Former Only Fools And Horses star Sue Holderness says political correctness has gone too far - and modern viewers would want to lock up Del Boy.
Former Only Fools And Horses star Sue Holderness says political correctness has gone too far – and viewers now would want to lock up Del Boy.
Holderness, 69, played Marlene, Boycie’s flirtatious wife, in the famous 1980s sitcom, starring Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst.
She told the Press Association: “The very first episode, Del gave me a big hug, kissed me fondly and pinched my arse and nobody took any offence at it, except Boycie who looked daggers.
“And every time we met that would happen. It’s quite fun.”
But Holderness, who is reuniting with Sir David in the new series of BBC1 sitcom Still Open All Hours, said: “I feel sorry for men now because I don’t know how you cope.
“I don’t think you would get away with Del Boy pinching Marlene’s bottom without everybody saying, ‘He’s a pervert and that shouldn’t be allowed and he should be locked-up’.”
She said men “don’t know how to behave” now because “almost anything can be deemed inappropriate”.
“A wolf whistle isn’t supposed to be allowed now, which I think is such a pity. It has gone too far.
“I’m sure it will swing back and eventually we’ll be able to flirt away again, but at the moment I don’t think it’s possible.”
But she added: “I’m absolutely with the MeToo movement. Of course women should be paid as much as men. I’m praying that there will be more parts written for women, which is happening.
“I was paid much, much less than John Challis (Boycie) on Only Fools And Horses, and when we got to (spin-off) The Green Green Grass, the BBC did the decent thing and we got parity.”
Holderness, 69, said working with Sir David again, for the first time since 2001, felt “like putting on some old slippers” as she appears in the popular sitcom set in convenience store Arkwright’s.
“It’s like coming home. It’s been the most wonderful job,” she said.
She will appear in three episodes as a woman who is “very disappointed in love and has been very badly let down by her Italian husband, who I suspect is not her first husband”, she said.
“It’s clear that she is not planning to be single for very long.”
She said of Only Fools And Horses: “There have been people saying you could never make Only Fools And Horses now, that it was racist. It wasn’t remotely racist. Del and Rodney and all that community, there wasn’t a racist ounce in their body.”
Series five of Still Open All Hours returns on Sunday October 7 at 8.30pm on BBC One.