Tea for Three

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Only Fools and Horses episode
"Tea For Three"
Only fools tea for three.jpg
Series 5
Writer John Sullivan
Director Mandie Fletcher
Producer Ray Butt
Duration 28:40 (VHS/DVD) / 30:43 (iTunes)
Airdate 21 September 1986
Audience 16.5 million[citation needed]

"Tea for Three" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the fourth episode of series 5, and was first broadcast on 21 September 1986. In the episode, Del and Rodney find themselves battling for the affections of Trigger's niece Lisa.


It's Talent Night at the Nag's Head, and Albert is depressed because his wife Ada is in the hospital, even though the two have been estranged. Trigger tells Del Boy and Rodney that his niece Lisa will be arriving shortly. Del and Rodney both seem to remember her back from their childhood days. When Lisa, now aged 25, arrives, Del and Rodney are immediately shocked to discover that the untidy girl they once knew has evolved into an attractive woman. Intrigued, they both invite her over to Nelson Mandela House for tea the following day. In the meantime, Albert gets up on the stage and sings the song "Hey There" (though he pronounces it as "Ada") in tribute to his dear sick wife Ada, and wins the talent contest.

The next day, Albert is trying out the new solarium to cure his hangover, and Del enters the flat with a big bag of food for the tea with Lisa. Rodney says that he also made a contribution: cheese, because it's all he can afford. As the Trotter Brothers start to argue, Albert tells them both to pack it in, and decides to go down to the Legion. As Rodney has a go at the solarium, Albert talks about the time that he and Grandad fell out over the affection of Ada and never spoke to each other again. But Rodney falls asleep. Albert leaves, and Del turns up the timer on the solarium before leaving too.

Later that night, Del and Lisa are getting on well, while Rodney nurses his sunburnt face. Lisa tells the Trotter Brothers that she has some friends who run a hang gliding club, in which Del lies by saying he enjoys it. This gives Rodney an idea in order to exact revenge for having his face burned. Rodney tells Lisa privately that they should give Del a chance to hang glide as a surprise for his "46th" (according to Rodney) birthday.

The following morning in Winchester, Del is shocked to hear that he is going to hang glide. He and Rodney meet the owner of the hang gliding club, Andy. Del also knows that Rodney did this just to humiliate his older brother. Rodney, with a "change of heart", decides to help Del out with the following plan: Del will pretend to be keen to hang glide, and he'll put all the gear on. And just when Del is about to take off, Rodney will come up to him and say that they've got a very important phone call from London, and have to go back. Del agrees to this plan. But just as Del does everything on his part, Rodney betrays his older brother at the last second. Del, not wanting to lose face in front of Lisa, actually flies the hang glider - right out to sea.

Twelve hours later, back at the flat, Rodney, feeling guilty about what he did, is studying a map. Then Trigger and Mike show up with a wheelchair-using Del Boy, who apologizes to Rodney for tampering with the solarium controls. Rodney, on the other hand, thinks that Del is pretending to be physically disabled just to gain sympathy, and is proven right when Del leaps out of his wheelchair. Del then tells the story about how he flew all the way to Redhill, only to crash into a television transmitter and fall on top of an unsuspecting courting couple in their Ford Sierra, and how he has to pay for a new sunroof due to damage to the car, and on how the couple will have to postpone their upcoming wedding because of some injury sustained by Del and his glider falling on them, alongside a situation in Dymchurch where a group of children mistook Del for a spaceman and also may have to pay Radio Rentals for the damage to the transmitter. The mention of the husband and wife to be who Del injured, in turn reminds Trigger to tell the others of Lisa's wedding to Andy, who she has actually been engaged to for over a year, has been set (The Frog's Legacy is a later episode in which the wedding of Lisa and Andy is set.) Mike offers to open the Nag's Head early for a celebration drink, and Trigger and Albert join him, while Del and Rodney both realise their efforts towards Lisa were all for nothing.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Del Boy
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney
Buster Merryfield Uncle Albert
Roger Lloyd-Pack Trigger
Kenneth MacDonald Mike
Gerry Cowper Lisa
Mark Colleano Andy
Joan Baxter Singer
Ken Barker


  • When the hanglider scene was filmed, David Jason, who is a trained hang glider pilot, scuba diver, and swims with dolphins, wanted to actually fly the hang glider himself, but the BBC said it was too risky for him to fly it, for insurance reasons.[1]
  • The scene where Albert gets on the stage and sings "Hey There" is edited out of the R2 DVD version of the episode for copyright reasons, yet can be seen in repeats on Gold. There are also several small edits, including where Rodney uses the term "Paki" when referring to a member of staff at their local shop.
  • When Del panics about being scared to Rodney, Rodney responds: "No, you can't do that. A Green Beret with a headache?" in reference to Del's lie about being in the Parachute Regiment. This is incorrect: the green beret belongs to the Royal Marines, whilst the Parachute Regiment sport a maroon beret.


Joan Baxter: I Who Have Nothing
Buster Merryfield: Hey There

External links[edit]