It's Only Rock and Roll (Only Fools and Horses)

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"It's Only Rock and Roll"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Only Fools It's Only Rock n Roll.jpg
Episode no. Series 4
Episode 4
Directed by Susan Belbin
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Ray Butt
Original air date 14 March 1985
(13.6 million viewers)
Running time

30 minutes

  • 28:29 (DVD)
  • 28:30 (iTunes)
List of episodes

It's Only Rock and Roll is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the fourth episode of series 4, and was first broadcast on 14 March 1985. In the episode, Rodney joins an aspiring rock band.


At a warehouse, as Del Boy loads up the van with the latest item to flog called Kandy Dolls, Rodney tells him that he just joined a band that are styling themselves on Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Del points out that Rodney doesn't have any drums, as well as mention that he shouldn't be hanging with that "bunch of wallies", especially their wild lead singer, "Mental" Mickey Maguire, who once bit another man's ear off. It is then revealed that each Kandy Doll has a different voice chip meant for another toy, and the Trotter Brothers then drive off.

Later, back at Nelson Mandela House, Del tells Albert that the Shamrock Club in Deptford, the "Paddies' Moulin Rouge", doesn't have an act for St. Patrick's Night since their resident band, the Dublin Bay Stormers, are in jail for their violent behaviour. Del manages to secure a booking for Rodney's band at the Shamrock Club with a clever ruse which involves a carefully timed slamming door and a Bachelors LP on the record player, then calling Liam, the owner of the club on the phone, and telling him that it'll require £300 to hire the band for St. Patrick's Night. Once the conversation is over and Del hangs up, he heads off to the community hall to tell Rodney.

That night, at the community hall, Rodney and his band are rehearsing a song they wrote called "Boys will be Boys", with Mental Mickey providing vocals, two other guys named Stew and Charlie both playing rhythm guitars, and Rodney playing drums on packing cases until Del enters, listens to the band playing their song rather badly, then tells them that he wants to be their manager and will buy them brand new equipment, as well as get them bookings. Mental Mickey allows Del to take the position. Del then asks the band if they know any of the Bachelors' songs, and the band look at him nonplussed. Now their manager, Del promises the band that this time next year, they'll be millionaires.

On St. Patrick's Night at the Shamrock Club, a massive riot has broken out due to the performance of Rodney's band. Rodney, Del, Stew, and Charlie exit the club with their instruments and equipment and drive off into the night in the Trotter van, while Mental Mickey enjoys himself fighting various club patrons.

A few days later, at the Trotters' garage, Rodney has invited a policeman in to tell him that his band's instruments were "stolen". But Del appears at the garage door and explains to his younger brother and the policeman that he had them on a sale-or-return basis, much to Rodney's surprise. Del gets rid of the policeman, and tells Rodney that the band were never destined for the Albert Hall, and Carnegie Hall; the only hall they were destined for was "Sod 'All". After explaining that he got kicked out of the band for defending his older brother, Rodney asks Del why he always interferes in everything his younger brother does. Del answers that their mother Joan said to him on her deathbed to give Rodney all the encouragement he could, but Rodney points out that whatever they're arguing about, their mother always had something to say about it on her deathbed. Del then pays Rodney his share of the £300 booking fee and tells him to just forget about Mental Mickey's group and move on. With the conversation over, the Trotter Brothers head off to the market to flog hooky Maltesers.

One evening some time later, as Del is talking to Monkey Harris on the telephone about the Kandy Dolls, he watches the TVs and discovers to his complete horror that the group, now named A Bunch of Wallies and having hired a new drummer, are at #26 on the UK Singles Chart and performing their song on Top of the Pops. Suddenly, Del hears Rodney entering the flat, and quickly turns both TVs off, as Rodney wants to watch Top of the Pops, but Del tells him that both TVs are broken. And so, Rodney decides to enter Albert's bedroom and tell him some good news. While that happens, Del quickly puts on his camel coat, while Albert exits his bedroom and tells him that Rodney's busy watching Top of the Pops on the portable TV. Just as Del is about to escape, a fuming Rodney exits Albert's bedroom and tells Del that Mental Mickey and his band are in the charts and have a great chance of making it to #1, and Rodney has lost out on it. Del protests that he too has lost out as he was the band's manager. Rodney produces his old drumstick and threatens to hurt Del with it.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Del Boy
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney
Buster Merryfield Uncle Albert
Geoffrey Leesley Policeman
Daniel Peacock "Mental" Mickey
Marcus Francis Charlie
David Thewlis Stew
Mike Read Himself

This episode featured a brief cameo by ex-Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, who was on the TV presenting the Bunch of Wallies on Top of the Pops.

One of the dolls says Exterminate like the Daleks from Doctor Who.


  • The Trotter garage is a lot bigger than the one seen in "Time On Our Hands", where it was linked up with other garages and was much smaller.
  • At the near end of the episode, Del tells Monkey Harris that he's had the dolls for a week, shortly before seeing the Bunch of Wallies on Top of the Pops. On the day Del bought the dolls, Rodney was still in the band, and another member said later he reckoned his friend's cousin could get them a contract. So in the tight space of one week, the Bunch of Wallies have played the Shamrock Club, fired Rodney, found a new drummer, got some instruments of their own (which they never had previously), gained a contract, recorded their song "Boys will be Boys", released it as a single, entered the charts, and appeared on Top of the Pops.
  • When Del's on the phone to Liam at the Shamrock Club, he starts playing "Diane" by the Bachelors. However, when he puts the phone down, and turns the volume up, it jumps to a different point of the song.


External links[edit]