David Jason

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Sir David Jason
A Touch of Frost title card.jpg
Sir David Jason as Jack Frost
BornDavid John White
(1940-02-02) 2 February 1940 (age 74)
Edmonton, London, England
OccupationActor
Years active1964–present
Notable work(s)Only Fools and Horses
A Touch of Frost
The Darling Buds of May
Open All Hours
Dangermouse
The Wind in the Willows
Count Duckula
Spouse(s)Gill Hinchcliffe (2005–present)
Partner(s)Myfanwy Talog
(1977–1995) (her death)
ChildrenSophie Mae White (born 2001)
ParentsArthur R White
Olwen Jones
RelativesArthur White (brother)
 
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Sir David Jason
A Touch of Frost title card.jpg
Sir David Jason as Jack Frost
BornDavid John White
(1940-02-02) 2 February 1940 (age 74)
Edmonton, London, England
OccupationActor
Years active1964–present
Notable work(s)Only Fools and Horses
A Touch of Frost
The Darling Buds of May
Open All Hours
Dangermouse
The Wind in the Willows
Count Duckula
Spouse(s)Gill Hinchcliffe (2005–present)
Partner(s)Myfanwy Talog
(1977–1995) (her death)
ChildrenSophie Mae White (born 2001)
ParentsArthur R White
Olwen Jones
RelativesArthur White (brother)

Sir David John White, OBE (born 2 February 1940), known by his stage name David Jason, is an English actor. He played Derek "Del Boy" Trotter in the BBC comedy series Only Fools and Horses, and Detective Inspector Jack Frost on the ITV crime drama A Touch of Frost. Other high profile roles include television roles were as Granville in the sitcom Open All Hours, and Pop Larkin in the comedy drama The Darling Buds of May as well as being the voices of Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows, Dangermouse and Count Duckula. His last original appearance as Del Boy was in 2014, while Jason retired his role as Frost in 2010.

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 six National Television Awards (1997, 2001, 2002 twice, 2003, 2011). 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.[1]

Early life[edit]

David's father, Arthur R White, was a porter at Billingsgate Fish Market, and his Welsh-born mother, Olwen Jones, worked as a charwoman. She gave birth to twin boys in Edmonton, North London in February 1940, but David's twin brother died during child-birth.[2] It is an urban myth that he chose the name Jason as a tribute to his dead twin:[3] David Jason himself has denied this. In 1984 during an interview on TV-am, David Jason admitted that the name David Jason was taken from his like of Jason and the Argonauts, as the stage name David White had already been taken.

Jason's elder brother is the actor Arthur White, born in 1933. The two have appeared together in the crime drama A Touch of Frost, with Arthur playing police archivist Ernie Trigg; and again in 2008, in the comic fantasy, The Colour of Magic, where Arthur starred as a character called "Rerpf". He also appeared briefly with his brother in an episode of The Darling Buds of May.

At school, David developed a defence against bullies by making them laugh and took on the lead role in the school play, when the boy playing it developed measles. He then joined the local Amateur Dramatic Society. On leaving school, David wanted to follow in his brother Arthur's footsteps as an actor, but their father insisted that he first get a trade. So, for six years[not in citation given] he trained as an electrician, before giving up his girlfriend at the time, and becoming a jobbing actor.[2]

Radio and TV career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Jason started his television career in 1964 playing the part of Bert Bradshaw in Crossroads.[2] 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 cast 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. However Bill Cotton overruled him, casting Clive Dunn. 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 three episodes. He also appeared with Ronnie Barker in various disguises in the Two Ronnies Show with the main character being the Voice of The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town. 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 dopey '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 repeat Lucky Feller but Jason, conscious that he was being over-exposed, refused to let it be shown again.

Children's television[edit]

Aware of his early years as a struggling actor, Jason has been willing during his career to take on a number of diverse roles and opportunities. This led to him becoming a noted children's voice-over artist.

In the 1980s, he developed a relationship with Cosgrove Hall, and subsequently provided as a voice artist for a number of children's television productions. This included voices for Danger Mouse alongside Terry Scott, 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.

Most recently he has provided the voice of Father Christmas in Father Christmas and the Missing Reindeer, Rola Polar in The Adventures of Dawdle the Donkey, and did voices in animated films including Wombling Free and The Water Babies.

Jason presented a special programme celebrating the work of Cosgrove Hall Films `Cartoon Kings' for ITV1.

Maturity and success as a leading man[edit]

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) and, 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.

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.

