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It's Thirty Years Since Del Boy Fell Through The Bar On 'Only Fools And Horses'

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It's Thirty Years Since Del Boy Fell Through The Bar On 'Only Fools And Horses'

Sometimes, the simple ones are the best.

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And there will never be a time when watching somebody fall over isn't funny. Particularly somebody who is trying to act suave.

Which brings us to the classic Only Fools And Horses moment where Del Boy falls through the bar. The scene took place in the first episode of season six, 'Yuppy Love' which was first aired on the BBC on 8 January 1989.

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The scene has been voted as the funniest TV moment in numerous UK polls and surveys and was once named the 7th greatest TV moment in a Channel 4 poll - only beaten by the likes of JFK's assassination and the Queen's coronation.

If you haven't seen it, which you obviously have, basically the show's central character, Del Boy, is in a swanky pub leaning against the bar and eyeing up a couple of nearby women.

Enticed by what he sees, he leans forward from the bar to consult his drinking buddy, Trigger.

"I think we're on to a winner here, Trig," he says, unaware that the bar has been lifted behind him.

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"Play it nice and cool son, nice and cool, d'you know what I mean?" he adds, as he leans back towards the raised bar.

The rest, is comedy history.

Credit: BBC/Only Fools and Horses
Credit: BBC/Only Fools and Horses

It has aged well too, because it's timeless and universal humour. You don't even really need to speak English to get it. The gag is just perfectly executed slapstick. Nothing more, nothing less.

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The moment was inspired by a real-life incident witnessed by the show's writer and creator, John Sullivan. Doubtless, the pisshead who tripped in reality woke up a little bruised and sore, completely oblivious to the fact their stumble would go on to have an entire nation laughing for years to come.

But the scene, which has become the show's defining moment, was only a last minute addition to the script when Trigger actor, Roger Lloyd Pack, became available at short notice.

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According to The Telegraph, John Challis, who played Boycie, said: "Roger happened to be at the BBC at the time and he had a break.

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"So they found Trigger's blue suit and stuck him in this scene, which was almost improvised. When I saw it, I thought it was just so brilliant. The timing of it and Roger's take - him circling around, looking for Del Boy, by which time Del Boy's got up again.

"But I always say it wasn't very funny because I wasn't in it."

Sorry John, as you know, it definitely was.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: TV and Film

Jake Massey
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