Dates (Only Fools and Horses)
|Only Fools and Horses episode|
|Episode no.||Episode 7
|Directed by||Tony Dow|
|Written by||John Sullivan|
|Produced by||Gareth Gwenlan|
|Original air date||25 December 1988
(16.6 million viewers)
"Dates" is the seventh Christmas special episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, first broadcast on 25 December 1988. In the episode, Del Boy joins a dating agency and meets Raquel. Rodney also goes on a date, with Nag's Head barmaid Nerys.
The Trotters have been earning a lot of money recently, and Uncle Albert's birthday is approaching, which Del Boy and Rodney pretend to have forgotten. Meanwhile, after seeing a girl Trigger has met through a local dating agency, Del also decides to sign up. Styling himself "Derek Duvall", managing director of a successful import and export business, he meets an aspiring actress named Raquel Turner. The two get on well and agree to meet again. Del asks Raquel to join him at Albert's upcoming birthday party, but she declines, saying she has to attend an acting class.
Rodney also arranges a date, with Nag's Head barmaid, "Nervous" Nerys. He is persuaded by Mickey and Jevon that Nerys prefers "macho" men. Wearing a leather jacket and acting tough, he goes driving with Nerys. They are pursued by a gang of punks, which leads to a high-speed chase. They race past two police officers at temporary traffic signals. The officers vow to apprehend the driver of the 'yellow, three-wheeled van'.
As a surprise for Albert's party, Del has hired a stripper, who turns out to be Raquel. The two recognise each other and, humiliated, Del storms out of the pub. He tells Raquel he doesn't want to see her any more but soon changes his mind. Raquel tells him that she has received an offer to work in the Middle East, and that if he wants her to stay, he should visit her before the flight leaves. Del plans to meet her, but while at the Nag's Head he is approached by the two police officers still searching for the owner of the yellow van. Believing the female officer to be another stripper hired by Albert, Del rips her blouse off and is arrested. Heartbroken, Raquel leaves for the Middle East just as Del Boy is taken into custody.
- Raquel Turner
- Nerys (barmaid)
- Chris (Rodney, Mickey and Jevon's Friend)
- Status Quo : Burning Bridges
- Sade : Nothing Can Come Between Us
- Sade : Clean Heart
- Sade : Haunt Me
- Aswad : Smokey Blues
- The Christians : Sad Songs
- The prostitute who Del mistakes for Raquel in the train station is played by Jean Warren, who previously co-starred with David Jason as his love interest in a 1985 episode of Open All Hours.
- During their first date, Raquel tells Del that her only television acting role was as a lizard person in an episode of Doctor Who; twenty-five years later Tessa Peake-Jones would guest star in The Time of the Doctor (Matt Smith's final episode) as Marta.