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Legend is Sir Del Boy

11 June 2005, By CHARLES RAE, KATHRYN LISTER and JEROME STARKEY, The Sun

TELLY favourite David Jason celebrated his knighthood last night — with a bottle of lovely bubbly.

And the star, adored by millions as dodgy Only Fools And Horses trader Del Boy, told The Sun: “It’ll be great to see the Queen. I can tell her, ‘Well done darlin’, the Trotters love you’.”

Sir David, 65 — famed for Del’s catchphrase Lovely Jubbly — said after his glittering honour was announced: “What a bloody surprise, I’m delighted and overwhelmed.

“Getting Fools and Horses was quite something, but this is the topper. I never thought this would happen — I haven’t done landed gentry very often.”

Speaking at his £1million home in Aylesbury, Bucks, the actor vowed to pop open the champagne to celebrate being dubbed “Sir”.

He added: “It’s a great honour, I haven’t quite got over it yet.

“My wife Gill told my four-year-old daughter Sophie Mae she’d have to call me Sir. But she said, ‘I want to call you Daddy’ — so that’s how I’m put in my place.

“I shall treat it with reserve. I don’t think anyone in TV has got this honour before me. Family and friends think it’s hilarious and will be calling me ‘Sir’ right, left and centre!”

Sir David receives his knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Her Majesty is known to be a massive fan of Fools And Horses, penned by top writer John Sullivan.

The actor, son of a Billingsgate fish porter, won his award for bringing to life Del Boy and a host of other characters, including maverick copper Jack Frost in ITV’s A Touch of Frost.

His career took off playing put-upon shop assistant Granville in Ronnie Barker’s Open All Hours in 1973.

He went on to appear in Porridge, but achieved legendary status as wideboy Del, whose Reliant Robin was emblazoned with the words Trotters Independent Trading Co.

The smash-hit show began in 1981 and ran for 22 years till 2003.

Sir David, recently voted Sun readers’ best-loved telly star, already has a stack of gongs.

As well as an OBE, he is a three-time Best Actor winner at the National Television Awards and holds a Bafta Fellowship.

Yesterday, The Sun celebrated his knighthood by sending Del Boy lookalike Maurice Canham to pay his respects at the Palace.

Maurice, 56, of Banbury. Oxfordshire, loaded his Reliant Robin with top-notch watches, mobile phones and medals for the Royal Household.

He posed with a guardsman outside the London residence, sporting Del’s trademark cigar, cap and camelhair coat.

And in true Trotter style, he had to PUSH his rickety three-wheeler down the Mall.

Maurice welcomed the star’s knighthood. He said: “He’s the creme-de-la-menthe of actors, isn’t he?”