and care for them enough to give them back their voices just this once.

“And we would like to make it clear that it is just this once, and that we are not, and never have been, looking to write any new episodes.  There was only ever one writer of Only Fools and Horses, and it is going to stay that way.”

Here’s the statement on Shazam Production‘s own website.