David Jason recalls incident with heavy sugar cube prop on 70s tea ad that 'nearly ended career'

Amy Johnson
·2 min read
Sir David Jason attends Cirque du Soleil's "LUZIA" at Royal Albert Hall on January 15, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Sir David Jason attends Cirque du Soleil's "LUZIA" at Royal Albert Hall on January 15, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Sir David Jason has said a 1977 ad he did for PG Tips could've spelled the end of his career due to a heavy prop almost falling on him.

The Only Fools and Horses star appeared on This Morning on Thursday where he chatted to hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield about the near-miss.

The ad saw Jason jump into a giant cup of tea complete with huge tea bags and sugar lumps. He revealed the sugar cubes used in the commercial had to be made heavier because they originally did not sink into the water when thrown in.

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David Jason starred in an ad for PG Tips in 1977. (ITV)
David Jason starred in an ad for PG Tips in 1977. (ITV)

"That nearly ended my career, that. Because they had the props guys up on a gantry, throwing that sugar cube, giant sugar cube, down onto me or into the teacup if it were.

"The first two or three times we did it, it wasn’t heavy enough, because it wouldn’t sink. So you had this sugar lump that came in and just stood there for a minute or two," the 80-year-old explained.

“The director kept saying ‘make it heavier, make it heavier’. So eventually it took about four props boys to lift this sugar cube like this, and they dropped it.

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“It went past and touched my nose as it went through into the teacup. Well that could have very nearly, had it hit me on the head, it would have been ‘David Jason killed by sugar cube’ which wouldn’t have been a very good epitaph," he joked.

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Jason's appearance on the programme came as he promoted his new autobiography, A Del of a Life.

Nicholas Lyndhurst (right) and David Jason in a pub scene from episode 'Little Problems' of the BBC Television sitcom 'Only Fools and Horses', circa 1989. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)
Nicholas Lyndhurst (right) and David Jason in a pub scene from episode 'Little Problems' of the BBC Television sitcom 'Only Fools and Horses', circa 1989. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)

The star played the character of Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter on Only Fools and Horses from 1981 to 2003.

His other notable projects include The Darling Buds of May, A Touch of Frost and Open All Hours.