Only Fools and Horses

The controversial Only Fools and Horses episode pulled from air

The controversial episode managed to find its way to viewers but only after harsh editing

An Only Fools and Horses episode was pulled from the air after the show’s creator deemed Del Boy appeared rude and condescending.

Only Fools and Horses followed the attempts of the Trotter brothers desperately attempting to strike it rich in whatever way they could. More often than not they fell flat on their face with this being the premise of one of the BBC’s most successful and critically acclaimed sitcoms.

Despite being universally adored by viewers, one episode was pulled from the air for its critical portrayal of Del Boy, played by Sir David Jason. The show’s creator, John Sullivan, demanded an episode be pulled because it allegedly painted the character in a bad light.

Titled A Royal Flush, Sullivan felt Del Boy came across as a rude, condescending bully and wasn’t what he wanted for his craft. In 1996, he made the decision to pull it from the air.

A Royal Flush saw the Trotters stay at the lavish Berkshire home of Lady Victoria, second cousin to none other than Queen Victoria, after Rodney fell into a chance conversation with her. After an evening at the manor, Del Boy becomes drunk and starts making jokes at his brother’s expense.

The Channel 5 documentary Secrets and Scandals of Only Fools and Horses included comments from the show’s editor Chris Wadsworth who said: “It’s quite a cruel dark episode. This is not a good episode.

“Some 20 years later he said, ‘Can we do anything to take out Del being nasty?’ The episode was shown to an audience to get a laughter track but I don’t think we succeeded completely.”

The episode eventually made its way into fans’ hands through the DVD release in 2005 after Sullivan demanded a harsh edit.

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