BBC rejected David Jason’s Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em bid with ‘no star quality’ snub

This Morning – Holly and Phillip crash in rollerskating skit for Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

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The BBC sparked fury this week after their investigation into the language used during the Seventies sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. The show was probed by the corporation’s watchdog over a homophobic slur that appeared in one of the hit’s Christmas specials. Express readers vented about the decision to investigate the historic comedy series and branded it a “waste of licence fee money”.

One fuming viewer questioned why they were using the public’s funds for “this stupid enquiry” and another branded it “nonsense”.

A second dismissed the complaint about the 1975 episode and said they “don’t really care” about “a few being offended by a comedy programme”.

They urged uncomfortable and irritated viewers to “switch off if you don’t like it”.

The BBC’s investigation concluded that there was no breach of the corporation’s guidelines. 

But they added a disclaimer at the start of the episode to state that “outdated” language featured in the episode.

In the wake of the Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em row, the show’s history has been reanalysed.

Michael Crawford, who played Frank Spencer in the sitcom, told the BBC five years ago that you “have to be careful” with a character like that today for fear of him being “politically incorrect”. 

He used that as one of the reasons for refusing to bring his role back to TV screens apart from for a one-off Comic Relief special.

JUST IN: Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em star Michael Crawford warned not-PC character

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em ran for two series from 1973 until 1978. 

Last month another bombshell about the BBC show came to light after it was revealed that Sir David Jason was temporarily considered for a part.

He was in the running to play Crawford’s hapless and accident-prone character Frank Spencer.

However, BBC bosses wrote him off after they doubted Sir David could perform such a big part.

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Raymond Allen, one of the show’s writers, told The Telegraph about a number of actors who were lined up for the role.

He claimed some of Britain’s finest comedic stars including Norman Wisdom and Ronnie Barker both turned them down.

Mr Allen said Wisdom “didn’t see the jokes” after reading the script and Barker was “too busy” on other shows.

When the writer suggested Sir David for the part, he received a surprising response from BBC executives.

They claimed the Only Fools And Horses legend had “no star quality” and couldn’t pull off such a big part.

Mr Allen said the corporation bigwigs agreed he was talented and said: “Yes, he is funny.”

But soon after they levelled a blunt swipe at Sir David’s abilities.

They allegedly said: “But he is only funny in supporting roles, he hasn’t got star quality.”

Some Mothers Do Ave Em Sport Relief Skit

The BBC bosses told Mr Allen that Sir David would “always be a supporting actor” and nothing more. 

In the actor’s recent memoir A Del Of A Life, which came out in October, he described a number of clashes with the corporation.

He issued a warning to the BBC about blowing one of Only Fools And Horses’ funniest comedic moments.

Sir David recalled “fighting a battle on two departments” ahead of their 1996 Christmas special Heroes And Villains.

In the episode, Del and Rodney travelled to what they believed was a fancy-dress party, only to end up the butt of the joke.

They donned amusingly skimpy Batman and Robin costumes, hoping to win a prestigious prize – a £1,000 sound system – for their attire.

But, when they reached the event the celebration had been turned into a wake after the untimely death of the party’s patron.

Sir David said the BBC wanted to “get out ahead” and release the clip of them dressed as the crime-fighting duo to guarantee viewers on Christmas Day.

However, the actor fought back against the corporation’s press team by warning that revealing their outfits would have “shredded all” of the tension they had “carefully built up”.

He wrote: “Even a glimpse of Del or Rodney in those stupid costumes before the episode was broadcast, indeed at any moment… would have been ruinous.” 

Sir David noted thankfully the show “had the clout” to stop the BBC from leaking any sensitive parts of the episode. 

He added: “A picture in the paper could have spoiled it. A trailer would have killed it stone dead.”

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