Raquel Turner deserved a medal for putting up with Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter for all those years.
Not only did Raquel stand by her man throughout their journey to become millionaires, but she also supported their transition back into wheeler dealers after he lost their cash on the Central American stock market.
Actress Tessa Peake-Jones played the iconic role of Raquel Turner in the much-loved BBC sitcom between 1988 and 2003.
And she’s probably one of the most recognisable faces in British comedy history.
The 64-year-old is famed for her Only Fools character, a television show that has entertained a nation for decades, but what else has she been up to since the final episode aired 18 years ago?
Let’s take a look at the life of Tessa Peake-Jones away from the small screen.
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Tessa’ s rise to fame
Hailing from West London, Tessa grew up in Hammersmith and attended the Kenmore Park Junior School, Harrow and Downer Grammar School, now known as Canons High School, before training at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Before Tessa arrived in Peckham as Raquel she was already an established actor on British television.
According to IMDB, her first credited acting role was as Sonia Jackson (no, not the EastEnders one!) in a series called Fallen Hero back in 1978.
One year later she was playing the re-occurring character of Elizabeth Cowley in Telford’s Change and also Angela Hortin in The Danedyke Mystery.
In 1980, she portrayed Miss Mary Bennet in Pride and Prejudice before playing parts in the series The Bell, Bergerac, Cockles, Strangers and Brothers, Charters, and Caldicott – amongst other roles.
Then in 1988, Tessa was cast as Raquel for the Dates episode of Only Fools and Horses.
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Tessa was in a very long-term relationship with actor Douglas Hodge from 1984 and they share two children, a son, Charlie, and a daughter, Mollie Rose.
The couple once starred alongside each other in the Only Fools Christmas special, Heroes and Villians, which aired in 1996.
The episode opens with Rodney’s futuristic dream where his ‘evil’ nephew Damien is all grown-up and heads up the very powerful Trotters Independent Traders, who rule the Western world.
This particular scene is set in the year 2026 and Damien Trotter is now declaring war on China from their headquarters Trotters Towers.
The ‘evil’ adult Damien, Del Boy and Raquel’s son, is played by actor Douglas Hodge – who is actually now a Hollywood movie regular.
The 61-year-old has starred in London’s Burning (1988), Spooks (2005), Skins (2010), Outnumbered (2010) and Black Mirror (2017) – to name a few.
Douglas has played many movie roles during his successful acting career, including Dan in The Descent Part 2 (2009), Sir Robert Loxley in Robin Hood (2010), Paul Burrell in Diana (2013), and Alfred Pennyworth in Joker (2019).
But sadly it wasn’t meant to be for Tessa and Douglas and they called time on their relationship in 2013 and announced they had split.
Tessa has yet to confirm any new romance and tends to keep her relationships out of the public eye.
Life after Raquel Turner and net worth
During her time on Only Fools and Horses Tessa also appeared in a long list of other television shows, and movies, including Up the Garden Path (1990), So Haunt Me (1992-94), The Demon Headmaster (1996-98), and Waking the Dead (2001).
After Only Fools’ final episode, Sleepless in Peckham, aired in 2003 the only way was up for Tessa as she continues to carve out a very successful acting career.
She’s played major parts in some of the UK’s most popular dramas such as ITV’s Unforgotten, Midsomer Murders, Marchlands, Doctor Who and Holby City.
Most recently she’s portraying Mrs. Maguire in ITV’s Grantchester which is a detective drama, set in the 1950s.
According to Celeb-net worth, Tessa Peake-Jones is worth over £2 million.
*Grantchester currently airs on ITV at 9pm every Friday
Want more on Only Fools and Horses? Click here.