Danny and Tony Driscoll were two brothers who appeared in 1 episode of Only Fools And Horses, Little Problems, and recurring in the spin off The Green, Green Grass. Danny and Tony were the Peckham equivalent of The Kray Twins, local gangsters. Although Danny was more reasonable than Tony, and allowed Del some time to come up with the money he owed them. When they did beat up people who crossed them, they did not touch the face but knocked the hell out of the body, to avoid problems with the police.
Danny was played by Roy Marsden and Tony was played by Christopher Ryan.
Danny Driscoll was born in about 1942 in Peckham. His brother Tony was born in about 1945 in Peckham to Bill Driscoll and Mrs Driscoll. As kids, they were very poor. One of their two grandmothers was a suffragette according to the brothers, when in reality she was an usherette. Their father was a servant for a mansion house and worked for a shilling a day and a "horse shit sandwich" (as Tony later joked about). The two brothers were local tearaways and soon got involved in the criminal underworld. When their father died in the 1960's, after committing suicide in prison due to being arrested over a robbery at the mansion he worked at, Danny and Tony were sent to a young offenders' home. Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, who was about Tony's age, looked after their mother with hooky groceries and a bag of coal every week. Upon the Driscoll brothers' release from the young offenders' home, they built up an illegal business empire. They soon became well known in the Peckham criminal underworld and the Peckham answer to Ronnie Kray and Reggie Kray. Danny was much taller than Tony, who suffered Short Man Syndrome it seems.
Danny and Tony Driscoll followed a strict code when they beat up people who crossed them. They did not touch the face at all but knocked the hell out of the body, a way to avoid problems with the police if they were ever found out.
Boycie did business with the Driscoll brothers over his pirate videos. In 1986, Rodney Trotter and Mickey Pearce got a council grant to do a local film. Mickey had ideas for a pornographic movie. But Boycie was into dirty movies, and made money from them. Del and his friends all watched the dirty movie called Night Nurse. Del was horrified when he saw Rodney come into shot. Rodney said it was a Mickey Pearce production. Del thought Rodney was behind it as well with Mickey, and warned Rodney that the Driscolls are backing Boycie's dirty videos and if they found someone trying to lose them money, they would break their knees. Del had the video flushed down the toilet.
In 1987, the Driscolls confirmed Reenie Turpin's story about the robbery of a bank in London City in August 1963, led by Freddie "The Frog" Robdal, who was friends with Del's dad Reg and was also seeing Del's mum Joan at the time Rodney was conceived. Danny reckons Freddie was seeing a lady on the estate the Trotters lived at, and had a son by this woman ,who would be in his mid-20s by now. Del wanted to know why Freddie left the stolen gold to his mum. This alarmed Rodney, making him worry he was that son.
In mid-1988, Mickey Pearce and Jevon started trading and borrowed some mobile phones off the Driscoll Brothers on sale and return. Not knowing this, Derek "Del Boy" Trotter took one hundred of these phones off them so he could help them out.
The Driscoll brothers thought Mickey and Jevon had stolen the phones off them, and Mickey and Jevon had to tell them that Del had taken the missing merchandise. The Peckham answer to the Kray Twins assumed that Del was trying to take business away from them by doing what he did. Using their code of not touching the face but knocking the hell out of the body, Tony and Danny had Mickey and Jevon beaten up. Mickey had a broken arm and Jevon a sprained neck as well as many bruises. Danny and Tony and their heavies hunted Del down. Boycie heard that the Driscoll's were after Del. Del usually did not deal with the Driscolls and he made sure of this, but did not know who supplied the "sale and return" phones that he bought of Mickey and Jevon.
One night, the Driscolls and their henchmen turned up in The Nags Head. Del was hiding in the hall upstairs but Danny saw his van in the car park and a cocktail and cigar on the bar. Mike Fisher, the landlord, said Del was in earlier but had just left. Danny and Tony decided to check themselves. They went upstairs and looked in the function room. Del was hiding behind the curtain with Mickey, Jevon and Trigger. They then decided to check the toilets, but the curtain came down, the Driscoll brothers returned and saw all four of them.
Danny and Tony told Mickey, Jevon and Trigger to clear off and they then said that Del owes them two thousand pounds for the one hundred missing phones. Del said they can have the phones back, but the Driscoll brothers refused as the phones were rubbish. Del said he looked after their mother when they were in a young offenders home as their dad had died. Out of sentimentality, Danny agreed to give Del some time to find the money. Danny said that Del should pay them or they will pay him with a beating. Boycie gave Del the three thousand pounds he owed him, after Del pretended the VCRs Boycie sold him were stolen from the Driscoll's.
