Ashes to Ashes (Only Fools and Horses)

"Ashes to Ashes"
Only Fools and Horses episode
Episode no. Series 2
Episode 2
Directed by Ray Butt
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Ray Butt
Original air date 28 October 1982
(9.8 million viewers)
Running time 29:27 (DVD) / 29:26 (iTunes)

"Ashes to Ashes" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the second episode of Series 2, and was first screened on 28 October 1982. The episode title was based on the Christian funeral service phrase "ashes to ashes, dust to dust".


As Del Boy and Rodney are in the market conducting business as usual, Trigger arrives and asks them if they will attend the funeral of his grandmother Alice. At first reluctant, they learn that they will be the only other mourners, so the Trotters agree.

Later, after the funeral, Del, Rodney, Trigger, and Grandad hang out at Alice's house, and Trigger tells the Trotters that his father died a couple of years before he was born, as well as the story of how Alice had an affair with someone else while her husband Arthur was away fighting in the war. Among the many things in the house are two urns that Del can sell.

That night, back at the flat, as Del comes to the conclusion that the urns are valuable, Grandad looks in one of the urns and is shocked to see the ashes of Trigger's grandfather Arthur. Then, Grandad comes clean as he tells his grandsons that he was the other man who Alice had the affair with while Arthur was away, because his wife had left him at the time. When Arthur found out, he told Grandad that he would come back and haunt him someday. Del and Rodney do not believe that Arthur's ghost could have found Grandad, and go to bed.

Later that night, at 3:00am, Del comes out of the bathroom, just to eavesdrop in on Grandad talking to the urn with Arthur's ashes in it. Del decides to wind him up by talking through a traffic cone, making Grandad think that Arthur's ghost is really talking to him. But unfortunately, Rodney is awakened by the noise and scares Del from behind. Grandad finally has enough and demands that Del and Rodney get the ashes out of the flat. But, Del and Rodney can't get hold of Trigger, since he's on holiday in Ireland. Grandad suggests scattering Arthur's ashes at his old hangout, the Peckham Bowling Green, tomorrow night.

The next night, at the bowling club, Del and Rodney decide to scatter the ashes evenly while saying a prayer, but unfortunately, they do not get to do so as the clubhouse lights up and the players arrive. The Trotter brothers quickly escape into the night.

The next morning, Del and Rodney try to pour Arthur's ashes into the water at St Katharine Docks, but are stopped by a river policeman (played by John D. Collins) from doing so.

After failing to pour the ashes into a cement mixer, the Trotters get lucky when a council cleaning lorry sucks up the ashes from the urn. Del is convinced that it makes sense since Arthur used to be a roadsweeper, but Rodney is not sure.

When they get back home, Grandad tells Del and Rodney that Trigger received their telephone calls, since he's fogbound at the airport. Trigger tells Del something that Grandad forgot to mention: Trigger's grandmother Alice had been married twice. Del then shows Grandad the other urn which of course is full of ashes.

Episode cast

Actor Role
David Jason Derek Trotter
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney Trotter
Lennard Pearce Grandad Trotter
Roger Lloyd-Pack Trigger
John D. Collins River policeman
Terry Duggan Cleansing lorry driver

External links

Preceded by
"The Long Legs of the Law"
Only Fools and Horses
28 October 1982
Succeeded by
"A Losing Streak"
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