He has also earned acclaim for a string of straight roles. These include Skullion in Porterhouse Blue (for Channel 4), Sidney "Pop" Larkin in the rural idyll The Darling Buds of May (Yorkshire Television/ITV) and based on the H. E. Bates novel, which also featured the then unknown Catherine Zeta-Jones. All these roles had sharp comic touches.

In 1992, fed up with the lack of investment at the BBC,[2] he signed a golden-handcuffs deal at ITV to star as Detective Inspector Jack Frost in the long-running TV series A Touch of Frost (Yorkshire Television/ITV). In September 2006, he was voted by the general public as number 1 in ITV's poll of TV's Greatest Stars. 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 Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic, and in the two part ITV drama Ghostboat.

On 16 September 2008, Jason announced that he would retire his role as Det Insp Jack Frost after 16 years.[4] Three new episodes of the show were shown in autumn 2008, and were followed by a two-part finale in 2010.

Approached by BBC1 controller Danny Cohen in early 2011, Jason read three scripts and agreed to shoot a pilot for The Royal Bodyguard, which was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival.[2] The pilot episode was shown on the BBC on Boxing Day with a very poor critical response. Jason was widely considered to be too old for the part.

Honours[edit]

In 1993, 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.[5] The granting of the knighthood was well received by the public.

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 Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on 1 December 2005, he said he was "humbled" by the "fantastic tribute".[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Jason lived with long-term girlfriend Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog 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.[citation needed]

In 2001 Jason's girlfriend, 41-year-old Gill Hinchcliffe, gave birth to a baby girl.[8] It was Jason's first child and he was 61 at the time. Jason and Hinchcliffe married on 30 November 2005, in a private ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel. The family lives in Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire.[2]

Jason is a qualified helicopter pilot.[9]

In October 2013, Jason released his autobiography called David Jason: My Life.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1964CrossroadsBert Bradshaw
1966Softly, SoftlySmithEpisode: "Overtake"
1967–1969Do Not Adjust Your SetVarious
1968Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)AbelEpisode: "That's How Murder Snowballs"
1969CounterstrikeTaffy SadlerEpisode: "On Ice"
1969Canada GooseUnknown
1969–1970Hark at BarkerVarious characters
1970Doctor in the HouseMr. DrobnicEpisode: "What Seems to be the Trouble?"
1970Two D's and a DogDingle Bell
1971Six Dates With BarkerOdd Job ManEpisode: "The Odd Job"
1971Doctor at LargeVictor BlighEpisode: "Let's Start at the Beginning"
1972His Lordship EntertainsDithers
1973Seven of OneVariousEpisodes: "Open All Hours" and "I'll Fly You for a Quid)"
1974Doctor at SeaManuel Sanchez
1974The Top Secret Life of Edgar BriggsEdgar Briggs
1975; 1977PorridgeBlanco WebbEpisodes: "Happy Release", "No Peace for the Wicked", and "Pardon Me"[11]
1976Lucky FellerShorty Mopstead
1976–1985Open All HoursGranville
1977–1981A Sharp Intake of BreathPeter Barnes
1981–2003Only Fools and HorsesDel Boy
1987Porterhouse BlueSkullion
1989A Bit of a DoTed
1990Amongst BarbariansGeorge
1991–1993The Darling Buds of MayPop Larkin
1992–2010A Touch of FrostDI Jack Frost
1993The Bullion BoysBilly Mac
1997The Ice HouseUnknown
1998March In Windy CitySteven March
2001MicawberMicawber
2002–2004The QuestDave
2005–2007Diamond GeezerDes
2006GhostboatLt. Prof. Jack Hardy R.N. Rtd
2006Terry Pratchett's HogfatherAlberto Malich
2006Cartoon KingsNarrator
2006Prehistoric ParkNarrator
2008Terry Pratchett's The Colour of MagicRincewind
2009Albert's MemorialHarry
2010David Jason: The Battle of BritainPresenter
2010Come Rain Come ShineDon
2011David Jason's Great EscapesHimself
2011–2012The Royal BodyguardCaptain Guy Hubble
2013-Still Open All HoursGranvilleA revival of the original series, featuring original cast members Lynda Baron and Maggie Ollerenshaw.
2014Only Fools and HorsesDel BoySport Relief Special


Films[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1972Under Milk WoodNogood Boyo
1973White CargoAlbert Toddey
1975Royal FlashThe Mayor
1977Wombling FreeWombleVoice
1978The Odd JobOdd Job Man
1999All the King's MenCaptain Frank Beck
2010All the Way UpDirector

