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David Jason: My Life by David Jason

David Jason: My Life

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Winner of the Specsavers Biography of the Year 2013.

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With 50 showbiz years under his belt, David Jason has a long and varied career to recall. Now one of our leading actors it has been a long hard journey to get to the top – 20 years of learning, walk-ons and small parts before the advent of Del Boy in 1981 propelled him to star status.

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Click below to listen to an extract from the audiobook edition of this title.


David Jason: My Life by David Jason

Winner of the Specsavers Biography of the Year 2013.

This is the long-awaited autobiography of one of Britain's best-loved actors. Born the son of a Billingsgate market porter at the height of the Second World War, David Jason spent his early life dodging bombs and bullies, both with impish good timing.

See the video below to see David Jason talking about his life and the favourite characters he’s played with footage of them.

Giving up on an unloved career as an electrician, he turned his attention to acting and soon, through a natural talent for making people laugh, found himself working with the leading lights of British comedy in the 1960s and '70s: Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Bob Monkhouse and Ronnie Barker. Barker would become a mentor to David, leading to hugely successful stints in Porridge and Open All Hours. It wasn't until 1981, kitted out with a sheepskin jacket, a flat cap, and a clapped-out Reliant Regal, that David found the part that would capture the nation's hearts: the beloved Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter in Only Fools and Horses. Never a one-trick pony, he had an award-winning spell as TV's favourite detective Jack Frost, took a country jaunt as Pop Larkin in the Darling Buds of May, and even voiced a crime-fighting cartoon rodent in the much-loved children's show Danger Mouse. But life hasn't all been so easy: from missing out on a key role in Dad's Army to nearly drowning in a freak diving accident, David has had his fair share of ups and downs, and has lost some of his nearest and dearest along the way. David's is a touching, funny and warm-hearted story, which charts the course of his incredible five decades at the top of the entertainment business. He's been a shopkeeper and a detective inspector, a crime-fighter and a market trader, and he ain't finished yet. As Del Boy would say, it's all cushty.


'As good as it gets ... so much on every page ... a great, great book.' Chris Evans

'It's a romp of a chronicle, a life according to Del Boy, the ultimate cheeky chappy.' Daily Telegraph

'How the son of a market porter gave up a career as an electrician to become one of Britain's most successful and best loved actors ... the long awaited story...' Independent

About the Author

Sir David Jason was born in 1940 in North London. His acting career has been long and varied: from his theatre work in the West End to providing voices for Mr Toad from The Wind in the Willows, Danger Mouse and The BFG; and from Open All Hours and The Darling Buds of May to his starring roles as Detective Inspector Frost in A Touch of Frost and, of course, Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter in Only Fools and Horses. He lives with his wife, Gill, and their daughter, Sophie, in Buckinghamshire.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


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Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
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