"Stage Fright" was the 3rd episode of the 7th series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 13th January 1991 with a viewing figure of 16.6 million. Derek "Del Boy" Trotter wants to sign his pregnant significant other, Raquel Turner up as a singing duo, trouble is Tony Angelino is very picky about his songs due to a small problem.
Derek "Del Boy" Trotter is in The Nag's Head reading a summons from the court. He is not happy. Rodney Trotter has been out of work for a few weeks since he lost his highly paid job, well he resigned. Del calls him "The Boy From the Blackstuff". Del says Rodney walked out on his lovely home, and his lovely wife, and has pulled the chain on his career. As Raquel Turner is pregnant, Del says that Rodney has got time to go and find a flat as Del needs Rodney's room as a nursery. Del jokes that it will take until his child's 21st birthday for Rodney to find a flat. Rodney says he went to the council and they have suggested accommodation for him. Del says if Rodney wants any furniture that Young Towser is selling reject 3 piece suites. Del chats with Trigger who mentions a man called Tony Angelino, a street sweeper but also does singing at the Down By The Riverside Club and The Starlight Rooms Del and Raquel sit down and she says that her solicitors are trying to locate her ex-husband, and Del successfully convinces Raquel to marry him. He also reveals he is due in court in a week's time.
That day, Del visits Eric, the manager of The Starlight Rooms. They get chatting and Del says about 5 or 6 years ago that Eric accused him of doing him out of £500 but convinces Eric it was a misunderstanding. Eric says The Starlight Rooms needs a good act as he has a contract that needs to be signed by someone as he has guaranteed the cabaret for an upcoming birthday do. Del believes that Raquel's previous experience as a singer makes her perfect for the part. He signs the contract, when Eric says it will be £600 for one night.
Raquel is not pleased, as she says she needs to get to know the person she will be performing with and rehearse. Del says it is just £300 a night. He talks her into doing it and goes through a list of his old LP's for songs for her to sing. Raquel practises in the kithcen, Rodney comes in and Del says that Raquel is singing in The Starlight Rooms and Rodney says her voice travels doesn't it when Del meant she will be singing in the Starlight Rooms. Del wants a road manager for the singing act and employs Rodney. His role is to sweep up and make the tea.
A night or 2 later, at The Down By The Riverside Club, Del and Rodney see Tony Angelino on stage, and he is, well trying to sing Tom Jones songs. Rodney says he is awful but Del says he is "bloody good". Del says that it is not just the Top 10 that sells but lots of music from Roger Whittaker and Joan Denver, or John Denver to be correct, never gets to the Top 10 but they sell millions of records, such as middle of the road music, Del indicates Tony, and says what he really thinks of Tony's singing by saying middle of the road music is made popular by people who listen to guff like Tony's singing. Rodney offers an opinion saying that Raquel is pregnant and may not be up to doing such acts when Del says he could get her to do more acts and make them money. Rodney accuses Del of exploiting Raquel. Del says she will be earning well. Del reminds Rodney he is just the tea maker and sweeper upper so his opinions don't count. Tony then leaves the stage but is followed by many female fans.
Del follows Tony to his dressing room and tricks Tony into signing a contract, pretending he wants his autograph, as well as tell him all about the upcoming performance at the Starlight Rooms with Raquel. Tony agrees to do the performance, with Raquel as his partner, Del as their manager, and Rodney as their roadie. Del says it is tomorrow night. Tony warns Del that he can only sing certain songs, but Del reassures him that all will be fine.
The next day, Del goes to The Nags Head and meets Mike and Boycie. He says he is up in court tomorrow afternoon. Rodney says the big bang boys, the yuppies, have all done a bit of stir, stock manipulation, insider dealing. Del says he is up for fly pitching. They get talking and Bycie said he bumped into Eric at the Starlight Rooms and that he still holds a grudge over Del conning him out of £500 a few years earlier. Also that Eric is no longer the owner but is just the manager now, as the nightclub is now owned by Eugene McCarthy, a feared gangster, who would make Ronnie Kray look soft. Eugene had demanded Eric sell the club to him or he would nail him to the door. And that tomorrow night is also Eugene's mother's 82nd birthday and Eric had said he guaranteed to supply the cabaret. The same night Raquel and Tony are due to perform. So unless Eric supplies a mug to perform the cabaret, B&Q will be selling another door.
