"The Jolly Boys' Outing" was the 1989
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The Trotters and their friends watch at the coach blows up.

Christmas special of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 25th December 1989 with a viewing figure of 20.1 million. This episode saw the Trotter family and their mates go on a beano to Margate, Kent which ended in typical Trotter style, in disaster, their coach blew up, they were stranded and the Trotters ended up staying in a grothole of a hotel. This episode is one of the highest rated of the series.


It is August 1989, and Rodney Trotter and Cassandra Trotter are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. In the market Albert Trotter is moaning because he is now Del Boy Trotter's lookout. Albert gets distracted and chats to Cassandra. Del has a go at him for not looking out for coppers checking unlicensed traders. Del meets Marlene walking through the market. They chat about how well Rodney is doing at the computer section of Alan Parry's printing works. Del says Rodney is now the head of the computer section. At the printers, Rodney has accidentally wiped off some company figures he has typed up twice in one day. Alan Parry comes in and chats to him about the upcoming anniversary dinner and Rodney hates the fact that Steven The Yuppie, Cassandra's boss at the bank is attending. Rodney thinks he is such a yuppie, and he is a pratt. Alan says he has promised the firm some business though and they may have to be polite to him. Rodney agrees.

A couple of days later at the dinner, Steven gives his y
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The coach blows up after Del supplied a dodgy radio.

uppie dialogue such as "Yaah" and "Oh yes for sure" or "Try and get your head round this". He bangs on about how bananas make mega growth and Del Boy thinks it is the size of the bananas instead of the financial profits to be made. Steven says a French yuppy phrase and Del replies with "Fabrique Belqique". Stephen is not impressed by Del. Stephen chats up Cassandra, much to Rodney's dismay. Everyone is also talking about the upcoming beano to Margate called "The Jolly Boys Outing". Steven says he was in Africa once and the sleepy dawn rose to reveal Kilamanjaro in all its hypnotic majesty. Del says well we are all going on a beano to Margate at the weekend. This lowers the impact of Steven's speech. They play a game of Trivial Pursuit in which Del thinks a female swan is a "Bic".

A couple of days later, that Saturday, the coach is on its way to Margate with all the gang singing and enjoying themselves except Uncle Albert. Denzil has an ear infection. On the way, they stop at a roadside pub and the bus driver Harry, gets drunk and Mike Fisher meets an old friend, Eddie Chambers, who emigrated to the Isle Of Wight and now runs a night club called The Mardi Gras in Margate. Del buys some tickets from Eddie, and explains to Mike that he'll sell the tickets to some other people before leaving Margate. Denzil reluctantly agrees (after persuasion from Del) to drive the bus the rest of the way to Margate. Also, Del has recently supplied the coach with a car radio. As the crowd are getting rowdy, two police officers see the action and Rodney accidentally throws the ball into one of the policemen and gets arrested, them thinking he is drunk.

Rodney is later released on bail and the coach makes its way to Margate. The gang have fun on the fairground rides, buy ice creams, and have good time. A few hours later Del and Rodney have a chat alone along the seafront. Del says he visited their mum's grave and he also mentions his old friend Jumbo Mills and when they ran a jellied eel stall outside The Nag's Head in the 1960's. Del blames the TV for killing off Eels On Wheels, such as Flipper, Squiddly Diddly and even Michael Fish (duh). They then head back to join the others.

About an hour later, everyone is on board the coach ready to return to London but they are waiting for Rodney who has phoned Cassandra from a call box nearby. The car radio starts letting out smoke, and everyone has to get off the coach, and Rodney confesses he had a spot of bother with the police after Cassandra says they rang their address to confirm he lived there. Cassandra blames Del Boy, saying that whenever Rodney gets into trouble Del is always to blame for it. Rodney says that is unfair and not everything Del touches goes wrong. Suddenly the coach blows up in spectacular fashion. Rodney says "Cassandra, our coach has just blown up".

A few hours later, it is getting dark and the boys go to Margate railway station, to get a train back to London but find there is a rail strike. They see a bus stop and check the timetable and the next but to London is at 8pm and it is now 7:30pm. They are pleased but Alan Parry reads the timetable and finds that is normal schedule as on bank holidays it is different and the last bus left half an hour ago, and the next one is 8am tomorrow morning. Everyone is annoyed as they are stranded in Margate. Jevon says he was meant to meet a girl to meet at 9pm, Boycie's baby is due to be christened in the morning, and Trigger has lost his inflatable dolphin. The gang start arguing.

