The Long Legs of the Law

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"The Long Legs of the Law"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Episode no. Series 2
Episode 1
Directed by Ray Butt
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Ray Butt
Original air date 21 October 1982
(7.7 million viewers)
Running time 28:18 (DVD/iTunes)
List of episodes

"The Long Legs of the Law" is the first episode of series 2 of the BBC sit-com, Only Fools and Horses. It was first broadcast on 21 October 1982. The title of the episode was a pun on the police term "the long arm of the law". In the episode, Del is horrified when he discovers that Rodney is dating a policewoman.[1]


It is the morning after a party at the Nag's Head attended by Del Boy and Rodney, which broke into a near-riot. It emerges that to break up the trouble, a young policewoman (Sandra) had been sent, and Del teases Rodney for trying to ask her out for a date whilst she was dealing with the offenders. Only later at Sid's Cafe does Rodney reveal that he had in fact been successful, and has thus arranged an evening out with her, much to Del's horror.

It ends in an argument, with Rodney accusing Del of trying to run his life, and Del countering with details of how he had raised Rodney since he was five. But despite Del's pleas, Rodney takes Sandra out. Del and Grandad solemnly consider the implications of Rodney dating a police officer for their business. Del ultimately concludes that a wrong word from Rodney and [Del] could end up doing five years.

Rodney returns home late at night and Grandad reveals to Del that he has brought Sandra home with him, resulting in a panic-stricken Del frantically trying to hide some of the illegal goods in the flat, including three cases of export-only Gin and some stolen watches recently purchased from Trigger. Rodney and Sandra come in, and Del suddenly realises that Rodney has given her one of Trigger's watches. He gets it off her after "accidentally" spilling some gin over it, but says that they cannot give her another glass of gin, since they have run out, only for Rodney – without thinking – to reveal the three cases of it hastily hidden behind the curtains by Del. All an exasperated Del can do is shudder and bemoan what a plonker his brother is.

Back outside Sandra's flat, she and Rodney say goodnight. She also tells Rodney that she had indeed observed all the illegal goods in the flat, despite Del's efforts to conceal them. Rodney, realising that the situation is largely his own fault, claims full responsibility for all of the stolen goods in the flat, even though he knows it will probably result in him being arrested and will certainly put an end to any hopes of dating Sandra again. However, because she enjoyed the night, rather than arrest him, Sandra decides to give the Trotters 24 hours to get rid of the stolen property, before she returns with the CID. Rodney asks Sandra to go out on another date, but she curtly tells him not to push his luck.

The final scene shows the Trotters in their now near-empty flat, with all three still frantically removing stuff and Del still threatening to kill Rodney for getting them into the mess.

Episode cast[edit]

Actor Role
David Jason Derek Trotter
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney Trotter
Lennard Pearce Grandad Trotter
Roy Heather Sid
Kate Saunders[2] Sandra


  • The song that is playing on the radio when Del Boy and Rodney visit Sid's cafe is Del's favourite song, "Old Shep". In the 1982 Christmas Special "Diamonds Are For Heather", Del pays for the song to be played in the Nags Head, and after being dumped by Heather, he pays carol singers to sing it, to cheer himself up.
  • First episode to use the opening and closing themes sung by John Sullivan.

Episode concept[edit]

The idea for the script was based on John Sullivan's niece, who worked as a policewoman.[3]


External links[edit]