Britain Loves a EntertainmentWide boys
When in 2004 Only Fools and Horses was voted as Britain’s Greatest Ever Sitcom, it proved once and for all that we love a wide boy. Of course, John Sullivan’s tremendous writing played a part in this, but it was the performance of David Jason as Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and his dodgy Russian camcorders that struck a chord with multiple generations of Brits.
From Robin Hood to Del Boy via Minder, Private Walker from Dad’s Army and the Artful Dodger (the character from Oliver! rather than the Garage artist, obviously) Britain’s love for these loveable rogues has resulted in several nicknames. So, whether you know them as a wide boy, a spiv, a jack the lad or a wheeler-dealer, here are some of our favourites…
Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter
The undisputed king of the wide boys. So beloved by the nation that his catchphrases - from the ubiquitous ‘lovely jubbly’ and ‘plonker’ to the ridiculous ‘mange tout’ and ‘petis pois’ - have gained a permanent place in the lexicon.
Harry ‘Arry’ Redknapp
In not getting the England job and being bizarrely sacked by Tottenham, Harry Redknapp has been dealt a rough hand. But, even though he refutes his status as a wheeler-dealer, we’re sure he’ll be back on his feet in no time and telling us all how t’riffic life is.
Dominic ‘Dom’ Littlewood
The classic case of poacher turned gamekeeper. Until 2001 Littlewood was a bona fide second-hand car salesman, but now uses his expertise to hunt down wide boy burglars and counterfeiters on Cowboy Builders, Fake Britain and Don’t Get Done, Get Dom.
Terry ‘Talk To Me’ Tibbs
Whether he’s trying to buy an antique fireplace off an elderly lady in North Wales or offering over the odds for a Rolls Royce, Tibbs’ ‘Talk To Me’ sketches from his used-car office are what make Fonejacker essential viewing.
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By Owen Blackhurst