Watching the Girls Go By
Series 04, Episode 06
Watching the Girls Go By
Air Date March 28, 1985
Written by John Sullivan
Director Susan Belbin
Length 30 minutes
Previous episode "Sleeping Dogs Lie"
Next episode "As One Door Closes"
List of episode

With some help from Del, Rodney tries to find a date for an upcoming party in order to win a bet against Mickey Pearce.


At The Nag's Head, as Uncle Albert plays the piano, Del Boy is beating Boycie easily at a game of cards. As Rodney enters, Mike is handing out tickets for a party on Saturday night. Mickey Pearce believes that Rodney won't be going because he hasn't got a date. Rodney says that he is bringing a girl who's a big noise in show business, and he and Mickey agree to have a bet of "fifty" to prove who's right come Saturday.

Later that night, back at Nelson Mandela House, as the Trotters eat a take-away for dinner, Rodney tells Del and Albert that he lied when he told Mickey that he was bringing a girl. Del and Albert remind Rodney about the other girls he went out with, such as a Southern Areas Shot-put Champion, and a 16-year old girl who needed an adult with her to get into the cinema.

The next night, Del phones all of his old girlfriends, but none of them are perfect for Rodney. Then, Rodney enters the lounge wearing a white jacket, a black shirt and a stripey tie, as he is hoping to get a girl and win the bet. As Albert goes off to get something, Del tells Rodney how he pictures his vision of love. Albert returns with an old photograph of a German woman named Helga. There's a story behind that photo: it was in 1946, Albert and his fellow shipmates had sailed to Hamburg to pick up some prisoners of war. Albert first met Helga in a pub near the docks, in which Helga was working as a barmaid. According to Albert, Helga was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen and fell in love with her the moment he saw her. The little finger on Helga's right hand was missing, due to an air-raid bombing on her home, killing her family. When Albert asked Helga to marry her, she said no, because he mistook her gestures of friendship as tokens of love. Although it was for the best, since the authorities didn't like their soldiers fraternising with the Germans, and Albert was married to his wife Ada at the time. And now, if Albert is ever watching a German war film and hears the word "nein", he always thinks of Helga, because it's the German word for "no". Rodney then decides to give up and pay Mickey Pearce the money, but Del buys the bet off his younger brother for £5 and promises to help get him a date for Saturday night.

Later, the Trotter Brothers arrive at a rather seedy nightclub, where Del gets reacquainted with another old girlfriend named Yvonne, an ex-stripper now turned exotic dancer with a snake. Del tells her about the upcoming party at the Nag's Head. Yvonne is eager to go, but only if she goes with Rodney. Del promises to pay her some of the money from the bet once it's collected from Mickey Pearce. Yvonne chats up Rodney, who successfully invites her to the Nag's Head party. Now completely confident that he's going to win the bet, Rodney tells Del that he scored a date.

On Saturday night, Del runs all the way back into the flat in a state of panic. Albert follows and reminds him that Rodney is coming up the stairs to kill Del. Rodney bursts in and complains to his older brother that Yvonne started stripping after a few drinks because she has a drinking problem. Del reminds his younger brother that he did win his bet. Just as Del hopes that he's going to have £50 in his hands, Rodney hands him a 50p coin, which the bet was really for. Albert comments that he can't wait to tell his friends that Del paid £5 for a 50p bet and Rodney went on a date with a stripper, and in response, Del and Rodney quickly wind Albert up by telling him that Yvonne's snake is the hood of his duffel coat.

Featured characters

Other notes

Miscellaneous trivia

  • When Mickey Pearce says to Rodney "We're with the birds, see." in the Nag's Head, one of "the birds" appears to be the surly checkout girl from "The Longest Night".
  • In the scene where Boycie warns Mickey Pearce to "be aware" in the Nag's Head, one of Mickey's friends playing darts (standing directly between Boycie and Mickey) looks exactly like Dr. Robbie Meadows from "Sickness and Wealth".

DVD cuts and edits

  • In the scene in which Del is talking to Yvonne at the bar, a short sequence was deleted from all videos and DVDs released due to musical copyright reasons. It involves Yvonne singing a few lines from the song "Just the Way You Are" to Del, badly. It ends with Del's line "Stone me, leave it out!" as he is unable to take any more. There is also a similar edit where Del tells Albert that some of his old girlfriends are married, and a couple of them are dead. That line was cut out of the Region 2 DVD release due to the death of David Jason's then partner, Myfanwy Talog, from breast cancer in 1995.
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