Ofah to hull

Del gets mad at Albert for getting them lost in the middle of the sea.

"To Hull And Back" was the 1985 Christmas special of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 25th December 1985 with a viewing figure of 16.9 million, and also the show's first feature length episode. Del Boy and Rodney Trotter take to the high seas with their Uncle Albert at the helm on a diamond smuggling expedition arranged by Boycie and his jeweller friend Abdul Khan.


It is summer 1985 and one night, Del Boy, Rodney, and Uncle Albert are in The Nag's Head. Rodney is considering whether to break up with Imogen his girlfriend. Del's friend Boycie and Boycie's friend Abdul Khan arrive and want to discuss some business with Del.

They discuss some business in the saloon bar where Boycie and Abdul want Del Boy to fly to Amsterdam in Holland to collect some diamonds in exchange for £50'000. Del is told he will get paid £15'000 for it. Del is reluctant at first as he worries he will get caught and get a 5 year prison sentence. Del soon agrees when Boycie and Abdul reassure him and say they can trust him. Rodney then sees Imogen kissing another bloke.

The following morning, Del is berated by Rodney for agreeing to the diamond smuggling scheme. Del says that Amsterdam is a drugs capital of Europe and the customs will think Rodney is going to get some cannabis so will stop and search him, and let Del through. Del says it will only be a minor discomfort and will be released in a few hours and will come home to £5000. Del and Rodney then sell some watches but have to run off as a copper is patrolling. As they are running off, they are greeted by Roy Slater (Albert was talking to Slater's mother Ruby the previous night at The Nag's Head). Slater is now a Chief Inspector. He also demands they have a cup of tea.

At Sid's Cafe, Slater buys Del and Rodney breakfast. He says he is after some diamond smugglers. PC Terence Hoskins lets slip that Boycie and Abdul are putting the money up. Slater shuts him up but Del and Rodney know. Slater says he does not know who is going to Amsterdam and bringing the diamonds back. He says he knows what day they will be coming back so will have all the airports covered. Slater and Hoskins leave. Rodney says Del will not be able to go through with it but Del says Slater cannot have all the airports covered and will find a way to sneak them back in. He quietly calls Boycie with news that Slater knows him and Abdul are involved in the diamond smuggling caper. Boycie wants to know how Slater knows about the deal. Del says Slater has many, many informants. Boycie says they need to meet to discuss the deal, Del suggests their flat but Boycie will not walk across their estate with £50'000 on him. Boycie says his and Abdul's houses could be under surveillance and if Slater or his informants see Del, Boycie and Abdul in any public place such as the Nags Head, cafes, markets etc, he has the full story. Boycie says they need to meet somewhere dark and secluded to discuss the deal, where no one will see them. Del has an idea.

That idea is the back of Denzil's lorry, at night time. Boycie and Abdul go there to meet Del. It is a backstreet lorry depot on Soweto Road in Peckham, an area pretty much quiet at night. Abdul says it is a good idea, as the back of a lorry is the last place Slater would be looking. Del arrives and asks Rodney to do a bird impression or something if he sees any coppers arrive. Abdul gives Del the address in Amsterdam, and gives him the briefcase full of money. Boycie and Abdul will pay the air fares. Del says Rodney will be his diversion when he comes back through customs.

Meanwhile Slater gets a phonecall to say that someone saw 3 men breaking into a lorry at the depot on Soweto Road. Back at the depot, Boycie and Abdul conclude the deal and quickly leg it off into the night. Rodney is reading a mag but then sees a police car pull up. He warns Del with the sound of a crow. Del peeps through the lorry door and sees Slater and his 2 cronies sniffing round the lorries with their torches. Del worries that if he gets caught, they will throw the key away. Del hides under some cloths in the lorry. Slater and Hoskins see the lorry unlocked, they look in and see it smells of fish and think the mass of clothing is a dead animal. They then lock the door, locking Del in the lorry. Slater says they will have a quick look around the back then call it a night. Back at the police station, Slater reckons it was a hoax.

Denzil gets into his lorry and drives away, leaving Del in the back. Rodney quickly follows the lorry. Rodney follows the lorry overnight to Kingston Upon Hull in Yorkshire. The lorry pulls up at a cafe the following morning. When it is parked, Rodney opens the back door and Del alights, his hair a mess, his clothes dirty. Del gets into the van and sees lots of boats. He decides they will go to Amsterdam by sea, and that will be good if Slater has all the airports covered. No one will be any the wiser. Del hires a boat, but it is full of woodworm. Rodney worries that if they sail it they will sink and die. Del says he will get them a sailor to do the sailing. Cue Albert Trotter.

They get sailing and once out at sea, during the night, they get lost, they are 5 hours past the time they were due to arrive in Amsterdam. All they have is the boats lights in the miles and miles of water. Del blames Albert for getting them lost. Rodney says a ship can be sailed by the stars but there are thousands of them. Rodney leaves in a huff. Albert sees Concorde, and Del thinks it may help them but all Albert is saying is he can see Concorde. Del loses his temper with Albert and starts assaulting him, by ringing his neck and Rodney has to go and break it up.

