Sir David Jason is reportedly caring for his on-screen Only Fools And Horses brother Nicholas Lyndhurst following his 19-year-old son’s tragic death.
Archie, 19, was found dead at the family home in West London after a short illness last month, with father Nicholas admitting he was ‘utterly grief-stricken’.
According to The Sun, Sir David, 80, has been spending time with his 59-year-old former co-star, whom he acted alongside in the classic sitcom from 1981 to 2003.
Support: Sir David Jason is reportedly caring for his on-screen Only Fools And Horses brother Nicholas Lyndhurst following his 19-year-old son’s tragic death
‘Despite no longer being on screen together, David and Nick remain very close. So, as soon as David became aware of what had happened to Archie, he was in touch with Nick.
‘He’s been in regular touch ever since and – like everyone else who cares for Nick and his family – is just trying to provide whatever support he can.
‘Nick’s heart is broken, and David is doing all he can to support him.’
MailOnline has approached a rep for comment.
Tragic: Archie, 19, was found dead at the family home in West London after a short illness last month, with father Nicholas admitting he was ‘utterly grief-stricken’
Long-term friends: According to The Sun , Sir David, 80, has been spending time with his 59-year-old former co-star, whom he acted alongside in the classic sitcom from 1981 to 2003 [pictured during a Sport Relief sketch in 2014]
David starred in the comedy as Del Boy, while Nicholas was his brother Rodney.
In an interview with Gold TV recently – whose UK Gold network airs re-runs of Only Fools And Horses – David said of the sitcom’s cast: ‘We were very much a family. That included everyone from the writer and the director to the props boy.
‘We were a family working together to try and make a success of it. We wanted to bring John Sullivan’s brilliant writing to a wider public!’
Having become household names in the BBC comedy, both have gone on to find further sitcom success, with Nicholas starring in Goodnight Sweetheart in the 1990s and Rock And Chips in 2010/11, which was in fact a prequel to Only Fools And Horses in which he played Rodney’s biological father Freddie Robdal.
Loss: Archie, 19, was found dead at his family home in Fulham, West London
Pictured: Nicholas with his wife Lucy Smith and son Archie at the National Film Awards in London in March 2017
Prior to Only Fools And Horses, Sir David acted in Open All Hours, alongside Ronnie Barker, which ended in 1985 and spawned a sequel, Still Open All Hours, which is still in production.
He is also known for crime drama A Touch Of Frost and famously starred alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones in The Darling Buds Of May.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Archie had been acting since the age of 11, and starred in the hit CBBC show So Awkward as Ollie Coulton. He was dating co-star Nethra Tilakumara.
Tribute: Archie and his girlfriend Nethra Tilakumara, wearing Batman and Robin costumes – just like his father did playing Rodney alongside Sir David Jason as Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses
Father and son: Archie appeared with his father in an episode of CBBC drama So Awkward
Archie Lyndhurst’s nine-year acting CV
- So Awkward (TV series) – 2015-2020 – Ollie Coulton
- Casualty (TV series) 2018 – Elliot Morford
- Our Ex-Wife (Tv series) – 2016 – Max
- Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (video game) – 2015 – Honoroit (voice)
- The Secret World: Issue 10 – Nightmares in the Dream Palace (video game) – 2014 – Jung (voice)
- Jack Whitehall Gets Around: Intro (short) – 2014 – Young Jack Whitehall
- Bad Education (TV series) – 2014 – Young Alfie
- Tonight at the London Palladium (TV series) – 2014 – Little Jack Whitehall
- Harry & Paul’s Story of the 2s (TV movie) – 2014 – Young Michael Gambon
- Little Crackers (TV series) – 2011 – Young Jack Whitehall
In a statement given following Archie’s death, Nicholas said: ‘[My wife] Lucy and I are utterly grief stricken and respectfully request privacy.’
Archie, from Fulham, also appeared as a young Jack Whitehall in TV’s Bad Education in 2014 and voiced a character in the video game Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward.
A BBC spokesman confirmed that Archie had ‘very sadly died after a short illness’ and Scotland Yard said his death was ‘unexplained but not suspicious’.
