Written and created by John Sullivan, the BBC’s Only Fools and Horses is set in a Peckham tower block. It centres on wheeling, dealing market trader Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter, his hapless younger brother Rodney and their futile attempts to get rich. Their dodgy plans are doomed to failure, and inevitably back-fire.
- Del: (on Grandad’s cooking) Tough? It’s the toughest chicken I’ve ever known. It’s asked for a fight in the car park twice!
- Del: Here, Boyce. You know this car’s a GTI. If you rearrange the number plates, you got yourself a personalised number plate!
- (Del & Trigger are trying to get into a council tip):
Del: You said it was open twenty four hours a day.
Trigger: Yeah, but not at night!
- Trigger: It’s Mozart’s Concerto in D Major. The karaoke version.
- Rodney: My mum’s left me, my wife doesn’t love me and some bastard’s nicked my bike!
- Del: Right lovely jubbly. So how do the French say ‘à l’Orange’ then?
- Denzil: Trigger, if I go in there and tell the truth, Del and Rodney’ll spend the next five years sharpening Jeffrey Archer’s pencils!
- Trigger: If it’s a girl they’re calling her Sigourney after an actress, and if it’s a boy they’re naming him Rodney after Dave.
- Boycie: I’ve left my Mercedes parked downstairs and you know what they’re like on this estate. They’d have the wheels off a Jumbo if it flew too low.
- Albert: (About Rodney) You could appeal to his common sense.
Del: Oh, yeah? Then after lunch I’ll go out and find Shergar!
One of the most memorable scenes – laugh again at the brilliant, classic moment when Del falls through the bar:
More About The Show
Only Fools and Horses ran for seven series between 1981 and 1991, with occasional Christmas specials until 2003. Critically and popularly acclaimed, the show has won numerous awards, and was voted Britain’s best sitcom in a 2004 poll.
The series stars David Jason as Del Boy and Nicholas Lyndhurst as Rodney. Lennard Pearce played their grandfather (later replaced by Buster Merryfield as Uncle Albert).
The episodes chronicle the pair’s highs and lows as they sell illegal goods from Russian Army camcorders to sex dolls filled with explosive gas.
The humour lies in the catchphrases, the relationship between Del and Rodney, their endless scrapes and the contrast between Del’s pretensions (‘This time next year we could be millionaires!’) and the reality – the grubby three-wheeler van, and regular watering hole, the Nag’s Head pub.
Another strength lies in the supporting cast, including pub regulars like used-car salesman Boycie, his flirty wife Marlene, spivvy Micky Pearce, lorry-driver Denzil, dozy roadsweeper Trigger, and pub landlord Mike.
Del and Rodney both eventually find long-term love, thanks to Raquel (Tessa Peake-Jones) and Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong) respectively. Both brothers also became parents themselves, and the Trotters finally do become millionaires – only to lose their fortune all over again.