Only Fools And Horses actor Lennard Pearce once shook hands with the most hated man in history, Adolf Hitler, and regrets not killing him on the spot.
His co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst has revealed that Pearce, who famously played Granddad in the iconic BBC comedy, met the Nazi leader when he toured Europe as a young actor during the 1930s, and recalled later in life that he wished he could have changed the course of history by shooting the homicidal dictator.
The one-in-a-million meeting took place when Pearce was in his early 20s, and he later told relatives and friends – including Lyndhurst who played Rodney in the classic sitcom – that he was gutted he missed the opportunity to make a difference.
Lyndhurst said: “He was a young actor touring Europe and they were playing some German city and the Nazis walked in.
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“The top honchos of the Nazi party had seen the play and came to congratulate them afterwards. Lennard shook hands with Adolf Hitler.”
Lennard played the curmudgeonly granddad of Del Boy and Rodney for four series of the sitcom, before his death in 1984 at the age of 69.
Lyndhurst added: “He only ever told me once, but he said, ‘Had I known then what I know now, I would have drawn the pistol from one of the bodyguards and I’d have done my best to kill him.’”
The anecdode was recalled in ‘The Story of Only Fools And Horses’, which is set to air on Dave on Tuesday (Oct 3) night.
Steve Clark, the author of Only Fools and Horses – The Official Inside Story, added: “We’re used to hearing Uncle Albert’s stories about his rather dubious wartime service in the navy, but it’s incredible that Lennard Pearce actually met Hitler during his rise to power and could have put a stop to him before he was able to do so much evil.”