Alan Parry shortly calms everyone down by saying that as there is a rail strike, the last bus to London has gone, and also as their own coach is out of action and the company will send a replacement coach in the morning at 9am, that they will all have to spend the night in Margate, book into a hotel, bed and breakfast for one night. Trigger suggests hitchhiking back to London, but Mike says 27 men cannot hitchhike. They admit defeat and realise they will have to spend the night in Margate. Mike, Boycie and Alan go off one way, Jevon, Denzil and Mickey go for a walk on the seafront, Del, Rodney and Albert walk off down a street looking for hotels, leaving Trigger all alone. He walks off then comes back a few times before walking off down a street none of the others have gone down.

About an hour later, Del, Rodney and Albert are still walking the night time streets of Margate looking for a B&B. They have tried many ones but they are all full up. Rodney and Albert are moaning like hell and Del is getting annoyed. They find a B&B with a sign in the front window saying "Vacancies" and go in, only to find it is all booked up and the assistant forgot to take the sign out of the window. Del asks Mrs Baker if they can be put up in the landing, living room or even airing cupboard but the lady says it is regulations. She reluctantly suggests The Villa Bella, saying the lady always has vacancies. As the Trotters exit, they are stopped by the sound of familiar voices laughing.

They walk into the dining room and see Mickey, Jevon and Denzil laughing like hell about the coach explosion and the look on Del's face. Del soon wipes the smile off Denzil's face when he asks how his "disease" is. Denzil gets annoyed and says it is an ear infection. All the other diners look on. Del tells Mrs Baker to make sure Denzil takes his tablets and then nicks a potato off Mickey's plate and the 3 leave the hotel. Albert purposely frightens the cat he was stroking a few minutes previous.

They walk across the square to The Villa Bella which looks rough. The weather is turning and it looks as if it may rain. They ring the bell and the frightening Mrs Cresswell comes to the door. She invites them in. As they go inside they see the dark and grotty hallway and stairwell. Del pays them and Mrs Cresswell's equally scary assistant shows them to their room. Mrs Cresswell snatches the money out of Del's hand.

About half an hour later, at 10:15pm, in their grotty hotel room, Rodney and Albert have have to share a bed and are arguing like hell, Rodney saying Albert is over his side too much and Albert says Rodney is pulling the covers off him. Del gees Rodney up by saying that while Cassandra is alone at their Peckham flat, she may be lonely and invite someone round like her boss Stephen. Stephen's wife is meant to be going away for the weekend as well, meaning Stephen is alone the weekend. Rodney says if Stephen goes round to him and Cassandra's flat he will kill him. Del suggests they go to a nightclub as it is only quarter past 10. Rodney says no as he promised Cassandra he'd not go out drunk. Del and Rodney say they are cold as the blankets are too thin. Albert says he knows what real cold is, as one night it was so cold on the Russian convoys during the war the flame on his lighter froze. Rodney says "Come on just one quick light ale". Del leaps out of bed.

About an hour and a half later, Del and Rodney are in the Mardi Gras, and they come across Trigger, Mike, Alan and Boycie there. Trigger says he recognises one of the women on the stage. Boycie says it is Raquel The Stripper and Del denies it. Rodney says the board says "The Great Raymondo and Raquel". Del walks up to the stage and notices it is Raquel. Del tries to get her attention but she recognizes him and is distracted during the magic act and the birds fly about all over, ruining the magic trick. Del, tries and fails to save her from embarrassment by clapping, saying the act was good.

Del and Raquel chat at the bar and he explains he was on his way round to her when he was unexpectedly arrested, scenes seen in "Dates". The Great Raymondo comes to the bar and gives Raquel grief and is quite rude to her, saying she is sacked if she does that again on stage. Del threatens to whack him for being so rude. Raquel also says he is a bit of a pig as she has to share a flat with him and he frightens her. She says she has to keep on his good side to keep her flat. Del offers her to live with him in Peckham. Del and Raquel exchange addresses and Raquel leaves to go back on stage. Del blushes and takes a huge gulp of his Pina Colada.

Del and Rodney return to the Villa Bella late, and discover that they have been locked out. After failing to wake up Albert (breaking a window in the process), the Trotter Brothers head over to Raquel's flat to sleep for the night, only to find out that she shares it with the Great Raymondo. Suspecting Raymondo of blackmailing Raquel sexually in return for a job and roof, Del flies into a rage, punches Raymondo, and throws his suitcase out of the window, but later discovers from an enraged Raquel that Raymondo is actually homosexual, they have separate rooms, and only stay in the same flat as it is cheaper than having one each. Despite this, Raquel and Raymondo forgive an embarrassed Del for the misunderstanding. Raquel says Del can kip on the settee and Rodney in the armchair.

The following morning, at about 10:30 am, the boys arrive back in London and the first drop off is for Rodney. Del says to Rodney to sort things out and smooth things over with Cassandra and that he is still entitled to go out with his brother and mates on occasions. Rodney walks into his flat and sees Stephen there. Suspecting he has spent the night with Cassandra he is annoyed and ends up doing what he wanted to do for ages and punches him on the nose. Just as he does, Stephen's wife Joanne comes out of the kitchen with some drinks. Rodney is told Joanne could not go away due to the rail strike and Cassandra had let Stephen and Joanne spent the night at theirs. Stephen's reasons for being in the flat were indeed legitimate. Cassandra throws him out.

