Sir David Jason’s wife tells how the couple told their ‘only child’ Sophie that he had another daughter
Sir David Jason’s wife has revealed how the couple told their ‘only child’ Sophie that her father actually had another daughter who was 30 years older than her.
The Only Fools and Horses star was shocked to discover he was the father of 52-year-old Abi Harris and the grandfather of their 10-year-old son Charlie after he had a brief affair with her mother in 1970.
After informing his now-wife, Gill Hinchcliffe, about the bombshell, the couple had the daunting task of informing 22-year-old Sophie, who had spent her entire life as their only child.
But the couple told the Mirror that after initially being met with the “massive surprise”, Sophie took the revelation with “great understanding and maturity”.
The two families are now getting to know each other better and spent their first Christmas together last year – with pictures released showing Sir David meeting Abi after a paternity test proved he is her father.
Sir David Jason was shocked to discover 52-year-old Abi Harris (pictured here with him) was his daughter
The actor previously thought he only had one daughter, 22-year-old Sophie (pictured here with Sir David and his wife Gill Hinchcliffe).
Speaking to the Mirror, Ms Hinchcliffe said: “I can only imagine what a shock it was for David and Abi to realize their new relationship and that’s why I felt very supportive of them from the start.
“It’s nice to welcome Abi into our family and I’m very happy that everyone is so understanding.
“Obviously we waited for the right moment to tell Sophie as it was a big surprise for her too.
“David undressed her and worded it beautifully and she took it all with great understanding and maturity.”
Actor David received a letter from Abi last year asking him to take the test after her suspicions grew that he was her father.
Abi is the daughter of actress Jennifer Hill, who starred in the James Bond film Octopussy and opposite Sir David in a stage production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood at the Mayfair Theater in London.
During that production, they had a brief relationship in which he fathered Abi – although he was unaware of their connection even when he appeared in a 2008 revival of Under Milk Wood starring Abi and her mother.
Friends who spotted the legendary actor and Abi standing side by side remarked on their similar facial profiles, particularly her nose, and over the years she’s encouraged herself to find out the truth.
Pictured: Abi’s mother – Jennifer Hill – and David Jason (circled) stand with the cast of Under Milk Wood at London’s May Fair Theater in 1970
The TV icon (left in The Darling Buds of May) found out Abi Harris (pictured right) was his daughter after she took a paternity test
Mrs Harris had written to Sir David asking him to take a paternity test and he agreed with the results proving he was her father.
He told the mirror: “To say it was a surprise to find out I had a daughter years ago is an understatement. I am very happy to be able to get to know Abi now and so we meet whenever possible.”
Up until last year, Sir David thought he had become a father for the first time at 61. In fact, he was 30 years old when his first child was born.
Abi, now casting director, had believed her father to be actor Geoffrey Davion, who appeared in Miss Marple and The Stars Look Down and died in 1996.
Abi’s mother is 86 and lives in Brighton.
The news came as a shock to Sir David, his wife Gill Hinchcliffe and daughter Sophie Mae, but the family say they have welcomed Abi and Charlie with open arms ever since.
Sir David married Lady Gill in 2005, four years after their child was born. Sir David previously had a long relationship with Myfanwy Talog, a Welsh actress who died of breast cancer in 1997.
Speaking to the Mirror, he said: “My wife Gill and daughter Sophie have been very supportive and understanding and have hugged Abi and welcomed her and their young son to their now larger family.”
Since the surprising discovery, Abi and Charlie have been visiting Sir David and his family and spending a period of Christmas with them at his home in Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire.
The Mirror reports that she wrote Sir David a letter asking him to take a paternity test, beginning it with a line from the Thomas play that said: ‘Start at the beginning. Or more precisely, my beginning…’
A source said the letter came as a shock to Sir David but he was touched by the request and agreed.
The insider said: “It’s a lovely letter that David saved.
“It was lighthearted but serious without being overwhelming. It was obvious that whoever wrote it was a nice person who just wanted to find out her origins. The Dylan quote was the perfect introduction.
“It was a sympathetic way of saying, ‘Get ready’.
Sir David thought he had become a father for the first time aged 61. Pictured: Sir David with his future wife Gill Hinchcliffe and their daughter Sophie in April 2001
Sir David had a brief relationship with actress Jennifer Hill (pictured here in Octopussy) in 1970, during which he fathered Abi
The comedy legend (pictured here at the Royal Albert Hall in 2022) is now trying to make up for lost time with his newfound daughter and grandson
After the bombing, the two families agreed to meet in London to find out how to move forward with this life-changing news.
Abi said: “By discovering my father’s identity, I am beginning to piece my own together.
“Of course I’m blushing and incredibly proud, but I’m often overwhelmed by the sadness of the years we’ve lost.
“After a slow start, I hope we can now make a conscious effort to see each other more often so that I can master the art of being the best big sister and build a meaningful father-daughter relationship in the truest sense of the word .”
Sir David added: “We hope we all have the privacy to continue our new relationship and get to know each other better.”
Sir David was knighted in 2005 for his services to acting and comedy. In November of that year he married Mrs. Hinchcliffe.
He began dating Ms Hinchcliffe after his longtime partner of 20 years, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, died of breast cancer in 1995 at the age of 45.
The TV star believed he was becoming a father for the first time at the age of 61, and after Sophie was born he said it was “forced on him” as he had been just focused on being successful for most of his life.
He previously said: “My life was reversed. It wasn’t fame or money, but I always wanted to be successful. I was only able to do that by trying to be better at each job than the last and by learning.
“So I had to be unattached and free from fantasies.”
One of the country’s most popular TV stars, he starred alongside Catherine Zeta Jones as Pop Larkin on The Darling Buds of May and with Ronnie Barker as Granville on Open All Hours.
He also provided the voice for Mr Toad in an adaptation of The Wind in the Willows.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11913639/Sir-David-Jasons-wife-tells-couple-told-child-Sophie-daughter.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Sir David Jason’s wife tells how the couple told their ‘only child’ Sophie that he had another daughter