Del Boy's bum-pinching antics wouldn't wash today, according to Only Fools and Horses actress

British Actors Lennard Pearce; David Jason And Nicholas Lyndhurst Stars of the BBC TV comedy series ‘Only Fools and Horses’. (Photo by Photoshot/Getty Images)

Only Fools and Horses star Tessa Peake-Jones has revealed she thinks Derek Trotter’s ‘cheeky’ habit of bottom-pinching would not leave audiences of today feeling ‘lovely-jubbly’ amidst changing standards and the MeToo movement – but insists it is a positive thing.

In an interview with Mirror showbiz editor Jessica Boulton, the 61-year-old actress said: “I think now, if programmes were made, they wouldn’t have people pinching people’s bottoms because that would not be acceptable, and I would say that’s a very good thing because, as women, we’ve put up with rather a lot over the years – of us not being able to say anything for fear of being sacked or whatever.

“You have to say it’s progress.”

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However, the actress, who played Raquel, the wife of cockney wideboy Del Boy Trotter for more than fifteen years, urges fans not to judge the iconic sitcom by the standards of today.

David Jason and Tessa Peake-Jones

She explained: “It’s like a period drama. Those things were acceptable then. It was a different world.

“My friends and I regularly had people flashing us on the Tube, manhandling you, doing a little bit of touching… all those things that in the 70s and 80s were a little more acceptable.

“You didn’t make as much fuss about them because they were part of life. But now you would. Our children’s generation wouldn’t accept it.

“I wish we had all been like that in our 20s.”

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Only Fools and Horses ran between 1981 and 2003, it’s popularity embedding itself in to British Culture. But Tessa, who has starred in Grantchester, Holby City and Midsomer Murders, has also revealed there is not chance of an new episodes of the classic comedy, after the show’s writer, John Sullivan died in 2011. She said: “Without him there is no programme so it will never happen now.

“Being on the show was a huge privilege. Yet I think it’s also nice to look back at things when they were good, rather than try to recapture them years later.”