The following morning, Del sees an oil rig and the boat sails up to it. A man working on one of the decks of the oil rig high above the boat is asked where Holland is by Del. He says it is over there. Del thanks him. Boycie and Abdul are getting worried, but the exchange is not until midday. The Trotters arrive in Amsterdam, moor up and go to the office where Del exchanges the money for the diamonds. Del collects the diamonds. He is on the phone to Boycie. Abdul;s cousin says the diamonds are good. Del then leaves. But then Hendrik Van Kleefe phones Roy Slater and says the courier is Trotter - Derek Trotter.

The Trotters leave for England again but get lost at sea. They see a ship called the Norland. It is the Zebrugge to Hull ferry. They follow it. Slater tells Hoskins that Del is the courier and they have Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow airports covered.

A few days later, the Trotters are back in Peckham and meet Boycie and Abdul at The Nags Head. Del says they got lost at sea, and saw the Zebrugge to Hull ferry so followed it, but it was going to Zebrugge so they had to wait for it to turn round and follow it back to Hull before driving back to Peckham. Del hands the diamonds to Boycie and Boycie gives Del the money, reluctantly. But they are ambushed by Slater, Hoskins and Parker. Slater counts the diamonds and says 30, spot on. He says he has Del, Rodney, Albert, Boycie and Abdul banged to rights. Slater has 2 ways to handle this, he can take them all down the station and see them banged up for 5 years or he can take the diamonds and money and pretend it never happened.

Del asks how come Slater knew there was 30 diamonds in that bag and how come he knew who was in it right from the start. Slater says he was behind these diamond smuggling rings all along. Slater says he is going a long way from here and they should all cheer up, as they still have their freedom. He then leaves. Del says he is going where he should have stayed right at the start, home. Slater has taken the diamonds and money.

Hoskins is driving Slater home. He drives down a street which is not the way to Slater's house. Hoskins parks up at a road block. Slater asks what is all this. Hoskins says they knew about him for a long time but could not catch him in possession until now. Slater says Hoskins set him up. Slater says if Hoskins helps him out of this he can make him rich, the money from other smuggling rackets are in the bank account and Hoskins can have half. Hoskins refuses, and shows him a microphone tucked in his coat, where the commissioner of police on the other end can hear Slater talking about the smuggling rackets. Slater then sighs and sits back in his seat. He has been busted.

Van Kleefe is arrested in Holland when trying to deposit the fake money in the bank.

Back at Nelson Mandela House, Del and Albert reveal to Rodney that all is not lost, because Del, having noticed that the diamond money was fake, had switched two of the diamonds for two of his cats' eye cuff links and kept them hidden in Albert's pipe as a way of revenge. Rodney then reveals that it was he, and not Slater, who took the £15,000 during the commotion at the pub. Del, believing that the £15,000 was also counterfeit but was, in fact, genuine, throws it over the balcony, leaving Rodney and Albert stunned, and Del feeling proud of himself.


Main cast

Guest cast

Previous Episode White MiceEdit

Next Episode From Prussia with LoveEdit


  • This episode featured the second appearance of Roy Slater in the show. He had last appeared in May the Force Be with You and appeared again in The Class of '62.
  • This episode was shot entirely on film and also had no laughter track.
  • Many of the outside scenes were shot in Amsterdam.
  • This special marks the first time that the Trotters' flat had an extra wall. As previous episodes were shot in a studio, there was no fourth wall, but now there is a wall shown, where the studio audience would watch the episode being filmed, so this special had a location feel without any studio bombardments showing.


  • When Hoskins is paying for his breakfast in Sid's cafe, there is a shot of Sid smoking an "almost burnt out" cigarette, but then 1-2 seconds later from a different shot, he is smoking a whole cigarette.
  • When the Trotters are at The Nag's Head, and Albert was talking to Slater's mother Ruby, she remarked about how her husband Harry never got over Slater joining the police force and "Bloody glad when they put him [Harry] away I [Ruby] was." Yet when Slater returned from his prison sentence in "The Class of '62", he said his father died, and also explained why the prison governor wouldn't give him compassionate parole (the letter his mother wrote).
  • As the Trotters return to the flat after coming back from Holland, Rodney shows Del and Albert £15,000 and says he picked it up when they were running around the table from Slater, but when the Trotters were seen running around the table at The Nag's Head earlier, Rodney quite clearly didn't pick the money up. Then, when the Trotters exited the room after Del told Boycie and Abdul that he's going home, Rodney did not pick up the money from the table, he just walked out of the room without going near it.
  • Before Del throws the £15,000 out of the balcony, Rodney tells him that they should invest it, but in "Time on Our Hands", Rodney is completely against the idea of investing when Del suggests what to do with their new fortune.

Locations seenEdit