Sleepless in Peckham
Series 10, Episode 3
Sleepless in Peckham
Air Date December 25, 2003
Written by John Sullivan
Director Tony Dow
Length 75 minutes
Previous episode "Strangers on the Shore"
Next episode "Sport Relief 2014 Special"
List of episode

"Sleepless In Peckham" was the 2003 Christmas special of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 25th December 2003 with a viewing figure of 16.37 million, and the last full episode of the actual show even though the spin off The Green, Green Grass began in 2005 and the prequel Rock & Chips began in 2010, and a short 2014 OFAH Sport Relief sketch "Beckham in Peckham" was broadcast in 2014. "Sleepless In Peckham" tied up a few loose ends and revealed the truth about Del and Rodney having the same mother but different genetic fathers.


The Trotters financial situation is becoming worse and they may be forced to move out of Nelson Mandela House. Meanwhile, Rodney discovers who his real father is, as well as become a father himself.


All seems calm and peaceful at Nelson Mandela House. Cassandra is in the late stages of pregnancy, which means Rodney will finally become a father. After mentioning the last time Rodney and Cassandra tried for a baby, and the night Damien was born, Del Boy takes Raquel's washing-up gloves and drives to the cemetery. At the cemetery, Del is cleaning up the monument of his and Rodney's late mother Joan. It is revealed that after they became millionaires, the Trotters used some of their money to give their mother's grave a whole new makeover.

Later, at The Nag's Head, Sid tells Trigger (who has been creating a portable backscratcher made out of chopsticks) that he got some suggestions from Mike on how to make the pub look a lot better. He also shows Rodney, Del, Trigger, and Mickey Pearce an old photograph of the very first Jolly Boys' Outing in 1960. Del mentions the events of the last one when his dodgy radio blew up their coach, as well as the fact that there were no more because the coach company were afraid of losing another coach. They also notice that Marlene has been mysteriously absent over the last several weeks. Mickey and Sid quickly believe that Boycie murdered her.

Back at the flat, Del helps Rodney with an idea for a film about Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts crashing an aeroplane on an uninhabited island of cavepeople, including Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. The next day, Rodney and Raquel berate Del because they are nowhere near the total sum of money that they owe the Inland Revenue. Del is deeply hurt when Raquel tells him "only women bleed", and he angrily recounts his own life of having to take care of both Rodney and Grandad after their father Reg abandoned them. As Raquel goes to lie down, Del privately says to Rodney that if they do get evicted, then he and Raquel will go their separate ways, but the couple reconcile.

The next day, the Trotter Brothers and Trigger find Denzil at a pizzeria and ask him if he made off with Marlene. Denzil says that he hasn't seen Marlene recently either and has actually been in hospital getting treatment for piles. This prompts Del and Rodney to go straight to Boycie and ask him if he murdered his wife and buried her in the garden. The Trotter Brothers arrive at Boycie's house and ask him, and he replies that he didn't murder Marlene since she's home and asleep upstairs. Boycie promises that he'll bring Marlene with him to the Nag's Head tonight. That night, at the Nag's Head, Boycie arrives with Marlene, who shows everybody that the reason why she was absent for several weeks was to get her chest surgically enhanced. Raquel wisecracks at the sight of it, and Boycie and Marlene are forced by Sid to pay for everyone's drinks.

With only a few days left before the Trotters are evicted from Nelson Mandela House, Rodney gets an enlarged copy of the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing photo and shows it to Cassandra at a restaurant. He shows her who was in the photo: Del, Boycie, Trigger, Denzil, Sid, Roy Slater, Grandad, Reg - and local gentleman thief Freddie "The Frog" Robdal, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Rodney, who then tells Cassandra that Freddie is his biological father, explaining the affair he had with Joan Trotter. Meanwhile, at the same time, back at the flat, Del finds the original photo and comes to the conclusion that Rodney has learned the horrible truth. Del then tells Raquel about how he only knew Freddie as "Uncle Fred" back in the 1960's, as well as mention that only Joan, Uncle Albert, and Trigger's Aunt Reenie knew that Freddie was Rodney's real father, yet Del was unaware of it until Albert told him after getting drunk at a party sometime after "The Frog's Legacy". Del refused to tell Rodney about it out of fear of breaking his brother's heart. Raquel and Cassandra both ask Del and Rodney why they won't tell each other. The Trotter Brothers both answer that it would indeed break the other's heart.

The next morning, Del and Rodney are called to see a solicitor named Mr. Cartwright, thinking that they failed to pay the Inland Revenue. But fortunately, Mr. Cartwright brings good news to the Trotter Brothers, and it has plenty to do with their late Uncle Albert, who invested his share of the Trotter fortune in a much safer spot prior to his death, while his nephews invested their shares in the Central American market. And according to his will, Albert wanted to give his enlarged share of the fortune to his nephews, allowing them to pay £290,000 to the Inland Revenue, as well as leave the Trotter Brothers with £120,000 each. Del and Rodney are both stunned by all this, until Del gets a telephone call from Raquel that Cassandra's gone into labour. Del and Rodney quickly drive to the hospital and almost end up in the wrong delivery room, but eventually make their way to delivery room #16, where Raquel and Damien wait outside with good and bad news. The bad news is that Cassandra had to be given a Caesarean section. The good news is that Rodney and Cassandra are now the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl. As Rodney looks at his newborn daughter, Raquel asks Del what the good news he had was, only for Del to say that that he'll tell her later but mentions Albert as the reason.

A few days later, Rodney and his daughter are in the cemetery, as Rodney looks up to the heavens and asks his mother if Freddie the Frog ever loved her, and that if she ever sees Albert, Joan should tell him that Rodney and Del said thanks. Del also shows up, and asks Rodney if he came up with a name for his daughter. Rodney just hints at Del to look at their mother's grave, which now reads: "Here lies Joan Mavis Trotter. Fell asleep 12 March 1964. Wife of Reg. Mother of Del Boy and Rodney. Grandmother of Damien and Joan." Finally, as they're leaving the cemetery, Rodney asks Del if he's anything like his father, Freddie the Frog, and Del replies firmly by saying that Freddie was "a womaniser, a home-breaker, a con-man, a thief, a liar, and a cheat... So no Rodney, you're nothing like him." The Trotter Brothers then leave the cemetery and drive off in their Trotter Van back home to Nelson Mandela House, with a new Joan Trotter for the world.

Featured characters

Other notes

Continuity errors

  • Marlene said that she and Boycie were married for 34 years (1969), But in "Video Nasty" (which took place in 1986), she said that it was their 20th wedding anniversary (1966). So in 2003, they should have been married for 37 years.

Production goofs

  • In the opening scene where Del is talking about how skinny the baby will be, he calls Cassandra "Cassandrea".
  • During the scene where Rodney shows Cassandra the 1960 Jolly Boys' Outing photo in the restaurant, with a freeze frame - the photo Cassandra has in her hand isn't actually the one the camera shows of the individuals on the close-ups. This is very apparent if you look at where her finger is between the camera changes, when she is filming, it is just an old black and white photo but clearly not showing the characters such as Freddie the Frog etc.
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