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A Slow Bus To Chingford
Series 01, Episode 05
A Slow Bus To Chingford.jpg
Air Date October 6, 1981
Written by John Sullivan
Director Martin Shardlow
Length 30 minutes
Previous episode "The Second Time Around"
Next episode "The Russians Are Coming"
List of episode

A Slow Bus To Chingford was the 5th episode of the first series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 6th October 1981 with a viewing figure of 7 million.


Del gets his hands on a double-decker bus and decides to start his own tour company.


As Rodney invites his latest girlfriend to the flat, Del Boy gives him a job as a nocturnal security officer (fancy name for "night watchman") under the company Trotter Watch. As Rodney is sent to guard a bus depot, Del frightens him by whistling along with him from afar.

The next morning at Nelson Mandela House, as Grandad tells Del that he used to be a security officer during the war, Rodney is woken up just to hear Del's latest get-rich-quick scheme: Trotters Ethnic Tours. Rodney will drive the bus, Del will be the tour guide, and Grandad will send the leaflets to every part of London.

The next day, while the tour bus is ready to go, nobody has turned up at the moment, but Del bets Grandad £50 that the tourists will show up. Throughout the day, Del tells Rodney and Grandad that he'll take the tourists to the house where Sherlock Holmes was born, and to North London where Jack the Ripper was "buried".

After a while, Del stands on the top floor of the bus and explains to Rodney and Grandad his dream to become a millionaire. He claims to have had a vision in which he sees himself standing on the balcony of a tower block, with the initials of his company in giant flashing lights. As soon as Rodney points out that Trotters Independent Traders spells out "TIT", Del decides to just give up and go home.

As the Trotters get back to Nelson Mandela House, Del finds out the real reason why nobody came: Grandad threw all the leaflets in the rubbish chute. Enraged, Del threatens Grandad with violence and Rodney starts chasing after his brother, trying to calm him down.

Featured characters

Other notes

Story arc

  • Del's vision was slightly different in a dream Rodney had fifteen years later. Del mentioned he had a vision that he would be standing on a penthouse balcony with initials of "Trotter Independent Traders" above his head. In Rodney's dream in the episode "Heroes and Villains", the penthouse Del has in the future is called "Trotter Towers".

Episode concept

  • According to John Sullivan, he got the idea for the script from his father's favourite pub called The Duke of Devonshire. The man who ran it was even called "Boycie". The place suffered from terrible business, but the owner explained it was "Ethnic English", thus the idea was implanted in Sullivan's mind.