There was no time when Only Fools and Horses seemed to touch our lives more than it did at Christmas.
The trash and treasure feel of the sitcom had added meaning for us all at Christmas time.
With a dewy-eyed Del remembering his lost mum, and the family cooped up in their Peckham flat trying to make the best of the little they had.
best to flog Christmas tree. In the touching Christmas special that year Del hears the tale of Freddy the Frog, a bank robber
For many Londoners it would have mirrored their own lives of scraping savings together to try to enjoy Christmas – with a few dodgy deals and creative purchases thrown in.
Despite the last official special being filmed in 2003, the show continues to touch us and make us laugh and cry.
MyLondon has gained access to the MirrorPix archive to uncover some rarely seen images of the Only Fools cast filming the festive specials.
Sit back and enjoy a little trip through Christmases past!
Flogging Christmas like never before
It’s December 7 1987, and the cast have gathered outside BBC television centre apparently doing their best to flog Christmas tree. In the touching Christmas special that year Del hears the tale of Freddy the Frog, a bank robber and close friend of the boys’ mother. He left everything in his will to their mum, including stolen gold bullion. While Del hunts for treasure, Rodney puzzles over Freddy and his mother’s ‘friendship’ – and a son who would by now be his own age. It’s one of the most touching episodes evoking memories of their lost mum. (Left to right, David Jason as Del Boy, Nicholas Lyndhurst as Rodney and Buster Merryfield as Uncle Albert)
The “Fatal Extraction” episode of Only Fools and Horses was the 12th Christmas special episode, and was filmed on November 11 1993. Del managed to somehow start a riot on the estate after Raquel left him and he was being pursued by a new love interest called Beverly. Needless to say all didn’t end well.
Probably the most classic Only Fools and Horses Christmas special of all time was the 1989 “The Jolly Boys’ Outing”, when the boys decide to take a trip to Margate. Chaos ensues as Rodney gets arrested and the coach radio, supplied by Del, smoulders away before dramatically exploding.
The gang on their way to Margate, unaware that their coach would soon be engulfed in flames.
During the boys’ outing to Margate, Del discovers his lost love Raquel is working as a magician’s assistant in a club.
The boys gadding about on the beach on the jolly boys’ outing.
It was pretty predictable that the boys would end up in the water in Margate at some point.
Left to right, Steven Woodcock as Jevon, Roy Heather as Sid, Kenneth MacDonald as Mike Fisher and Patrick Murray as Mickey Pearce pictured on the beach at Margate.
Actress Caroline Langrishe alongside Buster Merryfield presenting the Christmas television TV schedule.