Only Fools and Horses fans will be in a right Chateauneuf du Pape over the discovery of a lost album featuring show creator John Sullivan and Chas Hodges singing together.
The late Chas & Dave singer worked with John on songs for the musical version of the TV comedy before the legendary scriptwriter’s death in 2011 aged 64.
John’s son Jim resurrected the idea of taking the hit series into the theatre with Fast Show star Paul Whitehouse after he found a box of musical recordings and early scripts in a box when he was clearing out his dad’s belongings.
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Among those possessions was an album of tunes played and sung by John and Chas.
That is now thought to be in the possession of musical director Stuart Morley who helped put together the smash hit stage show which has run for over a year at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End.
Chris Bennett – who has played Del Boy in the production – said: "The musical MD on the show Stuart Morley, he’s actually got recordings of John Sullivan and Chas singing the original songs that were in the show.
"One of the songs is Where Have All The Cockneys Gone?
"John was a big fan of them and they were friends.
"John Sullivan was a fan of musicals.
"When he was alive he penned the beginning of a musical script and he got together with Chas and wrote some songs and then years later after he passed away his son found all of this up in the loft and found recordings of songs and stuff like that.
"That’s when his son Jim got Paul Whitehouse involved and said, `Look, I’ve found this of my dad’s’.
"Chas Hodges passed away before we opened and that was sad because he wrote a couple of the songs.
"It took seven years to get everything together."
Chris said it was John’s last wish to see the beloved sitcom he created end up on the West End stage.
The actor said it was a shame Margate, Rabbit and Ain’t No Pleasing You singer Chas did not get to see his songs performed in the show before his death from cancer in 2018 aged 74.
Chris said: "You’ve got some people who say about the show, `Oh, if John Sullivan was alive he’d be turning in his grave, what are they doing to Only Fools and Horses?’
"And really it was John’s last wish to see Only Fools and Horses turned into a musical, to see it on the stage as a musical, everyone loving it, everyone singing and dancing and having fun.
"For people to say, 'it’s not what John would’ve wanted', it is what John would have wanted.
"It’s a touching story.’’
Stuart had not responded to a request for comment on Tuesday night.
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