ITV Catchphrase's Stephen Mulhern's 'Del Boy' childhood helping market trader dad

Stephen Mulhern spent his youth 'looking out for the police' for his market seller father
-Credit: (Image: BANG Showbiz.)

Stephen Mulhern has revealed that he spent his childhood "looking out for the police" for his market trader father. The 47-year-old 'Catchphrase' host shared that he and his brothers would keep an eye out for the authorities while their dad sold goods on the streets of London, drawing a comparison between themselves and the characters from 'Only Fools and Horses', Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter and his younger brother Rodney.

Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said: "My dad was a flypitcher on Petticoat Lane in east London. If you're not sure what a flypitcher is, my dad was Del Boy from 'Only Fools and Horses' and I was Rodney. We'd be up at the crack of dawn, with dad selling novelty toys or those slice-and-dice vegetable choppers me and my brothers looking out for the police."

"Dad would let me have a go on the stall, and that's where I learnt how to perform in front of the hardest kind of audience: real people." At the age of 11, Stephen developed a fascination with magic, which led him to become a Redcoat entertainer at Butlin's when he was 17.

The 'Deal or No Deal' host emphasised that he "didn't get into magic to be cool", but rather because of his passion for it. He continued: "Magic is still a huge part of my life. I do a season at Butlin's every summer, honing my magic skills. Even if I'm going shopping, I'll have a pack of cards in my pocket. And if someone stops for a chat or a selfie I'll try out a new trick."

"What with your David Blaines and your Dynamos, magic has acquired a certain amount of cool. But I didn't get into magic to be cool, I did it because I loved it."

"Other kids watched 'Match of the Day' and got into football, I watched Paul Daniels and decided to learn magic. And it was the magic that led me to be a Redcoat at Butlin's. It gave me a career."