DEL BOY MOVES TO AMERICA; US version is on the way.
Now wheeler-dealers Del Boy, Rodney and Uncle Albert really are making it big in America.
The hugely successful sitcom Only Fools and Horses hasn't been seen on British TV screens for more than two years.
More than 24 million watched Del and Rodney finally pull themselves out of Hooky Street to become millionaires in the Christmas 1996 trilogy.
Now the Americans want a slice of the same award-winning magic from writer John Sullivan.
US giant Castle Rock Entertainment, a part of the Time Warner Group which made Seinfeld, has bought the rights to the show and intends to make a US version.
Mr Sullivan has been hired as executive producer and script editor on the show, which will get an American setting and characters.
The BBC, which nurtured the programme since its launch in 1981, will also get a small percentage of the profits under the deal.
Yesterday David Jason - who played Del Boy - said he wished the new version well.
He said: "I hope they have as much fun and success with it as we had. It's a terrific programme."
But he dismissed any suggestion he might revive his role of Del Boy.
He said: "Things don't tend to work that way when these programmes are sold to America."
Tim Hancock, chief executive of Roger Hancock Ltd, which negotiated the deal for John Sullivan, said: "This is a ground-breaking deal that could do for British comedy what ER did for American drama over here.
"It's not a case of who could possibly play Del Boy but more a recognition in America of the wonderful quality of British writing."
Last night speculation began over who might take on the role of Del Boy, with Danny DeVito the first choice for many fans.
However, the biggest problem for the American producers will be replacing Del Boy's famous yellow Robin Reliant - it isn't sold in America.
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||May 1, 1999|
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