Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ashleigh Rainbird & Katherine Heslop

Poignant fear prompted David Jason's unknown daughter to find out who her dad was

Sir David Jason's unknown daughter was prompted to reach out to the Only Fools and Horses star over fears of genetic health conditions.

The Mirror exclusively revealed yesterday that Sir David, 83, has made the jaw-dropping discovery that he has a 52-year-old he knew nothing about for her whole life, and a ten year-old grandson.

And Sir David said once he, wife Lady Gill White, 62, and 22-year-old daughter Sophie got over the bombshell news, they welcomed Abi Harris and son Charlie into their family with open arms.

The Open All Hours star had a brief relationship with Abi Harris' mum, actor Jennifer Hill, resulting in Abi being born in 1970.

Jennifer was married to screen star Geoffrey Davion, who appeared in Miss Marple and The Stars Look Down, and Abi believed he was her father until his death in 1996.

Abi started to suspect Sir David was her biological father after hearing about his time with Jennifer and then realising she had the same shaped nose as him.

The actor felt reluctant to broach such a sensitive subject for many years afterwards, though it played on her mind often.

Sir David and his family have welcomed Abi with open arms (Mirrorpix)

But it was watching her son Charlie grow, and fearing there could be a line of her family’s hereditary health conditions she knew nothing about, that finally compelled her to act.

Abi decided to write Sir David a letter, opening with a line from the Dylan Thomas play, Under Milk Wood, which he and Jennifer Hill starred in together.

In 2008, Jennifer and Sir David reunited for a revival of Under Milk Wood, which also starred Abi.

It would be another five years before Abi started to suspect Sir David could be her real father, after conversations with Jennifer.

In the letter, she told Sir David of her hunch and asked him if he would take a paternity test.

The letter naturally came as a shock to Sir David, who became a father to Sophie at the age of 61 in 2001.

But rather than being horrified, he was sympathetic to Abi’s request.

A source said: “It’s a lovely letter, which David has kept.

“It was light-hearted but serious, without being overwhelming. It was obvious whoever had written it was a nice person who just wanted to find out her heritage."

Sir David agreed to take the paternity test but it still came as a surprise to everyone when it showed he was Abi’s father.

The family met up at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, Central London, to discuss how to connect.

Sir David said: “To say it was a surprise to find out I had a daughter from years ago is an understatement.

“However, on settling with the news, I am delighted that I am now able to get to know Abi and so we meet up when we can.

“My wife, Gill, and daughter, Sophie, have been very supportive and understanding and have embraced Abi and welcomed her and her young son into her now wider family.”

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.