David Jason eyes up return to ITV series despite being replaced by Bradley Walsh

Sir David Jason is gagging for a part in ITV’s big-budget reboot of The Darling Buds Of May.

The telly veteran has been replaced by Bradley Walsh, 61, in the upcoming remake of the much-loved series.

But Sir David, 81 – who played loveable farmer Pa Larkin in the show for its original two-year run – said: "A new version of Darling Buds? Consider me entirely in favour.

"Help yourself, Bradley. Fill your boots, son. By the way, if there’s a cameo role in need of filling… ."

But Sir David admitted the role that would be hardest for a new star to fill is Mariette Larkin – the role that made Catherine Zeta-Jones, now 51, famous.

He added: "I would say that, of all the parts in that lovely show, the hardest to fill will be that of Mariette.

"The quality that was found in Catherine Zeta-Jones will be hard to find again.

"She had that rare and indefinable commodity: ‘The camera loved her’, as they say. And the viewers followed suit."

The new version of Darling Buds, called The Larkins, will star Bridgerton actress Sabrina Bartlett, 29, as Mariette.

It will also feature The Chase host Bradley’s son Barney, 23, playing a cop in the remake of the hit comedy drama, which originally aired from 1991 to 1993.

Sir David hit back at previous reports he was against the remake and said he reckons its return will give Covid-battered Brits a boost as he thinks modern telly is more brutal.

The Only Fools And Horses veteran declared: "That show we made was pure escapism at a time when people seemed to need it. And if people needed it then, my sense is that people need it even more now.

"It’s just a fact of life that today’s programmes favour the hard-hitting, the callow, the angry.

"There’s an increasing harshness to things – not entirely, of course, but broadly speaking."

Like what you see? Then fill your boots…

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The Darling Buds of May first aired in 1991 and ran for three successful seasons, on a Sunday, until April 1993.

There were 20 episodes of the show in all and two Christmas specials as Sir David made character Pop one of the most-loved characters on TV.

Set in rural Kent, the show follows Pop, his wife Sidney – aka Ma – and their six children on their family farm.

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