What a lot of people have come out to see us, Marlene!

13/11/2011 (RS)  A Only Fools and Horses convention took place at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth on Sunday 13th November 2011.  Pictured is: Actor and actress John Challis (Boycie) and Sue Holderness (Marlene) signing autographs at the convention.  Picture: Sarah Standing (114045-9157)
13/11/2011 (RS) A Only Fools and Horses convention took place at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth on Sunday 13th November 2011. Pictured is: Actor and actress John Challis (Boycie) and Sue Holderness (Marlene) signing autographs at the convention. Picture: Sarah Standing (114045-9157)

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IT HAS been 30 years since Only Fools and Horses first had the nation in stitches.

But the antics of characters like Del Boy, Rodney, Trigger, Boycie and Marlene never grow old.

And that’s why hundreds of fans queued for hours to meet some of their heroes at a convention dedicated to the sitcom at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth yesterday.

John Challis, who played Boycie, and Sue Holderness who starred as his long-suffering wife Marlene were among the actors at the show.

Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played Trigger, was also there.

He said: ‘I don’t remember it being this popular when we were doing it. It’s a real testament to the power of the show – specially 30 years after it started and five years after it ended. I don’t think any show has been this popular for so long.’

Gwyneth Strong, who played Rodney’s love interest Cassandra, added: ‘I think it’s amazing. It’s a testament to the success of the show. It’s amazing to see all these different people of all different walks of life and all different ages.’

The convention was especially poignant because it came after the death of the show’s writer, John Sullivan, earlier this year.

Tessa Peake-Jones, who played Raquel, said: ‘It’s amazing how many people turned up. It’s a great tribute to John Sullivan.’

There was a huge range of memorabilia for fans to snap up including mugs, books, and an Only Fools and Horses themed monopoly game.

Fans had the chance to pose in the Trotters’ living room, alongside lookalikes of Del Boy and Uncle Albert.

Perry Aghajonoff has organised the conventions since they started.

‘This is our 14th year and it’s by far the biggest,’ he said. I’m absolutely astounded how the people of Portsmouth have taken the show to their hearts. I can’t believe the response. It’s absolutely amazing.’

Dave Heather, 43, of Hilsea Crescent in Hilsea, said: ‘It’s brilliant. It’s the best thing to ever happen.’

‘I’m a big fan. It’s just one of those programmes that took off. It’s nice to meet the stars of the show.’