30/12/2020 13:19 GMT | Updated 30/12/2020 13:21 GMT

Why Only Fools And Horses Bosses Had To Keep One Of Its Most Iconic Episodes Secret From The BBC

The 1989 episode, Danger UXD, featured Del Boy trying to sell some rather adult items.

Only Fools And Horses bosses had to keep the sitcom’s famous sex doll episode a secret from BBC bosses over fears it would be pulled, it has been revealed. 

In the 1989 episode Danger UXD, Del Boy tries to sell blow-up sex dolls without realising they were filled with toxic gas.

Writer John Sullivan was so worried the BBC wouldn’t air the scenes that the plot was kept “hush hush”, before the art department saved the day by making the blow-up dolls fit for family friendly TV viewing. 

Only Fools And Horses stars Nicholas Lyndhurst and David Jason

Art director Alison Rickman told Channel 5 documentary 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 Boy – played by David Jason – nicknamed two of the dolls Pepsi and Shirlie after the 80s pop duo.

Singer Shirlie Kemp called it a highlight of her career, explaining: “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.”