Iconic sitcom Only Fools and Horses burst back for a festive special in 2001 and with it launched child actor Ben Smith’s career starring alongside David Jason’s Del Boy as his troublesome son Damien Trotter.
And two decade since the show aired Smith has appears virtually unrecognisable from his younger self in the TV role which catapulted him into the acting world.
The festive shows saw Damien — a chip off the old block — always had a knack of winding up his uncle Rodney and got up to lots of mischief.
Despite his antics and Rodney comparing to the spawn of Satan thanks to his namesake in The Omen films, Damien’s parents doted on him.
Ben Smith told at Only Fools fan convention he was proud to be one of seven actors playing Damien explaining: “I think Damien is a modern young Del Boy perhaps that we never actually saw growing up but all the references we get from the show from when he was younger he seemed like a real ‘jack the lad’.
“So I’d imagine that Damien is a modern young version keeping up-to-date with gangster rap and all that culture.”
Ben also said the fan base from the show is still huge despite him going on to star in multiple shows since his days in Peckham.
Now 32, Ben’s notched up a career appearing in Teachers, The Bill, Help! I’m a Teenage Outlaw, Misfits, Doctor Who, Holby City, and Goodnight Mister Tom to name but a few.
He also played Reece Keys in the movie Passer By alongside the actor James Nesbitt.
But his return to Damien Trotter character’s stomping ground saw him cast as Tegs Teague in EastEnders.
He appeared as the main leader of a gang called “the E20” who stole from the market, harassed Dot Branning, and tried to verbally abuse Shirley Carter.
During four episodes in 2008, Tegs wreaked havoc in Albert Square and eventually stabbed Jay Brown before getting arrested.
In 2015, Ben appeared in an episode of Manchester crime drama No Offence, as well as playing a soldier in the TV short Native.
He later starred in the movie Come Out of the Woods in 2017 which follows three brothers struggling in Scotland.
Most recently Ben played the role of Robbie Lennox in the series Resistance in 2019, which is the sequel series to the 2016 series Rebellion, and set during the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland.
Resistance, a glossy RTE television drama that blends real and fictional characters, has shone a contemporary light on the guerrilla campaign led by Michael Collins that helped overthrow British rule in what became the Republic of Ireland a century ago.
Other notable TV and movie appearances include Silent Witness (2007), Nowhere Boy (2009), Whitechapel (2012), Scott & Bailey (2013), The Accused in 2010 to 2012 and many more
Meanwhile fans of Only Fools And Horses welcomed the stage show’s return to the West End in October after it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The comeback was dedicated to late star of the show John Challis, who played Boycie on the series, after he died aged 79 in September last year following a battle with cancer.