Stage Fright (Only Fools and Horses)

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"Stage Fright"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Only Fools Stage Fright.jpg
Episode no. Series 7
Episode 3
Directed by Tony Dow
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Gareth Gwenlan
Original air date 13 January 1991
(16.6 million viewers)
Running time

50 minutes

  • 49:39 (DVD/iTunes)
List of episodes

Stage Fright is an episode of the BBC sit-com Only Fools and Horses. It was the third episode of series 7, and first broadcast on 13 January 1991.

In the episode, Del wins a contract to put on the entertainment at the Starlight Rooms, and arranges for Raquel and a club singer named Tony Angelino to perform a duet, unaware that Tony has a speech impediment. The scene when Raquel and Tony perform Crying was named the 8th Greatest Only Fools Moments by UKTV Gold.[1]


Raquel is now three months pregnant, and Del Boy finds another opportunity to be a millionaire when the Starlight Rooms, managed by an old acquaintance, Eric, needs a good act. Del believes that Raquel's previous experience as a singer makes her perfect for the part. Raquel tells Del that her solicitors are trying to locate her ex-husband and Del successfully convinces Raquel to marry him. He also reveals he is due in court in a week's time for fly-pitching.

Later, at the Down by the Riverside Club, Del and Rodney meet Trigger's friend, Tony Angelino, the Singing Dustman, who has styled himself after Tom Jones and singing to various old women who lust for him. Del thinks that Tony would be the perfect singing partner for Raquel. He then gets Tony to sign a contract, as well as tell him all about the upcoming performance at the Starlight Rooms with Raquel. Tony agrees to do the performance, with Raquel as his partner, Del as their manager, and Rodney as their roadie. Tony warns Del that he can only sing certain songs, but Del reassures him that all will be fine.

The next day at the Nag's Head, Del learns that the Starlight Rooms are owned by a gangster named Eugene Macarthy, who has been known to nail people to doors. To make matters worse, the night Raquel and Tony are due to perform is also Eugene's mother's birthday.

That night, Del eventually makes it to the Starlight Rooms after being in court. Eric introduces Raquel, who starts singing "Crying" very well - at least until Tony takes the stage and sings along. Only then does it emerge why Tony only sings certain songs; he has a rhotacism, causing him to pronounce his R's incorrectly, making "Crying" sound more like "Cwying". Del quickly leaves after the song is over, while Rodney applauds politely.

Back at Nelson Mandela House, Del is worried about what Eugene will do to him, until a fuming Raquel and a sniggering Rodney both enter. Raquel admits that she and Tony carried on with the performance, singing "Please Welease Me", "Congwatulations", and the "Gween Gween Gwass of Home", followed by a medley of "wock and woll", so says Rodney.

Tony shows up for his money, and Del pays him, Raquel, and Rodney. Tony then talks about how his rhotacism prevents him from pronouncing his R's correctly, and that he only sings songs without any R's in them. With that said, Tony leaves, and Del gets a phone call from Eugene. But it is not all bad news, as Eugene says that his mother thought Raquel and Tony's performance was the funniest thing she'd seen in her life, and he wants to book Tony and Raquel on a five-week contract.

Del Boy quickly calls Tony back from the balcony and tells him "Hang about, Tony. I've got you some more bookings. Stick with me, son, I'll make you wich!"

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Del Boy
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney
Buster Merryfield Uncle Albert
Tessa Peake-Jones Raquel
John Challis Boycie
Roger Lloyd-Pack Trigger
Actor Role
Kenneth MacDonald Mike
Philip Pope Tony Angelino
Trevor Byfield Eric
Roger Blake Eugene Macarthy
Lyn Langridge First woman

Story arc[edit]

  • Despite Del's apparent success at the end of the episode, Tony is never mentioned again in the series and no details on any events which follow the episode in relation to Eugene's desire to secure Raquel on contract ever surface.

Alternate versions[edit]

  • All current repeats on Gold and BBC1 edit out a line from the scene where Boycie and Mike are telling Del & Rodney about Eugene McCarthy’s door nailing habits. The edited line is "Eric, realising he was dealing with a man who puts out death sentences on Muslims, took it". The line is present on the BBC Series 7 DVD released in 2004 and was also still present on Gold repeats prior 2007. In a repeat shown on 14 December 2011 on Watch, the line was still intact. A repeat on BBC1 on 9 October 2012 also included the original line, as did a repeat on Gold in 2014.


  • Del tells Raquel that his mother Joan died after his father Reg ran away, however in every other instance it is stated that she died before he left.
  • While Del and Rodney are making their deal with Tony at the Down By The Riverside Club Tony asks if Del will be at the hall for the rehearsal the next morning. Rodney says he wouldn't be as he is in court and Del then says he is a witness for something. Tony then accidentally says "Oh right" pronouncing the R perfectly. All the other scenes including the classic "Crying" scene show him to have a rhotacism.



  1. ^ "Top 10 Only Fools Moments". Gold. 21 December 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2006. 

External links[edit]