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If They Could See Us Now

"If They Could See Us Now.....!" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, first screened on 25 December 2001 as the first part of the early 2000s Christmas trilogy and the sixteenth Christmas special. It was the BBC's most viewed television programme of the decade.[1] In the episode, the Trotters lose their fortune and Del goes on a game show to try to regain it.

"If They Could See Us Now"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Only Fools If They Could See Us Now.jpg
Episode no.Episode 16
(Christmas Special)
Directed byTony Dow
Written byJohn Sullivan
Produced byGareth Gwenlan
Original air date25 December 2001
(21.3 million[1] viewers)
Running time71 minutes
List of Only Fools and Horses episodes


The episode opens with Del Boy and Rodney explaining their latest holiday to a barrister. While at a Monaco resort, Rodney feels guilty about not taking Uncle Albert with them, but is reminded that he is staying with Elsie Partridge in Weston-super-Mare. Del mocks Albert's catchphrase "During the war..." as he heads to a bar with Rodney. Later, Del learns that the Central American stock market has crashed, meaning the Trotters have lost all their money. The Trotter family escapes from the hotel without paying.

As he is entering a courtroom, Del explains that Mike is now in jail for embezzlement, and that he and Rodney lost their country estate and penthouse flat, which were seized by the Inland Revenue to pay off their debts. However, they do still own their flat at Nelson Mandela House. Adding to their woes, Albert dies a few days later, and the Trotters mistakenly attend the funeral of Albert Warren, who also happened to be a World War II veteran – they find this out only when the family mention his nickname "Bunny" and that he was in the Royal Air Force instead of the Royal Navy. Nonetheless, Del had inadvertently defended both Alberts when, while still believing himself to be at the correct funeral, Roland – one of Bunny's relatives – laughed inappropriately at the late veteran's constant reminisces of his war years. No doubt feeling guilty about his own complaints of his uncle's habit when he was alive, Del angrily castigated him.

Back at the flat, Rodney reveals that he has been acquitted of any responsibility in the collapse of their company. On the other hand, Del has been both declared bankrupt and convicted of nearly twenty years' worth of tax evasion. While his sentence is suspended, if he cannot pay off a bill of £48,754 plus interest within the next year, the Inland Revenue will seize all of the Trotter's remaining assets, including the flat, and Del himself will receive a two-year prison sentence. The situation appears bleak, but Del is confident about his chances of earning the required money, and announces that he will reform Trotters Independent Traders. Since Del has been banned from owning any companies, the new version will have to be managed by Rodney.

A few days later, Rodney and Cassandra discuss how best to celebrate Rodney's promotion, eventually deciding on dressing up for each other. The next day, Mickey Pearce phones Rodney pretending to be an associate of the Sultan of Brunei. Later that night, Del, Raquel, and Damien get ready to go out while Rodney listens to a Mozart record. Trigger arrives, stating that Del promised him a lift to the pub despite the fact that he lives closer to The Nag's Head than the Trotters – and has to pass the pub to get to the Trotters' – but Trigger insists that Del offers him a lift and that was his purpose. A bit later, unaware that Del is still in the flat, Cassandra enters the living room dressed as a policewoman followed by Rodney dressed as a Roman gladiator (supposed to be Russell Crowe, whom Cassandra fancies).

It turns out that Del is going to be a contestant on the gameshow Goldrush (a parody of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), which is hosted by Jonathan Ross, and takes Damien and Raquel with him. Del's chances initially look glum after he gets the first question badly wrong, but the other two contestants are even worse than he is, and Del manages to reach the "Rainbow Road", putting him in pole position for the top prize. Eventually, Del has to phone Rodney when he does not know the answer to a question. Rodney mistakes Ross for Mickey, until he looks at the television and then tries to help Del with the final question, correctly naming the composer of "The Child and the Enchantment" as Ravel, but this answer is not accepted and he is later told "everyone knows Ravel makes shoes" (because there is also a brand of shoes called Ravel).

Raquel and Damien return home via taxi because Del ran off after losing. After he eventually returns, Del gets a phone call from the producer, telling them that he got the final question right, and will be given his prize money as well as another go on the show. However, Del thinks that it is Mickey annoying him and tells him to give all the prize money to charity. The episode ends as Del triumphantly proclaims "We're the Trotters, and we're back!"

The episode ends with a dedication to the memory of Buster Merryfield (who played Uncle Albert) and Kenneth MacDonald (who played Mike the pub landlord), following the end credits.



  1. ^ a b Revoir, Paul (29 December 2009). "BBC hit by ratings slump as viewers complain of repetitive scheduling". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 September 2016.

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