Tessa Peake-Jones and Gwyneth Strong's kids are new Raquel and Cassandra
14 November 2018 - 5:00 PM

Tessa Peake-Jones and Gwyneth Strong's kids are new Raquel and Cassandra

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Tessa Peake-Jones and Gwyneth Strong's daughters have become the new Raquel Turner and Cassandra Trotter.

The "Only Fools and Horses" stars shot to fame as the two characters on the popular sitcom, and while it came to an end in December 2003, the pair have remained good pals and their offspring also get on well with one another.

Gwyneth - who has son Oscar, 30, and daughter Lottie, 27, with "Footballers" Wives" star Jesse Birdsall - said: "We're great friends, and our daughters are great friends.

"We've gone through so much together, it's a really, really long time.

"We went in as the two new women so we were clinging to each other. It was intimidating.

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"That really bonded us I think. It became so inclusive."

Despite being good friends, Gwyneth admitted she and Tessa don't necessarily have a lot in common, as while she came into the show in 1989 as a huge fan, Tessa - who made her debut as Raquel in 1988 - had never seen the programme, which began in 1981.

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Tessa - who has daughter, Mollie, 27, and son Charlie, 18, with ex-partner Douglas Hodge, who played the adult version of Damien Trotter in "Only Fools" episode "Heroes and Villains" - said: "I was probably the only person in the country who had never watched the programme.

"I was completely oblivious to the entire thing.

"I just did it because the script was amazing, and the character was fantastic, and I'd heard people say, "It's a really funny show." "

Speaking in a joint interview on "Loose Women, Gwyneth added: "We're great friends but we're opposite in many ways.

"My family loved the show and we watched it loads. I went for my meeting after I had my son."

"Loose Women" panellist Saira Khan admitted one of her favourite things about the sitcom - which was created and written by John Sullivan, who passed away in 2011 aged 64 - was the "inclusivity" of the show.

Speaking to the pair, she said: "With your presence you made it more family viewing. I remember watching with my family, and obviously we're an Asian family, but we felt we were watching our friends, it was because you were so inclusive you actually represented everyone's communities.

"It was so lovely. There were probably a few politically incorrect statements, but we were laughing along.

"What was it, Mr. Singh with the turban? The Turbanator."

"Only Fools" ran for seven series and 16 special episodes from 1981 and 2003, and told the story of the lives of market trader brothers Derek "Del Boy" Trotter (Sir David Jason) and Rodney Trotter (Nicholas Lyndhurst), whose main aim in life was to become millionaires.

They achieved their goal in the 1996 Christmas special episode "Time on Our Hands", which still holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode after 24.3 million tuned in to see the magical moment their Harrison pocket watch fetched £6.1 million at auction.

Sadly, they lost the money due to bad investments in the Central American Markets, but returned to their Peckham flat for a further three festive specials, "If They Could See Us Now", "Strangers on the Shore" and the final ever episode, "Sleepless in Peckham", which aired on Christmas Day 2003.

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