JUST back from a press launch and the end of an era.
Sir David Jason told us tonight that he is quitting his role as Detective Inspector Jack Frost.
He will play the iconic character for the final time next year after over 40 episodes of ITV’s A Touch of Frost.
David, 68, said the moment had come to hand in his police badge and retire the oldest detective on British television.
“It’s time to move on. Frost is getting a little long in the tooth – it’s time for Frost to hang up his coat and scarf.”
I asked him why he was planning his last ever case.
He replied: “You wouldn’t want me to play Frost in a wheelchair, would you?
“A sad day for us all,” he added after a screening at a central London hotel.
“One doesn’t want to go on and on. You don’t want to outlive your welcome.”
Three new episodes of A Touch of Frost will be screened from next month followed by a final two-part film in 2009.
The script for that has yet to be written, but David said Frost – one of the most popular detectives on TV – would probably not be killed off.
“Perhaps he just retires gracefully, gets the gold watch and walks away from Denton nick, tears all round.
“He just hangs up his hat.”
A Touch of Frost was first screened in 1992 and has been at the top of the TV ratings ever since.
David said he had come to the conclusion that Frost should retire and television bosses had agreed.
An ITV spokesman said the character would be given “a dramatic and fitting send-off”.
But the Only Fools and Horses star insisted he had no plans to retire from acting.
“Hopefully not. I want to be able to do things I believe in – but I’m not going to just stay on and do just anything.”
He is also to star in a new ITV1 drama project called Albert’s Memorial, which follows the story of three World War II veterans.
That’s due to go into production this autumn for screening in 2009.
Check out the audio link below to hear David talking at tonight’s event.
David Jason (Audio File)