Only Fools and Horses

Season 5 Episode 6

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM Oct 05, 1986 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
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Episode Summary


Del gets the chance to make a new start (and to become a millionaire) in Australia - fronting Jumbo Mill's used car business.

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  • Del Boy leaving Rodney and Peckham to go to Australia? All is revealed here...

    Ah, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", now there was an episode that could be enjoyed by all.

    Del Boy's old mate Jumbo Mills returns to London 19 years after emigrating to Australia with Del's last 200 in 1967. In an attempt to pay back this debt with interest, Jumbo offers Del a chance to help run his new car business in the land down under - but it means a move to Australia for the Trotters.

    After Del Boy tells him that they'll be living a more carefree rich life in Oz, Rodney is very keen to go. But on the other hand, Albert, tired of travelling around the world his whole life, decides he wants to spend his final years in Peckham.

    Just when things were going well, Rodney is refused an immigration visa because he smoked illegal drugs. Del says that he doesn't want to stay in Peckham and flog 24 non-working computers and a Persian rug with food on it and instead gives the ownership of Trotters Independent Traders to his younger brother, but Rodney yells at him about how Del brought Rodney up after their mother died. Also he tells him that the real opportunity lies here, and people who are looking for bargains turn to blokes like the Trotters. Regardless of this, Del Boy still seems keen to go, making Rodney exit the flat in tears. Albert is completely disgusted by how Del's golden opportunity has started a family feud similar to the one between the Ewing Brothers from Dallas. I agree with Del when he said that Rodney isn't like JR. A J Arthur, but definately not a JR.

    Later that night, after Albert suggests that Del should go to Australia which means that Rodney will have to learn to grow up, Del Boy phones Jumbo to confirm when he'll be arriving - but instead, Del turns him down - reluctantly admitting that he can't leave Rodders behind. As Albert goes to bed a very happy man, Rodney returns home and apologizes to Del for all those rash, immature things that Rodney said earlier, and to tell Del that he has to go to Australia, although Del says that he's turned the offer down. And at the end, Del Boy and Rodney make up in a heartwarming moment thanks to Rodney saying earlier, "The real opportunity lies here!", because of Britain being in a bad way, people want a good bargain, and they turn to blokes like the Trotters! This country is on the eve of a golden age in the black market, and the Trotters will be there, and that this time next year, they'll be millionaires! And they would do that 10 years later in the 1996 Christmas trilogy. And so, the Trotter Brothers make up, Rodney goes to bed happy, and Del laments his lost opportunity for wealth by singing "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?".

    Fun fact: This was originally planned to be the last Only Fools and Horses episode with Del leaving to go to Australia after David Jason told John Sullivan that he wanted to leave the show, resulting in a planned spin-off titled "Hot-Rod", which would've been about Rodney and Mickey Pearce taking over Trotters Independent Traders, as well as feature all the other OFAH regulars, yet leave open the prospect of Del Boy's return. The final scenes of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" were never actually written though, as Jason changed his mind and decided to stay on. However Sullivan had already written most of the episode, so he just changed the ending so that Del turns down Jumbo's offer.

    What a great episode. This is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking. The first half is flawlessly executed comedy, and the whole sequence with Jumbo's wig is brilliantly played by David Jason and, in fact, Nick Stringer. The second half features some of the most intense drama since "Strained Relations" from the previous season. In scenes reminiscent of that episode, Del Boy and Rodney both angrily reflect on their conflicting lives since they were left alone when their mother died and their father ran away - Del claiming to have done his best, and Rodney lashing out at a parental upbringing he clearly feels he was robbed of. In the end, the choice for Del is between the best chance yet to make that elusive fortune, and not leaving Rodney. Rodney is a product of Del – as he points out, Rodney's every chance at being a success has been quashed by his brother, and now Del must pay the price as he can't leave him to cope alone. Finally they talk about how that the best opportunities are at home, when they know the best chance of escaping a life they hate has just escaped them by a whisker, and Del choking up while singing "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" tells us just how hard it was for him to give that golden opportunity up. All in all, a superb episode.moreless
  • Proof that comedy and drama are two sides of one coin.

    An unusual episode. It starts off as a typical sitcom with that cast of familiar characters, nice one-liners and even physical comedy. Some of the jokes are decidedly politically incorrect, but the lovable cockneys get away with it. Once Rodney gets his bad news, the mood changes. In very long scenes Del and Rodney analyse their relationship. The odd clever line prevents it from completely turning into a drama, but the audience's reaction at the end proves that the emotions are real. I have rarely known an audience to cheer when a sitcom ended on a dramatic note.

    This was not the first time John Sullivan pulled it off like this and in the hour-long episodes he would do it with even more dexterity, but I am sure that the success of this one made him realise the power of the formula.moreless
Nick Stringer

Nick Stringer

Jumbo Mills

Guest Star

Kenneth MacDonald

Kenneth MacDonald

Mike Fisher

Recurring Role

John Challis

John Challis


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (Rodney can't go to Australia because of his drug conviction, yet Del is still keen to go without him, much to Rodney's chagrin)
      Del: Don't you think I've sacrificed enough for you?!
      Rodney: Sacrifices? For me?
      Del: Yes you, when dear Mum, Gawd rest her soul, when she died...
      Rodney: Don't start again.
      Del: When she died, who stood by you?
      Rodney: Yes, I remember that well. I was a little 5-year-old stood in a damp graveyard wondering what the hole in the ground was for, I remember all the other people saying "I wonder what's gonna happen to poor little Rodney?" But I had no need to fear, did I, 'cos suddenly a vision appeared from beyond the silhouette of the gasworks. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Del Boy! Da da da daad! "I, Del Boy, will look after this small waif. I will bring him up in the ways of Del Boy. He will sell iffy watches from old suitcases on street corners. And I will also teach him to drive a three-wheeled van whilst pissed out of his skull!"
      Del: And I did, didn't I?

    • Jumbo: A typical Brit! The only thing that works is his mouth.

    • Del: Australia is an awfully long way off, isn't it?
      Jumbo: They'll love you over there. They've got no class!

    • Del: Australia! Where the men are men.
      Albert: So are the women ...
      Del: What's that supposed to mean?
      Albert: Last time I was over there, the only way you could tell the sexes, was the men spit further.

  • NOTES (1)

    • This was originally planned to be the very last Only Fools and Horses episode with Del leaving to go to Australia after David Jason stated his intention to leave the series to John Sullivan, therefore resulting in a planned spin-off series called Hot-Rod, which would have involved Rodney and Mickey Pearce taking over Trotters Independent Traders, as well as featuring all the other regular OFAH characters, and an option of Del returning at a later date. However, Jason was worried that the series would fall apart without Del, so he changed his mind and decided to stay on in the end.


    • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is a quiz show hosted by Chris Tarrant where contestants try to answer fifteen multiple choice questions to win £1,000,000.

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