Only Fools and Horses Wiki
The Chance of a Lunchtime
Series 07, Episode 04
The Chance of a Lunchtime.jpg
Air Date January 6, 1991
Written by John Sullivan
Director Tony Dow
Length 50 minutes
Previous episode "The Sky's the Limit"
Next episode "Stage Fright"
List of episode

Del gets his hands on national anthem doorbells, Raquel auditions for a role in a Shakespeare play, and Rodney tries to repair his broken relationship with Cassandra.


Raquel has been offered the chance to really get her acting career off the ground by auditioning for the part of Rosalind in Shakespeare's As You Like It, and Del Boy is behind her all the way for it.

Meanwhile, Del, knowing that Rodney hasn't spoken to Cassandra since she got back from her Spanish holiday, goes round to see her, as well as fix the door to their flat. Del then tells Cassandra that Rodney wants to meet up with her tonight at a little restaurant over Wapping Way at 7:30pm. Cassandra agrees to the date and time.

Later, back at Nelson Mandela House, Del promises to help Raquel rehearse. Just then, Rodney is about to open the front door when Del urges him to ring the doorbell. Rodney does so, and "The Star-Spangled Banner" (which Del refers to as the French National Anthem by saying "Viva France") plays, because Del has just installed his latest item to flog: the Anthachime, a doorbell that plays 36 different national anthems. Del then tells Rodney the same thing he told Cassandra: meeting up at the restaurant in Wapping Way at 7:30pm. Rodney also agrees to the date and time.

Sometime later at The Nag's Head, Del fails to convince Mike to buy an Anthachime, but has better luck when Trigger buys one. Boycie and Marlene, along with their son Tyler, enter. Boycie complains about how many toys that Marlene is spoiling Tyler with. Marlene asks Del if he misses Rodney when he got married to Cassandra and went to work for her father's printing firm, and Del admits it by saying, "Oh yeah, I missed him like George Michael missed Andrew Ridgely." Marlene takes Tyler and leaves. As Boycie waves to his son, Del, Mike, and Trigger do so as well, and a furious Boycie leaves the pub, while the others laugh.

Meanwhile, at the restaurant in Wapping Way, Rodney and Cassandra both show up, and their chat gets off to a rocky start by mentioning the events of "Rodney Come Home", but eventually, they both make up after realising that Del was the one who really set all this up. They decide not to eat, and head back to their flat. But first, Cassandra has to go and pick up some things from her parents, while Rodney heads off to tell his older brother the good news.

Back at the Nag's Head, a drunken 38-year-old peroxide blonde woman, who wants a taxi to Battersea, throws herself all over Del, who barely remembers her as Trudy, another old girlfriend. Rodney enters to tell Del the good news about his date with Cassandra, as well as mention that he saw Raquel and Uncle Albert getting off a bus. This worries Del, so he asks Rodney to take Trudy to her taxi. Outside, Rodney tries to keep Trudy from falling down, but Cassandra, of course, drives by, sees what's happening, thinks Rodney and Trudy are kissing, and speeds off into the night in a huff. Rodney races back to his flat, fails to open the door, and rings the doorbell which plays the French National Anthem, before walking back to Nelson Mandela House.

Back at Nelson Mandela House, Rodney returns to the flat dejected with the bad news, as Del and Raquel rehearse. As Raquel continues her rehearsal in the bedroom, Del admits that he didn't know Cassandra would see Rodney with Trudy. Just then, Alan telephones the flat, asking for Rodney. Del tells him that Rodney's asleep, as well as tell his younger brother that his father-in-law wants to see him in work tomorrow, first thing in the morning. Del follows Raquel into the bedroom, as Rodney worries that Alan is going to fire him. Albert then tells his latest war story about a chief communications officer on board named "Tubby Fox", who was a real party animal that got in trouble for bringing a Maltese girl onto the ship. The captain put Tubby on a charge and started court-martial proceedings. But Tubby resigned his commission, which meant the ship couldn't sail, and the captain had no choice but to refuse to accept Tubby's resignation. Once he'd done that, the court martial was deemed null and void. What Albert's trying to say is that Rodney should realise his own importance. This makes Rodney more relieved with his situation, so he thanks his uncle and goes off to bed.

However, Rodney has misunderstood Albert's story, and assumes Albert is suggesting that Rodney ought to hand in his resignation, as Alan cannot afford to lose Rodney, and thus will not fire him. The next day, at Parry Print Ltd., Rodney enters Alan's office and leaves an envelope on his desk. Alan enters all happy and excited, because he's got the three-year contract from a mail-order company, earning the his company a fortune. Meanwhile, Del and Raquel have lunch with Adrian, the director of the play, and his gay partner, Jules.

Later that day, back at the flat, Rodney - who in his excitement about the new contract has forgotten about the letter he wrote to Alan - is shocked to find out that Alan has cheerfully accepted his letter of resignation and replaced him with a dim-witted teenager named Elvis. Del is furious at Rodney's immaturity, and tells him now he's got no wife, no home, and no job.

Much later that night, Raquel glumly tells Del that the Shakespeare play is a tour around schools, and that she turned it down because she's pregnant. Del is happy to hear the news and also tells Albert and Rodney, thus quoting "How many people do you see there? ...I see two." causing Rodney to turn round to Albert and say, "You know what this means, Unc? Either Raquel's pregnant or Del's pissed." Del and Raquel then embrace.

Featured characters

Other notes

Story arc

Production goofs

  • When Del is in bed with Raquel, the extremely tacky purple headboard has a large golden heart within its design, whereas in "Modern Men", the heart was not incorporated within the design.
  • At the end of the episode, when Del runs out into the hallway to call Albert and Rodney after hearing that Raquel is pregnant, he runs to the door which is the living room door to call Albert who is in his bedroom, but all that's there is a wall which was obviously not there in past episodes (haunting scene of "Ashes to Ashes" etc.).