Only Fools and Horses

Classic Only Fools episode considered so rude it nearly didn’t make it past censors

Only Fools and Horses often stepped close to the mark with its humour but very nearly crossed the line with this episode.

The writer John Sullivan, who died in 2011, was so certain it wouldn’t be allowed that he kept the plot secret from BBC bosses.

The episode ended up being saved by costume designers who stepped in to make the dolls less crude so the show could be suitable for pre-watershed viewing.

Any guesses for which classic episode this is yet?

It is of course the show called Danger UXD where Del Boy and Rodney Trotter came face-to-face with blow up sex dolls and thought they could offload them for a profit.

Only Fools and Horses
The costume designers had to modify the dolls

In typical Only Fools style, the pair then tried to flog the dolls on when it all went wrong.

They didn’t realise that the dolls were filled with toxic gas.

Del Boy and Rodney dressed the dolls in their late mother’s clothes, with the dolls being named Pepsi and Shirlie after the backing singers for George Michael fronted 80s pop act Wham!

Only Fools and Horses
The dolls were named Pepsi and Shirlie after the backing singers for Wham!

This turned out to be huge for Shirlie Kemp’s.

She explained in a Channel 5 documentary about the show that she had more attention from that than she did singing with Wham!

She said: “My house phone did not stop ringing.

“I had so many people telling me ‘You’re on Only Fools And Horses’. I had more calls than when I had a hit record.”

The show’s art director Alison Rickman said in the documentary: “That whole episode was kept hush-hush because they were very frightened of being censored and then being told they couldn’t do it.

“Most blow-up dolls have an open mouth.

“But we couldn’t show that, so somebody altered the faces to make them more suitable for television because we knew we wouldn’t be able to broadcast it, and we wanted to do the gag which involved the dolls and them being inflated.

“That was an important part of the whole story.”

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