Only Fools And Horses sex-dolls ep almost never happened

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 30 December 2020
Sir David Jason

Del Boy actor David Jason

'Only Fools And Horses' writer John Sullivan was so worried that the BBC wouldn't air the sex-dolls episode, he kept the entire plot a secret

The 'Only Fools And Horses' sex-dolls episode almost never happened.

In the 1989 episode, titled 'Danger UXD', Del Boy tries to sell blow-up dolls without realising they were filled with toxic gas but writer John Sullivan was so worried BBC wouldn't air the scenes that he kept the plot secret.

And the costume department saved the day by making the blow-up dolls fit for family friendly TV viewing by painting their faces.

Art director Alison Rickman told Channel 5's 'We Love Only Fools And Horses': "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."

Del nicknamed two of the dolls Pepsi and Shirlie after the Eighties pop duo and the group's Shirlie Kemp called it a highlight of her career.

She explained: "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.

"In a funny way I felt really proud that I was on 'Only Fools And Horses' – even if I was a blow-up doll. There are certainly a lot worse claims to fame."

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