- 40th anniversary poll sees classic comedy moment declared the best by fans
- Only Fools and Horses first broadcast on September 8, 1981
IT’S ONE of the most-shown comedy clips on television, but now Del Boy falling through the bar has now been voted the best moment ever in Only Fools and Horses in an exclusive RadioTimes.com poll commissioned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the brilliant sitcom.
The iconic moment, which sees Del, played by David Jason, fall sideways through an open bar whilst talking to Trigger, featured in the series six opening episode Yuppy Love, first broadcast in 1989 and was an instant hit, immediately cementing its place as one of the most memorable moments in British sitcom history.
The original episode played to almost 14 million people on BBC One and saw off some serious competition from other memorable moments in John Sullivan’s comedy which ran from 1981 to 1996, before returning to television between 2001 and 2003.
Sir David Jason told RadioTimes.com: “I am thrilled that the falling through the bar scene has given so much pleasure over the years and thank the RadioTimes.com readers for their vote. The show seems to go from strength to strength and I feel very fortunate to have been involved with such an iconic show. It started with the great John Sullivan for the fantastic scripts and the chemistry of the cast which brought it all to life. So many laughs over so many years.”
In second place in the poll, which attracted more than 1.1k votes from RadioTimes.com users, was Del and Rodney dropping the chandelier from the 1982 series two finale, A Touch of Glass. Again, a mainstay of clip shows, the hilarious moment clearly still keeps the nation laughing almost 40 years after it was first aired on TV.
The third-placed moment was Del and Rodney running through the streets of Peckham crime fighting while dressed as Batman and Robin, which featured in Heroes and Villains – the first part of the 1996 Christmas trilogy. The initial broadcast of the episode attracted a huge 21 million viewers, a record for the show at that time.
However, not all the moments in the poll were funny, with poignant scenes including Del Boy’s Holding Back the Years scene where he talks about the hardships he went through raising Rodney without a mother, and Rodney and Del’s hugely emotional reaction to Cassandra’s miscarriage also featuring in the top ten.
RadioTimes.com‘s Editorial Director Tim Glanfield said: “The mark of a truly brilliant comedy is its power to not only make us laugh, but to also make us care about the characters – and there’s no doubt that in Only Fools and Horses, John Sullivan created a show that will forever be remembered as one of the very best. As our poll shows, although after 40 years the show’s brilliantly funny set pieces are still celebrated, the bond that was created with the Trotter Family was so strong that the emotional and tragic lows are remembered to this day.”
Written and created by the late John Sullivan, Only Fools and Horses starred David Jason as Del Boy Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as his brother Rodney. It began on September 8, 1981 with the episode Big Brother and ran for seven series until 1991.
From 1992 to 1996 the show broadcast several well-loved seasonal specials including the Christmas Trilogy of 1996 in which the Trotters finally become millionaires. The show returned in December 2001, with two further Christmas specials in 2002 and 2003.
The top ten Only Fools and Horses moments are:
1.Del Falls through the bar
2.Del and Rodney smash the chandelier
3.Batman and Robin run through the streets of Peckham
4.Inflatable dolls in the van
5.Del and Rodney pass out at the auction
6.Trigger’s well-maintained broom
7.Rodney finally corrects Trigger on his name
8.Holding Back the Years at Rodney’s wedding
9.Rodney and Del’s emotional response to Cassandra’s miscarriage
10.One last deal?