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 sitcom 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]

Synopsis[edit]

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 -quite well- to various old women who cheer 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" 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 Rs correctly, and although he can sing quite well, he can only sing songs without any Rs in them. With that said, Tony gets paid (after some brief reluctance from Del) and after defending himself, he leaves, Del gets a phone call from Eugene, who says that his mother thought Raquel and Tony's performance was the funniest thing she had seen in her life, and he wants to book Tony and Raquel on a five-week contract at Starlight Rooms. Del tells Raquel, Rodney and Albert and then runs out to call 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.

Alternative versions[edit]

  • Some repeat editions of this episode edit out a line from the scene where Boycie and Mike are telling Del and Rodney about Eugene McCarthy’s door nailing habits. The 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 subsequent repeats of the episode on Watch and BBC1 in 2011 and 2012 respectively feature the line. All current repeats on Gold also feature the line.

Music[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]