Back at Nelson Mandela House, as Del speaks with Raquel over the telephone, he learns the unintended consequences of his actions the previous night, Albert was hit on the head by the stone Del threw through the hotel window, and Mike and Boycie were injured by the suitcase he threw out of Raquel's window. The episode ends as Rodney enters the flat with all his things. Del sarkily says "Alright bruv, sort it all out did you"?


Main cast

Guest cast

Previous Episode Little ProblemsEdit

Next Episode The Robin Flies at DawnEdit


  • John Sullivan's sister-in-law Penny was the inspiration behind the script, as she told him of an event her father used to go on each year, called the "Jolly Boys' Outing".
  • The song "Help!" is featured, but the version used was recorded by New Wave band Bananarama, instead of the original version by The Beatles.
  • The police station featured was in fact in the neighbouring town of Broadstairs. It has since been closed and is now the headquarters of a local pub operation company.
  • The Villa Bella, the hotel in which the Trotter family stayed at, has since been demolished.
  • The boy who stands next to Uncle Albert and laughs at his unsuccessful attempt to drive a motorised boat game is the son of Patrick Murray, who plays Mickey Pearce.
  • The man who asks Rodney why Rodney's data is now on his computer (which it shouldn't be) is actor Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning in EastEnders.
  • The drummer in the Mardi Gras club is Alf Bigden, who played the drums on the famous beginning and end themes.
  • It took three weeks to film the episode, shooting on location on both film and outside broadcast video. As usual, the studio interiors were filmed at the BBC Television Centre.
  • This special was edited on the Region 2 DVD release for contractual reasons. The scene where Del and Rodney are eating scampi at The Mardi Gras was cut due to the track "Just the Way You Are", performed by the female singer in the background. The BBC refused to pay the rights for it to be used on distribution, therefore approximately seven minutes were taken out of the DVD release.
  • The events of this episode would be mentioned in "Sleepless in Peckham", implying that the Jolly Boys' Outing was a regular event from the 1960's before Del blew the coach up. The very first Jolly Boys' Outing was seen in the first episode of the prequel trilogy Rock & Chips.
  • In "The Chance of a Lunchtime", Rodney said that his assistant is taking his old job now he has resigned. His name was "Elvis", a snotty nosed herbert who had just left school. It is not known if "Elvis" is the young man who appeared in Jolly Boys Outing played by Jake Wood as this was never confirmed.


  • This episode is set in about August 1989, probably the last Bank Holiday in August, and Rodney and Cassandra have just celebrated their first wedding anniversary yet in "Little Problems" in one scene, Rodney and Cassandra are signing their marriage certificate which clearly states "25th January 1989". So Rodders and Cass should only have been married 6 or 7 months by this episode.
  • Albert tells Cassandra about his war days and how he crashed into a German boat, which later reveals that Sid was aboard it. However in "Hole in One", in the court case, the judge said that Albert spent the best part of the war on the Isle of Wight, and in "If They Could See Us Now", Del and Rodney were sorry that they didn't take Albert on holiday with them, but then said he never owned a passport. This would all be contradicted by "Strangers on the Shore", in which all of Albert's war stories are proven to be true by his old wartime friend George Parker.
  • The Halfway House (nowadays known as The Roman Galley) appears to have had some rather liberal opening hours compared to most venues in 1989, as the party are drinking before leaving at 11am.
  • When Del and Rodney discuss Del's fish stall business with Jumbo Mills, Del mentions Man from Atlantis, which came out in 1977, ten long years after Jumbo emigrated to Australia in 1967.
  • As they are boarding the coach to return to London, Boycie is seen running into the coach, yet in the very next shot, he is sat down in the window seat next to drunken Harry who is resting his head on Boycie's shoulders. Fast mover Boycie.
  • When the coach blows up, you can clearly see it is edited out of sequence as parts of the coach blow up, go back to how they were before then blow up again.
  • When Del, Rodney, and Albert arrive at the Villa Bella, there are cars parked to their right, the next shot is from the other side of the road and there are no cars in sight. Then we see them by the entrance again and now there are cars immediately behind them.
  • In The Villa Bella hotel room, watch the ashtray on the window sill above Rodney. It vanishes during one shot then reappears.
  • Raquel tells Del that she has no family left except a brother in Milton Keynes, but in "Heroes and Villains", Raquel visits her mother and father whom she had not seen for years. In this special, she may have meant she had no family emotionally, due to estrangement.

Locations seenEdit