Only Fools and Horses

As Claire, Jodie and Erica all hail from Peckham, the area has become something of a theme for our Rickshaw Run. Only Fools and Horses is one of Peckham’s most (in)famous exports. Our rickshaw will be painted to resemble the yellow Robin Reliant (we’re hoping that it will live up to its ancestor and be reliable, but we fear it will be anything but…) and we plan to set off on launch day dressed up as characters from the show. It’ll be a comedy moment for sure. Lovely jubbly.

Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom, created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the UK between 1981 and 1991, with sporadic Christmas specials until 2003.

Set in Peckham in south London, it stars David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek “Del Boy” Trotter, Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney, and Lennard Pearce as their elderly Grandad. After Pearce’s death in 1984, his character was replaced by Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield). The series chronicles the Trotters’ highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich.

The characters

Derek “Del Boy” Trotter (David Jason): Del was an archetypal South London market trader, willing to sell anything to anyone to earn money. A lovable loser, he was sharp-witted, image conscious and an eternal optimist, always convinced that his latest money making scheme would turn him into a millionaire, but invariably a failure because he lacked the required nous to realise his ambitions.

Rodney Trotter (Nicholas Lyndhurst): Del Boy’s brother, naive, much younger and easily-influenced, more academically gifted, although only to the extent of two GCEs, but generally gormless and lacking common sense.

Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield): Grandad’s long-lost brother, despite claiming to never talk about his past, his long-winded anecdotes about his wartime experiences with the Royal Navy became one of the show’s running gags, usually beginning with the words “During the war…” which resulted in exasperated groans from anyone nearby.

The catchphrases

The series had an impact on English culture, contributing several words and phrases to the English language.

Catchphrase: Character:
Boeuf a la mode as the French say! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
I heard a rumour that Mickey Mouse wears a Rodney Trotter wristwatch! Boycie
Bless him! Rodney Trotter
The world is your lobster Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
La plume de la ma tante! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Del Boy! Boycie
Mange tout Rodney, mange tout! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Not farewell…just Bonjor Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Oh shut up you tart! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
You plonker Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Leave it out Rodney Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Apre moi la deluge Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Pot pourri! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Knocked off? Boycie
Cushty! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Mon Dieu! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
This time next year, we’ll be millionaires! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Lovely Jubbly Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Lovely jubbly Del Boy
And it’s all this dipstick’s fault! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
What are you trying to do to me? Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Oh contraire Rodney,Oh contraire Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
He’s a card ain’t he! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
What a Wally! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
You know it makes sense Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
I’d look a right dipstick! Rodney Trotter
If you had a brain you’d be dangerous Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Leave it out Rodney! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Fetch the suitcase from the van, Rodney Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
He who dares, wins! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Fromage frais! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
What a 42 carat plonker you really are! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Sit down Marlene! Boycie
Don’t be a plonker all your life, Rodney! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Bloody hell! Rodney Trotter
You twonk! Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
During the war… Uncle Albert
Mum said to me on her death bed… Derek Trotter (Del Boy)
Shut up you saucy old git Del Boy

The Robin Reliant

Owing to its exposure on Only Fools and Horses, the Reliant Regal van is now often linked with the show in the British media. The one used by the Trotters has attained cult status and is currently on display at the Cars of the Stars exhibition at the National Motor Museum, alongside many other vehicles from British and American television and movies, such as the Batmobile and the DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Robin Reliant

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