As Del Boy flogs cutlery to the local market crowd, Rodney spots an attractive woman, and abandons his lookout position to talk to her. But Trigger is there to help Del get away from the police. At Sid's cafe, the woman introduces herself to Rodney as Lady Victoria Marsham Hales. She also mentions that she lives in Covington House, Upper Stanameer, Berkshire, and that her mother died in a skiing accident nine years ago when Victoria was only 12. Once Victoria leaves, Rodney decides to go the library to find out more about Victoria's family.
Later, back at Nelson Mandela House, Rodney is reading a book when Del and Albert come in. Upon further reading, the Trotters discover that Victoria is the daughter of Sir Henry Marsham, the 14th Duke of Maylebury, a second cousin of the Queen. Sensing a chance to make the Trotters millionaires, Del decides to assist Rodney's blossoming friendship with Victoria, such as by acquiring tickets for the opera Carmen.
On the night of the opera, Rodney and Victoria arrive, only to see that Del has also shown up, along with June Snell (last seen in "Happy Returns"), mother of one of Rodney's ex-girlfriends. Del and June ruin the night by noisily eating snacks, talking during the performance, arguing with other members of the audience, and Del whistling along to the music, which distracts the performers. Rodney and Victoria leave abruptly, while Del convinces himself that he made a good impression.
The next day, wanting Rodney to make a good impression, Del and Albert take him to a fancy tailor to get him some formal clothing to make him the perfect country gentleman.
But on Saturday, already nervous during the weekend in Berkshire, Rodney is horrified when Del arrives with Albert in the Reliant Regal. Del takes part in their clay pigeon shoot using a single barrel pump-action shotgun borrowed from Iggy Higgins, a local bank robber, and quickly begins to irritate Lord Henry, Victoria's father. Del Boy also manages to secure an invite to stay for dinner.
That night, Rodney asks Del to behave like a gentleman. Del promises that, and keeps talking to Lord Henry about Leonardo Da Vinci. Meanwhile in the kitchen, Albert is getting along well with the kitchen staff, and tells another one of his boring stories, about how his grandmother's brother was the safety officer on the RMS Titanic, to the young footman. At dinner, Del gets drunk and boorish, insulting the guests with lewd comments, touting a marriage between Rodney and Victoria, and embarassing Rodney by revealing his conviction for possession of cannabis. In a rage, Lord Henry finally demands that the Trotters leave immediately. Victoria and Rodney regretfully agree that they shouldn't see each other again.
Very early next morning, back at the flat, a furious Rodney relates to Del how he has always ruined his opportunities to make a success of his life by interfering. Del apologizes and responds that had Rodney refused to stop seeing Victoria (who will be leaving for America), he would probably have been dealt with by the Special Branch. The Trotter brothers reconcile and shake hands.
Season: Christmas Special
Writer: John Sullivan
Director: Ray Butt
Producer: Ray Butt
Duration: 80 minutes
Airdate: December 25, 1986
Audience: 18.8 million
- Del Boy
- Uncle Albert
- Lady Victoria Marsham Hales
- Sir Henry Marsham, 14th Duke of Maylebury
- June Snell (final appearance)
- The Trotters' return to London from Berkshire is implausible as Del and Rodney both had been drinking, Del particularly so, and Albert wouldn't have been able to drive the van because he's not insured, as mentioned in "Danger UXD".
- When the Trotters return to their flat at the end of the episode, Rodney moans to Del that he told the joke about the Irish man and the skiing holiday. But Del never told the joke, Lord Henry interrupted him before he was able to tell it.
- As revealed in Steve Clark's book, The Only Fools and Horses Story, John Sullivan was not happy with this episode, feeling that it seemed to show Del Boy in a negative light. Whereas Del was always seen to be a lovable rogue, in this episode, there were some scenes where he came over as boorish and offensive.
- The scene of Rodney and Victoria going to the opera was filmed at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane.
DVD cuts and editsEdit
- This episode was originally broadcast with no studio laughter. A subsequent repeated version exists with an added laughter track, but was heavily edited for future DVD and TV broadcasts. However, the episode is possibly the least repeated on the BBC, although it is shown fairly regularly on UK TV Gold and has been released by the BBC in DVD format.
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