Only Fools And Horses star John Challis, who played Aubrey ‘Boycie’ Boyce in the show, tweeted: ‘The saddest news of all today. The death of Archie Lyndhurst, just starting out on his chosen career in acting. My heart aches for Nick and Lucy. They could not have loved him more.’
Sue Holderness, who played Boycie’s wife Marlene in the sitcom, said: ‘It is too sad to hear that Archie Lyndhurst has died. My heart goes out to his mum and dad and to all who knew him.’
The full BBC statement read: ‘We’re so sorry to have to tell you that Archie Lyndhurst, who so brilliantly played Ollie in So Awkward on CBBC, has very sadly died after a short illness.
‘Archie will be hugely missed by all who worked with him, and by all the fans who laughed along with Ollie in the show.’
Police officers and paramedics were called to his family home in Fulham on September 22 following reports of a ‘concern for welfare’.
Archie, who also had a brief role in Casualty in 2018, was declared dead at the scene in an ‘unexplained but not suspicious’ death which is not being investigated by police, who have passed a file to the coroner.
Archie’s mother Lucy replied to an Instagram post about his death by Game of Thrones star Samuel Small, writing: ‘He will love you and watch over you forever’
Scene of the tragedy: Archie was found dead on September 22 at the Lyndhurst family home in Fulham, West London
So sad: Archie with his father Nicholas in a loving photograph when he was a young boy
‘My heart aches’: Stars react to Archie’s death
‘You were the light in the room, even on a bad day, and brought all of us together’
Sophia Dall’aglio, So Awkward actress
‘You still had so much life to live and I’d give anything for you to keep on living it’
Samuel Small, So Awkward actor
‘My heart aches for Nick and Lucy. They could not have loved him more’
John Challis, Only Fools and Horses actor
‘He will be greatly missed by us all and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends at this time’
Cheryl Taylor, CBBC head of content
‘As well as hilarious, he was a generous, kind-hearted young man who we had the honour to work with on the show for seven years’
Channel X North, So Awkward production company
‘My thoughts are with his dad and mum, Nicholas and Lucy. I know just how proud they were of Archie and I cannot begin to imagine what they are going through’
Steve Clark, author of Only Fools and Horses: The Inside Stor
Archie, who had a clothing label called Fated to Pretend inspired by his skating hobby, said in an interview in March with TresA magazine: ‘I knew I wanted to be an actor when I was eight.
‘At the time, I didn’t know my dad was an actor, and he kept trying to say to me that I shouldn’t start acting. I then found out that he was an actor and said that if he can do it, I can do it as well.
‘That didn’t change anything though as he still wouldn’t let me do it. He eventually asked me why I wanted to be an actor, and I said it’s because I wanted to make people laugh.
‘He then sent me to drama school, I got my first agent, I started getting work, and now I’m here. I’m incredibly grateful for everything I’ve been given.’
In an interview with August 2015, Nicholas said: ‘I became a different person overnight when I had my son – terrified.
‘You could call me a helicopter parent, but now Archie’s 14, I’m learning to back off. The biggest casualty was probably my career. I mean that in a wonderful way.
‘I knew how to make a television programme, but didn’t know about fatherhood, so I took three years off. When I went back to work, I thought: it’s not fatherhood, is it?’
He added that when Archie told him that he wanted to be an actor, he replied: ‘I can’t offer any advice other than please don’t do it.’
But Archie said: ‘Daddy, I just want to entertain people.’
Nicholas said he told his wife: ‘If I ever hear him say the f-word – ‘famous’ – the deal’s off.’
He continued at the time: ‘He never has. He’s filming his second series for CBBC, So Awkward. I wish I’d been as good as him at his age.’
Archie’s mother Lucy wrote about him on Facebook at the time of his 18th birthday a year ago when they went for his first legal drink.
She said: ‘I can’t see me in Archie. Only Nick, but everyone says he’s a complete mix. Bless him. He’s such a sweetheart. Not sure where 18 years went. Enjoy everything and every second with your children because blink and you miss it.’
She added: ‘We are so lucky to have Archie. Our time with him has been a wonderful journey so far. With bumpy bits included of course.’