Sir David Jason talks age, celebrity and humility

Sir David Jason discussed being young at heart, his dislike of celebrities who let fame go to their heads and what he learnt from his friend Ronnie Barker.

On turning 80, he told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly show “Physically maybe, but mentally not at all. I am still 35, and still have that attitude of mind, if you like.”

Sir David, who has just released a new autobiography ‘A Del of a Life’, talked about how he has lived his life by being kind to others and his frustration with celebrities who do not adopt the same approach.

“You have got to remember, especially in our business, that you rely so much on everybody around you…you are part of a team and part of a journey together to make a programme. Enjoy it, it is the journey and not the arrival.

“There are some people, especially in our business, who get a little touch of fame and it seems to affect their brain somehow and they think that they are elevated into being something special, something more than human. That annoys me intensely because they forget that without the team, they wouldn’t even be on television.”

On his late friend and comic legend Ronnie Barker, he said Barker, who he co-starred with in BBC sitcoms’ Porridge and Open All Hours, had shown him how to have humility and work as one single group, no stars, no egos.

“Part of where I learnt that touch of humility and being a team player, I learn that from Ronnie. Not only was he one of the most talented people that I ever had the good fortune to work with, he was also one of the nicest.

“The thing about Ronnie, he was like that in real life… He suffered from what I call ‘comic diarrhoea’, in other words, he couldn’t help himself from being funny and amusing all the time. That was one of the other great things that I loved about Ronnie. Not only his kindness and gentleness off stage, but his ability just to make you laugh just by looking at you sometimes.”

David Jason is best-known for his role as Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter in BBC One’s Only Fools and Horses. Other comedy parts have included a lead role in ATV’s A Sharp Intake Of Breath and Yorkshire TV’s A Bit of a Do. Serious roles have included in ATV soap Crossroads, Yorkshire TV’s Inspector Frost and comedy-drama The Darling Buds of May.

David has most recently reprised his role of Granville in Still Open All Hours for the BBC.

 Lorraine weekdays from 9am on ITV

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