Only Fools And Horses actor Michael Jayston dies aged 88

Michael Jayston in Only Fools and Horses.
Michael Jayston is best known for appearing in Only Fools And Horses. Credit: BBC

Michael Jayston, who appeared in Only Fools And Horses, has died aged 88 after "a short illness", his agent said on Monday.

A statement from his agent M&M Famous Faces said: "It is with great sadness that I have been asked by his family to share the news Michael Jayston sadly passed away this morning after a short illness.

"Those who knew Michael will know he was full of love, laughs and happiness. He adored meeting his fans all over the world.

"His family and friends would appreciate privacy at this time."

The Nottingham-born British actor played the father of Rachel "Raquel" Turner (Tessa Peake-Jones), love interest of Derek "Del Boy" Trotter (Sir David Jason) in the BBC sitcom.

In the episode Time On Our Hands, antiques dealer James tells Del Boy and his brother Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) that a watch in their garage was made by clockmaker John Harrison and is worth a fortune - leading to an auction where they become millionaires.

Jayston's other acting credits include Nicholas II of Russia, in the 1970s historical film Nicholas And Alexandra, and Edward Rochester in a 1970s TV adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre.

The former movie, which was about the last days of the tsars in Russia and the relationship between the ruler and his wife Alexandra (Dame Janet Suzman), also featured Doctor Who star Tom Baker as Grigori Rasputin and Lord Laurence Olivier.

In the ITV soap Emmerdale, from 2007 to 2008, Jayston played the husband of Nicola King (Nicola Wheeler) before his character died within a year of moving to the Yorkshire village.

He also appeared in 1990s ITV police comedy drama The Good Guys with Coronation Street actor Nigel Havers and Call The Midwife actress Jenny Agutter.

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