Animation[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1978The Water BabiesVarious characters
1981–1992Danger MouseDanger Mouse
Isambard Sinclair (narrator)
Buggles Pigeon
Count Duckula
Various characters
1983–1990The Wind in the WillowsToad
Chief Weasel
Billy Rabbit
1985–1987The Berenstain BearsPapa Bear
1988–1993Count DuckulaCount Duckula
Various characters
1989The BFGThe BFG
1991–1992Victor and HugoHugo
Interpol
Count Duckula (1 episode)
Danger Mouse (1 episode)
1993The Adventures of Dawdle the DonkeyRola Polar
1994FelidaeJesajaEnglish dub
1995The Snow QueenEric
1998Father Christmas and the Missing ReindeerFather Christmas
1999AngelmouseNarrator and Character Voices
2010Muddle EarthRandalf

Radio[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
UnknownMostly MonkhouseVarious characters
1970–1998Week EndingVarious characters
1977–1981The Jason ExplanationVarious characters
1978The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyCaptain of the "B" Ark
Caveman
2008Book at Bedtime: A Christmas CarolNarratorBBC Radio 4[12]

Awards and nominations[edit]

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 numerous times. Porterhouse Blue, The Second Quest, All the King's Men and A Bit of a Do have won David Jason one award each.

YearGroupAwardFilm/ShowResult
1985BAFTA TV AwardBest Light Entertainment PerformanceOnly Fools and HorsesNominated
1986BAFTA TV AwardBest Light Entertainment PerformanceOnly Fools and HorsesNominated
1987BAFTA TV AwardBest ActorPorterhouse BlueWon
1988BAFTA TV AwardBest Light Entertainment PerformanceOnly Fools and HorsesNominated
1989BAFTA TV AwardBest Light Entertainment PerformanceOnly Fools and HorsesNominated
1990British Comedy AwardBest TV Comedy ActorA Bit of a DoWon
1990BAFTA TV AwardBest Light Entertainment PerformanceOnly Fools and HorsesWon
1992British Comedy AwardBest TV Comedy ActorThe Darling Buds of MayWon
1996National Television AwardMost Popular Comedy PerformerOnly Fools and HorsesWon
1996National Television AwardSpecial Recognition AwardN/aWon
1996BAFTA TV AwardBest Comedy PerformanceOnly Fools and HorsesWon
1997British Comedy AwardBest TV Comedy ActorOnly Fools and HorsesWon
1997National Television AwardMost Popular ActorOnly Fools and HorsesWon
1999National Television AwardMost Popular ActorA Touch of FrostNominated
2000National Television AwardMost Popular ActorA Touch of FrostNominated
2000TV Quick AwardBest ActorA Touch of Frost
All the King's Men
Won
2001British Comedy AwardLifetime Achievement AwardN/aWon
2001TV Quick AwardBest ActorA Touch of FrostWon
2001National Television AwardMost Popular ActorA Touch of FrostWon
2001National Television AwardMost Popular Comedy PerformerOnly Fools and HorsesWon
2002National Television AwardMost Popular ActorA Touch of FrostWon
2002National Television AwardMost Popular Comedy PerformanceOnly Fools and HorsesNominated
2002TV Quick AwardBest ActorA Touch of FrostWon
2003National Television AwardMost Popular ActorA Touch of FrostNominated
2003BAFTA TV AwardBAFTA Academy FellowshipN/aWon
2003National Television AwardMost Popular ActorThe Second Quest
A Touch of Frost
Nominated
2011National Television AwardOutstanding Drama PerformanceA Touch of FrostWon

References[edit]

  1. ^ "David Jason". www.bradleywalsh.co.uk. 2006-09-09. Retrieved 05-10-2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Moreton, Cole (18 December 2011). "David Jason on Europe, X Factor and returning to the BBC". Daily Mail (London). 
  3. ^ Hughes, Heather. "David Jason". TV.com. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  4. ^ "Sir David quitting Touch of Frost". BBC News. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 58099. p. 12615. 15 September 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Del Boy knighted in Queen's list". BBC News. 2005-06-11. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  7. ^ "David Jason collects knighthood". BBC News. 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  8. ^ Alleyne, Richard (2001-02-27). "David Jason's new role as father at 61". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-11-19. 
  9. ^ Deacon, Michael (11 Oct 2008). "David Jason: Interview". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "David Jason shares his Only Fools and Horses secrets". Daily Telegraph. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  11. ^ David Jason at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ 16:30 - 17:00. "Radio 4 Programmes - Book at Bedtime: A Christmas Carol". BBC. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 

External links[edit]