Only Fools and Horses Wiki
Series 06, Episode 01
Air Date December 25, 1988
Written by John Sullivan
Director Tony Dow
Length 80 minutes
Previous episode "The Frog's Legacy"
Next episode "Yuppy Love"
List of episode

Del joins a dating agency and meets Raquel.


The Trotters have been earning a lot of money recently thanks to selling ladies' electric razors, and Uncle Albert's 68th birthday is coming up, though Del Boy and Rodney pretend to have forgotten. Meanwhile, after being impressed by a girl Trigger had met through a local dating agency, Del himself decides to sign up for it. Calling himself "Derek Duvall", managing director of a successful import and export business, he meets an aspiring actress named Raquel Turner. The two get on well and agree to meet again. Del asks Raquel to join him at Albert's upcoming birthday party, but she declines, citing an acting class she has to attend.

Meanwhile, Rodney also arranges a date, with The Nag's Head barmaid "Nervous" Nerys Sansom, and is tricked into leading a wild and dangerous persona by Mickey Pearce to impress her. Rodney dresses as James Dean and takes Nerys for a ride in the Trotter Van until they are pursued by a gang of punks, which leads to a high-speed chase. They race past two police officers at temporary traffic signals. The police officers vow to apprehend the driver of the "yellow three-wheeled van".

For the entertainment at Albert's birthday party, it emerges that Del has hired a stripper, who turns out to be Raquel. The two recognise each other, and, humiliated, Del storms out of the pub and tells Raquel he doesn't want to see her again before changing his mind again a few days later at Sid's café. Raquel tells him that she plans to go and work in the Middle East, and that if he is still interested in her, he should visit her before the flight leaves. Del plans to go, but encounters the two police officers still looking for the owner of the yellow van (he had been pointed out by someone else). Believing the female police officer to be a stripper hired by Albert, Del rips her blouse open, and is arrested. Heartbroken, Raquel leaves for the Middle East just as Del is taken into custody.

Featured characters

Other notes

Miscellaneous trivia

  • This special won a BAFTA "Best Comedy" Award in March 1989.
  • At the Hilton, Raquel mentions having a line in Doctor Who, which is ironic, because the waiter in that scene is played by Nicholas Courtney, who played Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart in Doctor Who. Raquel's actress, Tessa Peake-Jones would later go on to make a brief appearance in the 2013 Doctor Who Christmas special.
  • According to the book The A-Z of Only Fools and Horses, this is John Sullivan's personal favourite episode.