Big Brother (Only Fools and Horses)

"Big Brother"
Only Fools and Horses episode

Del Boy and Rodney buying the faulty suitcases from Trigger.
Episode no. Series 1
Episode 1
Directed by Martin Shardlow
Written by John Sullivan
Produced by Ray Butt
Original air date 8 September 1981
(9.2 million viewers)
Running time

30 minutes

  • 29:55 (DVD)
  • 29:59 (iTunes)

"Big Brother" is the first ever episode of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. It is the first episode of series 1, and was first broadcast on 8 September 1981.[1] In the episode, Del buys a consignment of briefcases, only to later discover that the combinations are locked inside.


Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, chairman of Trotters Independent Traders, employs his younger brother Rodney into his company. Later, at their local pub, The Nag's Head, Rodney meets Del's friend Trigger, in order to buy some briefcases. On introduction, Trigger acknowledges to Del that he is already acquainted with his brother Rodney but then immediately calls him 'Dave'.[2] Del negotiates the price of the briefcases down from £17 to £8, and intends cheating his friend by claiming the price for the 25 is £175, when actually it is £200. Rodney however proves to Trigger, using his GCE in mathematics as proof of his credibility, that Del's figures are wrong. It soon emerges however that not only were the cases stolen, they are also rejects; the combination for them is on the inside. Rodney advises Del to throw them in the river.

Rodney then requests to Del that he be made the partnership's financial adviser, on the grounds of him having two GCEs (maths & art). Del however is not happy about this due to Rodney's behaviour regarding the briefcases. The row between the brothers is soon made worse by the latter's buying a cheeseburger for Grandad instead of an Emperor burger due to lack of funds. Grandad gets angry with Rodney as well, and Rodney decides to leave the partnership and go to Hong Kong. He wishes to go there to see a girl, "Shanghai Lil". She was at art college with Rodney but was deported after they were caught smoking cannabis, for which Rodney received a £300 fine and a suspended sentence.

The next day, Del trawls London, looking for Rodney and attempting to sell the briefcases, having already previously failed with his telephone contacts. Returning home after having failed to achieve either goal, he is soon joined by Rodney, who only got as far as the Shangri-La Doss house Stoke Newington due to running out of money and forgetting his passport. After they make up, Del informs Rodney that he took his advice and threw the briefcases in the "bleeding river", but they floated.[3][4]

Episode cast

Actor Role
David Jason Derek Trotter
Nicholas Lyndhurst Rodney Trotter
Lennard Pearce Grandad Trotter
Roger Lloyd-Pack Trigger
Peta Bernard Joycie the Barmaid



  1. "Original Air Date (Big Brother)". IMDb. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  2. BBCWorldwide (7 July 2010), Trigger's Dodgy Briefcases - Only Fools and Horses - BBC, retrieved 14 May 2016
  3. "Big Brother Review". Archived from the original on 3 April 2009. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  4. "Full Episode Script". Retrieved 30 June 2009.

External links

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