One of British TV’s most iconic moments nearly never graced our screens, and surprisingly, it involves the unforgettable bar scene from Only Fools and Horses. The classic 1989 episode ‘Yuppy Love,’ which often tops the charts as the funniest moment in British sitcom history, showcases Sir David Jason’s character, Del Boy, comically plummeting through a bar hatch in pursuit of sophistication. However, a recently unearthed rehearsal script by writer John Sullivan, now up for auction by Bristol and Bath Auctioneers, reveals that this scene was not originally intended to include Roger Lloyd Pack’s character, Trigger.
According to Andy Stowe, the valuer overseeing the auction, the script, a mere page long, suggested that Trigger wasn’t part of the initial plan. Stowe divulged, “The rumour goes that the scene didn’t originally feature Roger Lloyd Pack as Trigger.” The unexpected turn of events occurred when Roger Lloyd Pack arrived unannounced on the shooting day. In response to this impromptu appearance, Sullivan decided to incorporate Trigger into the scene, turning it into an Only Fools and Horses classic.
Stowe emphasised that while Trigger’s unanticipated presence added humour, it was Sir David Jason’s impeccable portrayal of Del Boy that elevated the scene to legendary status. He noted, “What you see on screen is pure acting and comic timing, and that’s where the magic is.” The chemistry between the characters and the spontaneity of Trigger’s bemused reaction made the scene unforgettable.
Only Fools And Horses Classic Moment Born Out Of Spontaneity
John Challis, who portrayed Boycie, confirmed the impromptu nature of Trigger’s involvement, stating, “Roger happened to be at the BBC at the time, and he had a break, so they found Trigger’s blue suit and stuck him in this scene, which was almost improvised.” Despite expressing a hint of disappointment for not being part of the scene himself, Challis couldn’t deny its brilliance. He remarked, “When I saw it, I thought it was just so brilliant. The timing of it and Roger’s take – him circling around, looking for Del Boy, by which time Del Boy’s got up again. But I always say it wasn’t very funny because I wasn’t in it.”
Roger Lloyd Pack, who sadly passed away in 2014, considered the bar scene his top moment from the series. Speaking at an Only Fools convention to an interviewer from the Only Fools And Horses Appreciation Society, he recalled, “I’ve got lots of highlights, obviously the falling through the bar scene was very special. We spent a long time working it out, and it’s been a very particular little episode, very famous and won prizes and things, so obviously that. There are lots of lovely moments though.”
Despite the unexpected origins of this iconic scene, Only Fools and Horses continues to be a cultural touchstone, resonating with audiences even years after its initial broadcast. The show’s enduring popularity is a testament to the timeless humour and brilliant performances that make it a beloved classic in British television history. The unexpected addition of Trigger to the bar scene only adds to the lore of a show that continues to capture the hearts of fans, old and new.