"Only Fools and Horses" It's Only Rock and Roll (TV Episode 1985) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Rodney has joined a new band, and Del immediately capitalises on this by booking them into The Shamrock Club to play for the St Patrick's night festivities. Taking his place as the band's manager, Del winces his way through their rehearsals, and when the Shamrock gig results in a fight, the band are forced to leg it, leaving the instruments behind them. When Rodney finds out the musical equipment has vanished, he contacts the police and helps them with their enquiries. When tell sees Rodney with the constable, he quickly distracts the officer and pulls Rodney aside. It turns out that Del had the instruments on sale or return, and he'd taken them back because their band was so bad. Rodney's dreams of showbiz fame have been shattered, but he goes ballistic when he sees his group performing their old hit single on Top of the Pops and realises that without Del's interference he might have made it to number one.

  • Del is surprised to hear that Rodney and some friends have formed a pop band - and is at first rather dismissive of the idea. However, once he hears that there's some good money to be made for a band to play the local Shamrock Club on St Patrick's Day night, he sees an opportunity for Rodney's band to get a gig - and for him to be their manager and guide them to stardom.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • At a warehouse, as Del Boy loads up the van with the latest item to flog called Kandy Dolls, Rodney tells him that he has just joined a local band that are styling themselves on Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Del points out that Rodney does not have any drums, as well as mention that the band are a bunch of wallies and Rodney should not be hanging about with them, especially as their lead singer is "Mental" Mickey Maguire, who once bit a man's ear off. It is then revealed that each Kandy Doll has a different voice chip meant for another toy. Rodney bangs the roof of the van, practicing playing the drums. This distracts Del as he is loading up the dolls and bangs his head, saying to Rodney if he bangs on the roof of his van again it won't be Frankie Goes to Hollywood but Rodney Goes to Hospital. They then drive off, Del still moaning about his sore head.

    Later, while Rodney has gone down to the community hall to rehearse with the band, Del returns to the flat and tells Albert that The Shamrock Club in Deptford, the "Paddies' Moulin Rouge", does not have an act for St. Patrick's Night, as their regular act, the Dublin Bay Stormers, got into a fight and are in prison for their violent behaviour. Del says he has got a band and will arrange for them to perform there on St Patrick's Night. Del phones Liam, the owner of The Shamrock Club, and pretends he is down the community hall. He puts the record player on, which is playing "Diane" by The Bachelors. Del claims it is Rodney and his band-mates rehearsing on stage in the background. Del then slams the kitchen door and turns the player down to make it seem like he is in a room at the community hall. Del tells Liam it will cost £300 to hire them for the night. Del then tells Albert to be quiet about the booking at The Shamrock Club as he wants it to be a surprise for Rodney and the band. Albert says he can have Del's Cognac to keep quiet. Del agrees to it, then leaves for the community hall.

    That night, at the community hall, Rodney and his band are rehearsing a song they wrote called "Boys will be Boys", with Mental Mickey providing lead vocals, two other men named Stew and Charlie both playing rhythm guitars, and Rodney playing drums on packing cases, until Del enters and listens to the band playing their song rather badly. He then tells them that he wants to be their manager and will buy them brand new instruments, as well as get them bookings. Mental Mickey allows Del to take the position. Del then asks the band if they know any of The Bachelors' songs, and the band look at him nonplussed. Now their manager, Del promises the band that this time next year, they will be millionaires, only to walk out of the community hall and then laughing at how poor the band are.

    On St. Patrick's Night at The Shamrock Club, a riot has broken out due to the performance of Rodney's band. Tables and chairs are being thrown around and a table comes through the window, almost hitting Del, as he, Rodney, Stew, and Charlie exit the club with their instruments and drive off into the night in the Trotter van, while Mental Mickey enjoys himself fighting various club patrons.

    A few days later, Rodney has found the instruments in the garage have gone and he has invited a policeman around to tell him the instruments (including one of Rodney's drumsticks) were "stolen". Del sees Rodney chatting to the policeman and runs off with a box of hooky gear. The policeman questions a lot of the junk in the garage, wondering if it is stolen. Del then comes back to tell the policeman that the instruments were on sale-or-return. The policeman says he could have Rodney for wasting police time. Del then says he saw a couple of kids trying to remove the wheels on his car. The policeman runs off, saying "I might be back to see you" to Rodney.

    Del then berates Rodney for inviting the police round. Rodney is annoyed at Del for saying he bought the instruments but all the time he had them on sale and return. Rodney, after a disagreement with Mental Mickey, has been kicked out of the band for defending Del, when they accused Del of supplying stolen instruments and setting up the band as a one-off earner to get rid of some suits he had in the garage since 1975.

    Del says the band was not destined to go anywhere anyway, not the Albert Hall or Carnegie Halll the only hall they were destined for was "Sod All". Rodney asks Del why he always sticks his nose into everything and messes things up. Del replies that their mother Joan told him on her deathbed, "Del, please give little Rodney all the encouragement that you can. Never, Del, never hold him back!" But, Rodney points out that whatever the subject is, Joan always had something to say about it on her deathbed, such as last week when the Trotter Brothers were arguing over whose turn it was to go and get the fish and chips, and a drunk Del claimed that Joan said on her deathbed, "Send Rodney for the fish". Del gives Rodney his £150 share of the £300 for playing at the Shamrock Club. Del says he has some hooky Maltesers to sell down the market, and tells Rodney to forget all about Mental Mickey and his band and just move on.

    The next evening, as Del is talking to Monkey Harris on the telephone about having trouble selling the Kandy Dolls, he watches the TVs and discovers to his complete horror that Mental Mickey and his band, now named A Bunch of Wallies and having hired a new drummer, are at #26 on the UK Singles Chart and performing their song on Top of the Pops. Suddenly, Del hears Rodney entering the flat, and quickly turns both TVs off. Rodney enters the flat and says that conned Albert into taking an old woman from a laundromat to an old folks' beano. Rodney wants to watch Top of the Pops, but Del tells him that both televisions are broken, and the fuse in the socket has blown out.

    So, Rodney decides to go and tell Albert the news about the old folks' beano, while Del quickly puts on his camel coat and hat on and is ready to leave. Albert exits his bedroom, saying Rodney is winding him up. Del says he is off out, and tells Albert not to tell Rodney. Albert then replies that Rodney is busy watching Top of the Pops on the portable TV. Just as Del is about to escape, a fuming Rodney exits Albert's bedroom and says, "They're in the charts." Del closes his eyes, worried what Rodney will do now.

    Rodney says A Bunch of Wallies could go to #1 and have a smash hit on their hands. Del says they could have one smash hit then not get another one for the rest of their lives. Rodney says he always knew the band could make it big time, and Del was convinced they couldn't. Del says Rodney is too easily swayed, and that he also lost out as he was their manager. Rodney picks up his old drumstick and threatens to hurt Del with it.

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