David Jason to star in new BBC comedy

Wednesday 13th April 2011, 11:59am

David Jason.Sir David Jason, the star of classic sitcoms including Only Fools And Horses and Open All Hours, is to appear in a brand new comedy series for BBC One about a royal protection officer.

In The Royal Bodyguard, Jason will play Captain Guy Hubble, a lifelong soldier coming up for retirement who has recently been put in charge of Royal security. An ex-guardsman who saw action in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, he sounds perfect for the job. Unfortunately, he turns out to be the worst possible appointment as he is totally out of his depth.

Captain Hubble should never have got the job, having previously worked in the car park at Buckingham Palace, but owing to a terrible misunderstanding, he's been promoted with the Queen's blessing to this important role. Now the fate of the Royal Family is in the hands of this walking disaster as he supervises security arrangements for all their engagements.

The role appears not dissimilar to Jason's 1974 sitcom The Top Secret Life Of Edgar Briggs, in which he played the title character, a somewhat hapless, error-prone individual transferred to the Secret Intelligence Service due to an administrative mistake. The 13-part series has never been released on DVD.

The Royal Bodyguard has been written by Mark Bussell and Justin Sbresni, creators of The Worst Week Of My Life. It will be produced by [z]Hat Trick Productions], the company that makes new BBC Two comedy Episodes, hit family sitcom Outnumbered, The Armstrong & Miller Show sketch show and Have I Got News For You, amongst others.

David Jason says: "I am really looking forward to working with the very talented producer Jimmy Mulville, and working on a great comedy project with the BBC. It will be good to have a laugh again!"

BBC One boss Danny Cohen adds: "I am absolutely delighted to welcome David Jason back to a leading comedy role on BBC One. David is a hugely talented performer and much loved by British viewers. When I read the script I knew he would be perfect for this role."

BBC commissioner Cheryl Taylor says: "I couldn't be more thrilled that one of our most celebrated and talented comedy actors will be entertaining audiences again on BBC One. Mark and Justin have written a brilliant vehicle for David Jason and I can't wait to see the finished product."

Executive Producer Jimmy Mulville, the boss of Hat Trick, reveals: "When Cheryl Taylor got behind this brilliant script by Mark Bussell and Justin Sbresni and Danny Cohen suggested David Jason for the starring role, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!"

The Royal Bodyguard will be filmed in July, and it is expected to be broadcast on BBC One towards the end of the year, or in early 2012.

The sitcom will see David Jason take on his first major new BBC comedy character for 20 years. The Only Fools And Horses star has in recent years mainly concentrated on more dramatic roles, including playing a detective in ITV crime drama A Touch of Frost. Comedy-wise, Jason recently appeared in a number of Sky1 light-hearted comedy dramas based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, and starred in Albert's Memorial, a one-off comedy drama for ITV last September.

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