About a week later, the Driscoll's turned up at Rodney's stag party looking for Del. Tony saw Del and beckoned him to talk. Del told Rodney he has to nip out and for him to stay and listen to the funny man on stage. Del had promised Rodney £2000 as a deposit on his flat so left the Driscoll's £500 short, so took a beating rather than let Rodney down. Del never told Rodney he had been beaten up by the Driscoll's, but according to Del's autobiography He Who Dares, Mickey Pearce told Rodney many weeks later after his wedding. After this, it appears Del never had anymore to do with the Driscoll's.
In early 2004, Boycie testified against the Driscoll Brothers in court regarding illegal immigrants. The brothers walked free but were after Boycie for trying to get them sent down.
In 2005, the Driscoll Brothers were after Boycie's blood due to Boycie trying to get them put away for people smuggling. This alarmed Boycie, so he decided to up sticks with wife Marlene and son Tyler, and leave London for good and move west to Shropshire. They moved overnight, a moonlight flit.
The Driscoll's found out that Boycie was going to meet two men in Switzerland to carry out a deal which could earn Boycie millions (unaware to Boycie at the time they were intending to con him). Boycie was unable to fly out to Switzerland after being snowed in, and later discovered on the festive special of Crimewatch that the people he was dealing with were con artists. He was then shocked to discover on television that the Driscolls had followed the con artists to Switzerland hoping to finally get a hold of Boycie, only to get arrested along with the conmen. Boycie was thankful to be snowed in, realising that this had spared his life. But unfortunately for Boycie, the Driscoll's weren't held for long, and they returned to Peckham, awaiting another opportunity to discover Boycie's whereabouts.
When Marlene's sister Pertunia Lane returned to London after divorcing from another marriage, the Driscolls began to befriend her. A year following Boycie and Marlene going into hiding, Marlene phoned her sister and arranged for her to meet them in Shropshire, believing that the heat surely would have died down at this point. She was wrong as the brothers followed Petunia to Shropshire and infiltrated the farm with their goons, where they tied up Boycie's staff in the barn (as well as his pet dog). Boycie stumbled upon them, and was led back to the house by the brothers. The brothers had the rest of the staff untied and apologised for the way they had behaved. Rather than killing Boycie, they got him to do a favour for them which involved burying something on his land - although what the item in question is exactly is not disclosed to the audience. Boycie agrees, and the mysterious item is buried. The brothers stay the night in the spare room (and share a bed with Petunia) before then leaving in the morning to return to Peckham.
Searching through his loft, Boycie discovers an ancient scroll giving the recipe for 'Ye Potato Cyder' and a Royal charter giving him the rights to produce and sell it. This leads him to set up his own distillery on the farm, and to buy up all the potatoes in the area. He attracts a lot of attention, though unfortunately this includes the attention of the Driscoll brothers once again, who return to reclaim what was buried on Boycie's land and to burst his bubble. Due to being on the run, as there is a turf war in Peckham, they decide to finally retire from crime, although they find the cash they stashed is out of date and worthless in Spain. They discover that Boycie was behind the potato cider that caused the turf war in the first place, and claim the business for themselves in exchange for not kneecapping Boycie and his associates at the farm, which they agree to.
Despite this outcome, the Driscoll Brothers didn't return to Peckham, and presumably went and started a new life elsewhere. They were still presumed dead back in Peckham, and Boycie and his family returned there, much to the relief of their friends.
Born: Danny about 1942, Tony about 1945
Parents: Bill Driscoll and Mrs Driscoll
Occupation: Gangsters, career criminals
- In a 1983 episode, May the Force Be with You, corrupt Detective Inspector Roy Slater wants to force Del Boy to reveal the name of the mush who nicked the microwave, as Del had supposedly received the stolen microwave. Del applies for immunity from prosecution. Slater says Del will be one of his grasses, and if Del ever stepped out of line with Slater then Slater would tell the criminal underworld that Del is an informer, thus have Del killed. No doubt this criminal underworld involved The Driscoll Brothers and maybe Eugene McCarthy.
- The show's writer John Sullivan loosely based the Driscoll's on the real life Richardson gang of South London.
- John Sullivan also used a similar joke to the different-looking Del and Rodney being brothers, the Driscoll brothers also differ in height, but by a good 18 inches (460 mm), though in their case the taller brother has the brains. This is a small hint that while they have the same mother, the Driscoll Brothers may have different biological fathers, like Del and Rodney.
Only Fools And Horses
The Green Green Grass
- One Flew Over The Cuckoo Clock (25th December 2005)
- Brothers And Sisters (27th October 2006)
- Home Brew (15th January 2009)