Jason: I looked like Billy Bunter

Sir David Jason piled on the pounds playing Pop Larkin

Sir David Jason has joked that he "ended up looking like Billy Bunter" because he had to eat so much when he was shooting The Darling Buds Of May.

The 73-year-old actor played Pop Larkin in the 90s television series and admitted to Reader's Digest that all the meal time scenes meant he piled on the pounds.

He said: "I ate a great deal during The Darling Buds Of May - in our rural idyll we lived in the land of plenty.

"One time I had to eat some fish. But it couldn't be just a normal bit of fish, it had to be half a haddock that took up the whole plate. So I tucked in. When we had to shoot the scene again, the cry went out, 'Another haddock!' and I had to eat that too. By the time we'd finished filming that scene I'd eaten at least four bloody haddocks. And that was quite healthy. Imagine how often we did that with bacon, eggs, chips, beans and toast.

"I ended up looking like Billy Bunter."

Discussing his life and career in an article called I Remember, the actor also revealed he had plenty of happy memories of his time on Only Fools And Horses, explaining the cast used to " laugh all the time".

" One time Nick Lyndhurst and I kept falling about so much that we couldn't shoot the scene," he recalled. "The director got exasperated with us, shouting, 'Now come along! You're supposed to be actors but you're behaving like children.'

"If you watch closely in a few of the episodes, we can be seen cracking up in a most unprofessional manner."

:: The December issue of Reader's Digest is out now. More details at www.readersdigest.co.uk.

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