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"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 are still looking for £50'000 and Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and Rodney Trotter are still in financial straits. Cassandra Trotter is heavily pregnant. Del visits his mother Joan Mavis Trotter's grave and talks to her. She had a new huge obelisk, bought for her when they were millionaires for 5 years. Del says that his friends have been helping him find ways to make money, Trigger has been inventing a back scratcher and when he takes the patent out he shall put it in Del's name. Del and Rodney later come up with an idea, to make a Hollywood film. Del suggests Harry Trotter. They get drunk. They just have a few days before they get evicted and they need to make money fast.

Marlene has been gone for a week and people start suspecting things. Also Denzil has been missing and people suspect they ran off together. In The Nag's Head there is even a raffle to guess whatever happened to Marlene. Sid is holding a tribute act to David Bowie called Ziggy Sawdust. Sid shows Rodney a photo of the first Jolly Boys Outing to Margate in 1960, and they mention after the last one the coach company refused to do business with them. Rodney asks to borrow the photo Trigger is becoming interested in astronomy. He mistakes his blinking for a star in the sky he likes keep appearing and disappearing.

Del tells Raquel about Freddie The Frog.

Denzil is seen and says he has been in hospital with piles and has not run off with Marlene. Del and Rodney say that Boycie took out a life insurance policy on her. Del and Rodney visit Boycie and Del bluntly says he thinks Boycie killed her and buried her in the garden. Boycie is angry and says he has never been insulted so much in his life. He spent many hours on that garden, he is not going to just dig a hole in it. He says she is upstairs. Del cannot hear her and Boycie says she is a deep sleeper.

At The Nags Head, Marlene does turn up, she has had a boob job. Everyone takes the mickey. Marlene and Raquel Turner have a row after Marlene praises her dress then says she must pick up the curtain from the cleaners on the way home. Raquel mocks her boob job and her age. Sid throws Marlene out, unaware it is her and Boycie's anniversary do.

A few days later, Del comes home to an irate Raquel. Rodney and Raquel berate Del because they are nowhere near the total sum of money that they owe the Inland Revenue. Del has been hiding Rodney's letters, seeing as Rodney has had to take charge of TITCO since Del was banned from running a company for a year. Del and Raquel argue and she says only women bleed, Del says when he was 16 his dad left him to look after baby Rodney and their useless Grandad. Raquel goes for a lie down and Del says he will split up with her when they get evicted. Trigger has said Del can stay with him. But Raquel is feeling frisky and Del and her quickly reconcile.

A day or so later, Rodney picks up the enlarged photo from the photography shop and smiles at the hairstyle and clothes the 15 year old Del wore in 1960. But something else in the photo quickly wipes the smile off his face. He and Cassandra go for a meal and she says to Rodney that he has been in a mood all afternoon. Rodney shows her the photo from 1960 and sees a man who looks just like Rodney, but Rodney was not yet born in July 1960. His mum was pregnant with him. That night, Del comes back to the flat and sees the original photo on the table and laughs but then says "bloody hell" worrying that Rodney has found out the horrible truth.

Back at the restaurant, Rodney explains that the man in the photo who looks just like him is his real father, his biological old man and his name was Freddie "The Frog" Robdal. Rodney has had his suspicions for years, but everyone tried to say it was his imagination. Rodney says you do not need DNA with this one as he looks the spitting image of Freddie.

Back at Del's flat, Del says to Raquel that Freddie Robdal is Rodney's real father, as their mother was having a hard time with Reg Trotter, Rodney's alleged father, so Joan saw comfort in Freddie, who was a gentleman thief and safe cracker. Freddie was also said to have been a friend of Reg. Del tells Raquel about how he only knew Freddie as "Uncle Fred" back in the 1960s, as well as mention that only Joan, Albert Trotter, and Reenie Turpin knew that Freddie was Rodney's real father. Del was never fully sure and had initially not been suspicious when Rodney was a baby, but Del started to suspect that him and Rodney may have different fathers when he was 20 and his 6 year old brother was taller than him, it started to make him think. It was Albert who drunkenly told Del the truth one night at a wet corset contest.

Del says that there are no photos of his mum Joan in the flat apart from two closeups he gave to Rodney, as all other photos had Freddie in the pic, and as Rodney got older, he would look at them and see the "stimularities" as Del said. So just after Joan's funeral in March 1964, Reenie took them out and burnt them, Del says. 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.

A day or so later, Del and Rodney go to see their solicitor Mr. Cartwright who Del and Rodney initially think is going to have them charged with fraud or something but that he had something of interest to them, and they have done nothing wrong. He reads Albert's will and the Trotters discover that Albert invested his share of the Trotter fortune in a far more stable area prior to his death, while his nephews invested their shares in the Central American market. According to his will, Albert wanted to give his enlarged share of the fortune to his nephews, leaving them with £145,000 each. Del and Rodney are both stunned by all this, until Del gets a phone call from Raquel that Cassandra's gone into labour.

Del and Rodney race 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 Trotter are waiting. She has bad and good news. The bad news is that Cassandra had to be given a Cesarean section. The good news is that Rodney and Cassandra are now the parents of a 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, and the auctioneers can go stuff themselves.

A few days later, Rodney takes his baby daughter to Peckham Cemetery. He talks to his deceased mother and asks if Freddie loved her, and did she love him and to say thanks to Albert if she seems him while in heaven. Del arrives and Rodney says he has named his daughter Joan after their late mother, and had the name etched on her gravestone. Rodney says he has a question to ask Del, Del worries it is about Freddie the Frog, and Rodney asks if apart from looks if he was anything like him, Freddie the Frog, his father. Del says that Freddie was a professional burglar, he was disloyal to his friends, was a womaniser, a liar, a homewrecker, a thief, and a cheat, so Rodney is nothing like him. They walk off and drive back to Nelson Mandela House with baby Joan. They then decide making the movie is not a good idea now after Del asks where the runway came from.


Main cast

Guest cast

  • Mr. Cartwright -

Previous Episode Strangers on the Shore[]

Next Episode Beckham in Peckham[]


  • When Del says after his father walked out on him and young Rodney when Del was 16, and said he had to take over and he has done it ever since and cannot get out of the habit was very similar to the speech he gave in "Strained Relations" when she said he has always played the tough guy, like nothing upsets him, and he does not know how to be anything else.
  • Denzil offers to show the others the results of his haemarrhoids surgery to which they decline. We have seen Paul Barber's naked backside on screen before - in The Long Good Friday and more famously The Full Monty.
  • Although this is the last episode of the main series, the series' universe would continue in spin-off The Green Green Grass two years later with the episode "Keep on Running".
  • This episode features the final appearance of Trigger chronically. His next appearance is in the prequel series Rock and Chips, set in 1960.


  • In the opening scene where Del is talking about how skinny the baby will be, he calls Cassandra "Cassandrea".
  • Boycie and Marlene celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary in this episode, set in 2003, but in "Video Nasty", Boycie and Marlene celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, making them married in 1966, so they should have been married 37 years in 2003.
  • 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.

Locations seen[]

  • The Trotters flat (living room, kitchen, Del and Raquel's bedroom, balcony)
  • Cemetery (Joan Mavis Trotter's obelisk, bench, graveyard)
  • The Nag's Head (main bar)
  • Nelson Mandela House exterior (towerblock at night)
  • Soprano's Pizza Parlour (dining area, counter)
  • Boycie's house (lounge, hallway, starway)
  • Photo shop exterior
  • Unknown cafe in Peckham (dining area)
  • Solicitors waiting room (hallway, stairwell)
  • Solicitors office
  • Hospital corridors
  • Private room at hospital
  • Dual carriageway