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22nd Jul 2022

Only Fools And Horses Episode was banned from being aired ever again

Tobi Akingbade

You can’t make this up. Only Fools and Horses has cancelled themselves before anyone could cancel them.

Show creator John Sullivan has reportedly taken it upon himself to ban one of his episodes from being released in its original state after making it known that he was displeased with  how it played out.

First aired in 1986, the episode titled A Royal Flush saw Rodney and Del Boy take a trip to stay at the exquisite Berkshire home of Lady Victoria, a second cousin of the Queen.

The dramatic events came after Del Boy’s younger brother Rodney, began a new friendship with Lady Victoria. However, Del Boy didn’t quite manage to fit in with being fancy enough as the group enjoyed the opera and went clay pigeon shooting. Very upper-class.

At one point during their visit to the opera, the character threatened an audience member by saying: “I am gonna come down there and smack you in the eye.” Typical.

It carries on in the episode, when Del Boy downed too many drinks and began to make drunken jokes at Rodney’s expense.

Fans of Only Fools and Horses will know Del Boy, who was played by David Jason in the original series, is typically shows as a lovable character, but Sullivan apparently felt his behaviour in A Royal Flush didn’t accurately reflect this.

While some fans enjoyed the episode editor Chris Wadsworth, during the Channel 5 documentary Secrets and Scandals of Only Fools and Horses, described it as a cruel, dark episode and recalled how Sullivan had simply commented: “This is not a good episode.”

Meanwhile, TV producer Richard Latto said: “The original where Del Boy is being quite cruel to Rodney….

“It is a hard watch.”

Only Fools and horses

Instead, he felt the character came across as cruel, rude, condensing and a bully.

The creator passed away in 2011, but Wadsworth said that in comments made approximately 20 years after the episode’s release Sullivan had questioned whether it was possible to ‘do anything to take out Del being nasty’.

“The episode was shown to an audience to get a laughter track but I don’t think we succeeded completely,” Wadsworth explained.

When the episode was released on DVD in 2005, it came with the addition of the audience laugh track to ease off the discomfort.

The episode came just a few years after Only Fools and Horses began in 1981 withe the sitcom ending in 2003.

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