The following day, Rodney and a very nervous Raquel discuss that Tony has a problem with singing, as seen at the rehearsals this morning. Del is missing, his court case was a few hours ago Rodney reckons the jury is still out but Raquel says he has only been done for unlicensed trading. Del makes it, he says he was late thanks to Albert.
Raquel starts siging "Crying" by Roy Orbison. Tony then comes on stage and starts "singing", or what he thinks is singing. He then sings "Cwying" instead of "Crying". Only then does it emerge why Tony only sings certain songs as he cannot pronounce his "R"s due to having a rhotacism. Del worries that the cabaret will be a let down for Eugene's dear old mother. Del, more worried about his kneecaps, quickly leaves the nightclub and runs off into the night, leaving Raquel to carry on performing with Tony, while Rodney applauds politely.
Back at the flat, Del confides in Albert, worrying that Eugene will break his legs. Del says he never did like that front door anyway. A fuming Raquel and a sniggering Rodney enter the flat. She calls Del the B word for leaving her. Raquel admits that she and Tony carried on with the performance, singing "Please Welease Me", "Congwatulations" and "The Gween, Gween Gwass Of Home" followed by a medley of "wock and woll", so says Rodney. Del grimaces at Rodney and says "That is not funny Wodney - err, Rodney".
The dorbell goes, Del says if that is Eugene, to tell him he has gone to find the hammer and nails. Albert goes to the door and calls "Who is it"? through the door. It is Tony who replies with "Can I speak to Mr Twotter"?. Albert lets Tony in. Tony has come for his money. Del tries to fob him off but Tony and Raquel demand payment. Tony admits that his rhotacism will mean that he will never be a star, just a local singer, and that he can only sing songs without R's in them. Del had chosen the songs for that night, not knowing Tony's speech problem. Del pays Tony and Raquel. Tony says goodbye to Raquel and Rodney before leaving.
Del then gets a phone call from Eugene, who says that his mother thought Raquel and Tony's performance was the funniest thing she had seen in her life, and he wants to book Tony and Raquel on a five-week contract at Starlight Rooms. Del tells Raquel, Rodney and Albert and then runs out to call Tony back from the balcony and tells him "Hang about, Tony. I've got you some more bookings. Stick with me, son, I'll make you wich!"
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- Albert Trotter - Buster Merryfield
- Raquel Turner - Tessa Peake Jones
- Boycie - John Challis
- Trigger - Roger Lloyd Pack
- Mike Fisher - Kenneth MacDonald
Previous Episode The Chance of a Lunchtime
Next Episode The Class of '62
- Yet again, Raquel mentions her husband, and as she never said his name or her married name due to Del always saying "lets change the subject", Raquel's estranged husband remained her unidentified husband to Del. Del did not have a clue who he was, apart from the fact he was an ex copper, as she had told him that in the previous episode. But in the next episode, The Class of '62 it was revealed to be Roy Slater, Del's old schoolmate and the most hated man in the parish as he was a bent copper. Roy was to return to Peckham to try and blackmail Raquel into signing a post nup agreement or he will besmirch Del's reputation by telling everyone Del's girlfriend used to be married to him, a bent ex copper.
- Towser, last seen in "Healthy Competition", is mentioned in this episode as selling some quality reject 3 piece suites.
- While sat in The Nag's Head, Albert asks what Rodney did with his golden handshake after he accidentally quit working for Parry Print Ltd in "The Chance of a Lunchtime". Del says "He's kissed that all up the wall, ain't he?" But in "Miami Twice, Part 1: The American Dream" , Rodney receives his pension money from Alan.
- Del tells Raquel that his mother Joan died after his father Reg ran away, but in "A Losing Streak", Del told Rodney that Joan died before Reg ran away.
- When Del is in The Nag's Head and he's asking Mike for a drink, Raquel is sitting talking to Mike and she finishes her drink. Then, after a few moments, she's still got some drink left.
- While Del and Rodney are making their deal with Tony at the Down by the Riverside Club, Tony asks if Del will be at the hall for the rehearsal the next morning. Rodney says he wouldn't be as he is in court, and Del then says he is a witness for something. Tony then accidentally says "Oh right." pronouncing the R perfectly, also in the final scene of the episode, Tony says "pronounces" perfectly when he says how nobody who cannot pronounce R's ever becomes successful. All the other scenes including the classic "Crying" scene show his rhotacism.