Only Fools and Horses is a British television sitcom created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with nine periodic Christmas specials until its end in 2003.
Set in Peckham in south-east London, it stars David Jason as a determined market trader Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney Trotter, and Lennard Pearce as their elderly Grandfather. After Pearce's death in 1984, his character was replaced by Del and Rodney's Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield), a WWII Navy veteran with an anecdote for any occasion, who first appeared in February 1985. Backed by a strong supporting cast, the series follows the Trotters' highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich. As with other comedies from writer John Sullivan, the humour is devilishly structured so as not to transmit the jokes before the punch-lines and there's always a strong cast of support characters. The show attained reliably high ratings, and the 1996 episode "Time on Our Hands” holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode, attracting 24.3 million viewers. Critically and popularly admired, the series received numerous awards, including recognition from BAFTA, the National Television Awards and the Royal Television Society, as well as winning individual accolades for both Sullivan and Jason. It was voted Britain's Best Sitcom in a 2004 BBC poll.
The series influenced British culture, contributing numerous words and phrases to the English language. It produced an extensive range of merchandise, including books, videos, DVDs, toys and board games. A spin-off series, The Green Green Grass, ran for four series in the UK from 2005 to 2009. A prequel, Rock & Chips, ran for three specials in 2010 and 2011. A special Sport Relief episode aired in March 2014, guest starring David Beckham.