The Jolly Boys' Outing

The Jolly Boys' Outing

Infobox Only Fools and Horses
episode_name = The Jolly Boys' Outing

Series = Christmas Special
writer = John Sullivan
director = Tony Dow
producer = Gareth Gwenlan
Duration = 85 minutes
Airdate = 25 December 1989
Audience = 20.1 million
Cast =

The Jolly Boys' Outing is the eighth Christmas special episode of the BBC sit-com, "Only Fools and Horses", first screened on 25 December 1989.


Rodney is now working for Alan Parry, Cassandra's father, at his printing firm "Parry Print Ltd", while Uncle Albert has been promoted to "Executive Lookout" for "Trotters' Independent Traders", i.e: watching out for the police. The so-called "Jolly Boys' Outing", whereby all the regulars at the "Nag's Head" pub go on a day-trip ("beano") to the seaside resort of Margate in Kent is also approaching.

The following evening, at Rodney and Cassandra's flat, the Trotters enjoy a nice dinner with Cassandra's parents, as well as her boss, Stephen (a yuppie who is much hated by Rodney and Alan), and his wife, Joanne. The night ends with a game of Trivial Pursuit, in which Del Boy suggests that a female swan is called a bic.

The day-trip to Margate proves eventful; the coach driver apparently gets drunk half-way through the journey (but it is later established that he was overcome by fumes from the radio burning out), Rodney gets arrested for accidentally kicking a football at a bored policeman, and Alan gets sick after eating too many jellied eels. Just as the Jolly Boys are preparing for the journey home, their coach, equipped with one of the low-quality radios being sold by Del recently, ignites and explodes. Due to a train strike and it being a Bank Holiday weekend, the Jolly Boys are forced to spend the night in Margate.

Del, Rodney and Albert split up into their own group. After fruitless searching for somewhere to stay, they are forced to choose the "Villa Bella", a darkened, run-down hotel managed by the creepy Mrs Cresswell. Rather than spend the night there, however, Del and Rodney decide to visit a nightclub called the Mardi Gras (Del was given complimentary tickets from Mike's old rival Eddie Chambers at a halfway house earlier that morning), where Del's old girlfriend Raquel (last seen in "Dates") is working as one half of a magician's double act. Del and Raquel reminisce about the past, and the two agree to stay in touch.

Del and Rodney return to the Villa Bella late, and discover that they've been locked out. After failing to wake up Albert (breaking a window in the process), the brothers retreat to Raquel's flat to sleep for the night, only to find out that she shares it with the Great Raymondo, the other half of her double act. Blinded with rage, Del Boy punches Raymondo and throws his suitcase out of the window, only then discovering that Raymondo is actually gay and he and Raquel have separate rooms.

Upon returning home, Rodney finds Cassandra and her boss Stephen, seemingly alone together. Rodney punches him only to find that Stephen's wife Joanne is also there, and is promptly thrown out by Cassandra. Back at Nelson Mandela House, as Del makes up with Raquel over the telephone, he reveals 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 the window. The episode ends as Rodney enters the flat with all his things while Del proceeds to eat Albert's breakfast.

As the credits roll, a recap of the Jolly Boys' Outing in Margate is shown along to the song "Down to Margate" by Chas & Dave.

tory arc

The events of this episode are mentioned in "Sleepless in Peckham", implying that the Jolly Boys' Outing was a regular event from the 1960s before Del blew the coach up. It "was", as it was stated in that very episode.


*On 21 December 2006, this episode was voted number 5 in the UKTV Gold Top 40 Greatest Only Fools Moments. [cite web |url= |title=Top 10 Only Fools Moments |accessdate=2006-12-21 |date=21 December 2006 |work= |publisher=UK Gold ]
*The song "Help!" is featured, but the version used was recorded by new wave band Bananarama, instead of the original version by The Beatles.
*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 club 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. Yet the scene can be seen in repeats on UKTV Gold.
*The amusement park featured in the episode is Dreamland in Margate. It closed in 2003. The Big Wheel and the "Mary Rose" spinning boat seen on screen had been removed from the park some time before its closure.
*The rollercoaster shown is The Scenic Railway in Dreamland. It is the UK's oldest rollercoaster and the third oldest in the world. It is a Grade II listed structure, and is still at Dreamland, but it was partly destroyed by a fire on 7th April 2008. The local Council suggested in a press release the following day that the owners of the site, part of which has been proposed for residential development, will be forced to re-build the Scenic Railway.
*The police station featured was in fact in the neighbouring town of Broadstairs. It has since been closed and is now the headquarters of local pub operation company Thorley Taverns.
*"The Villa Bella", the hotel in which Del, Rodney and Uncle Albert stayed, 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 boy 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 opening market scene was not filmed in London but in fact at the car park of what was then Ramsgate's famous Greyhound Track, which used to hold a busy market every Friday. The site is currently a Garden Centre.
*It took three weeks to film the episode, shooting on location on both film and outside broadcast video. As usual, the studio interiors were recorded at BBC Television Centre.

Episode concept

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". []


*Raquel tells Del that she has no family left, but in "Heroes and Villains", Raquel visits her mother and father whom she had not seen for years.
*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.
*The Halfway House ("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.


External links

* [ "The Jolly Boys' Outing" at]

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