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Only Fools and Horses actor Patrick Murray cancels bus trip from Sheppey to Margate

By John Nurden

Seventy disappointed Del Boy fans were left in the lurch when Only Fools and Horses actor Patrick Murray had to pull out of a bus trip from Sheppey to Margate.

The Kent actor, who played Mickey Pearce in the popular BBC1 comedy series, was set to recreate the Jolly Boys Outing to mark the 29th anniversary of the episode.

But last week he was diagnosed with the breathing disease COPD and had to abandon the fundraising jaunt for Demelza Hospice for Children which is based in Sittingbourne.

Only Fools and Horses' stars David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Lennard Pearce as Grandad with their trademark three-wheeler. Picture: BBC
Only Fools and Horses' stars David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Lennard Pearce as Grandad with their trademark three-wheeler. Picture: BBC

Spokesman Mark Neale said: "Pat was really disappointed to let so many people down but he is having treatment and is hoping to arrange it again later in the year."

The ticket-only junket has a new provisional date of Saturday, October 27 and will have a Halloween theme.

The original episode followed Del Boy and Rodney Trotter's day trip to Margate.

Kent actor Patrick Murray, who played Mickey Pearce in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses, was to recreate the Jolly Boys Outing to Margate from Sheppey. Picture: BBC
Kent actor Patrick Murray, who played Mickey Pearce in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses, was to recreate the Jolly Boys Outing to Margate from Sheppey. Picture: BBC

But instead of setting off from Peckham, an open-top double-decker red London Routemaster bus was due to leave the Paradise Club in Leysdown on Saturday morning.

It was to have coincided with Patrick's return to TV following an appearance on Loose Women with fellow actor John Challis, who played Boycey.

Patrick, 61, from Higham, said: "Demelza is a local charity for me and and one which everyone involved in this recreation felt is a great cause."

Kent actor Patrick Murray who played Mickey Pearce in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses was to recreate the Jolly Boys Outing to from Sheppey to Margate
Kent actor Patrick Murray who played Mickey Pearce in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses was to recreate the Jolly Boys Outing to from Sheppey to Margate

He added: "The organisers have links with the Paradise Club which agreed to host a pre-trip breakfast and then a buffet and fundraising auction in the evening."

He was planning to return to his Mickey Pearce character to recreate the classic journey along the M2 and Thanet Way to the seaside with a host of anecdotes from the series.

The charabanc was due to return to Leysdown for a buffet followed by an auction of Only Fools and Horses souvenirs, signed memorabilia from 1980s snooker star Jimmy White and Dreamland family passes.

Jolly Boys outing poster
Jolly Boys outing poster

All tickets were sold out.

Mr Neale said: "It is frustrating but Pat's health comes first. We contacted everyone and they were very understanding. It proved so popular we are looking at adding another bus next time."

The actor, who married his wife Anong, 36, in Pattaya, Thailand in 2016, also has a two-year-old daughter, Josie.

Last year they were dragged into a visa row after the Home Office denied his wife and daughter's application to come to the UK.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

It mainly affects middle-aged people or the elderly, particularly those who smoke.

The breathing problems tend to get gradually worse over time and can limit your normal activities, although treatment can help keep the condition under control.

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