Only Fools And Horses – Stage Fright, 1991
Almost certainly one of the series all time greats. Stage fright was the third outing in seventh series and watching it again had me cwying with laughter.
All is well in the Trotter household. Raquel is now three months pregnant, Del has got her to agree to marry him and he’s onto another opportunity to be a millionaire when the Starlight Rooms, managed by an old acquaintance, Eric, needs a good act. Del believes that Raquel’s previous experience as a singer makes her perfect for the part.
Whilst enjoying a drink at the Down by the Riverside Club, Del and Rodney meet a friend of Trigger’s, Tony Angelino: the Singing Dustman. He claims to have styled himself on Tom Jones and to sing – fairly well – to various old women who cheer for him.
Whilst Rodney thinks he is “bloody awful”, Del smelling an opportunity thinks that Tony would be the perfect singing partner for Raquel. He then gets Tony to sign a contract by pretending to ask for an autograph, then tells him all about the upcoming performance at the Starlight Rooms with Raquel.
Tony agrees to do the performance, with Raquel as his partner, Del as their manager, and Rodney as their roadie. When Tony warns Del that he can only sing certain songs. Del still on the scent of the money, fails to heed the warning and ask why? Reassuring Tony that all will be fine.
Back on home soil at The Nag’s Head, Del learns that the Starlight Rooms are owned by a gangster named Eugene McCarthy, who has been known to nail people to doors. To make matters worse, the night Raquel and Tony are due to perform is also Eugene’s Mother’s birthday.
Still unaware of Tony’s problem Del is late for the the performance when a court appearance for fly pitching runs over and upon seeing the performance flees Raquel and Tony take to the stage for a rendition of “Cwying”.
Back at home after the cringe worthy performance Del worries about what Eugene will do to him, then to make matters worse a fuming Raquel and a sniggering Rodney return home. Raquel advises Del that she and Tony carried on with the performance, singing “Please Welease Me, Congwtulations and The Gwen, Gween Gwass Of Home”, Rodney adds fuel to the fire by saying there was also a medley of “wock and woll”.
Just as Del thinks he’s in hot water a phone call from Eugene tells him his Mother thought it as the funniest thing she’s ever seen and offers him a five week contract at the Starlight Rooms…
Del – David Jason
Rodney – Nicholas Lyndhurst
Uncle Albert – Buster Merryfield
Tessa Peake-Jones – Raquel
Philip Pope – Tony Angelino
Written By: John Sullivan
Original Transmission Date: 13th January 1991