|Only Fools and Horses|
|Created by||John Sullivan|
|Written by||John Sullivan|
|Directed by||Martin Shardlow (1981)|
Bernard Thompson (1981)
Ray Butt (1982–1983, 1985–1987)
Susan Belbin (1985)
Mandie Fletcher (1986)
Tony Dow (1988–2003)
|Starring|| David Jason |
|Theme music composer|| Ronnie Hazlehurst (1981)|
John Sullivan (1982–2003)
|Opening theme||"Only Fools and Horses Theme" (Why Do Only Fools and Horses Work?)|
|Ending theme||"Hooky Street"|
|Country of origin||UK|
|No. of series||7|
|No. of episodes||64 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers|| Ray Butt (1981–1987)|
Bernard Thompson (1981)
Gareth Gwenlan (1988–1993, 1996, 2001–2003)
John Sullivan (1991–2003)
|Production locations|| BBC Television Centre, White City, London |
Acton, London (1981–1988)
|Running time||Regular episodes|
Series 1–5: 30 minutes
Series 6–7: 50 minutes
|Original network||BBC One|
|Picture format|| PAL (1981–1996)|
DVB-T 576i (2001–2003)
|Original release||8 September 1981 –|
25 December 2003
Only Fools and Horses.... is a British television sitcom created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with sixteen sporadic Christmas specials aired until the end of the show in 2003. Set in working-class Peckham in south-east London, it stars David Jason as ambitious market trader Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother Rodney Trotter, alongside a supporting cast. The series follows the Trotters' highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich. Critically and popularly acclaimed, the series received numerous awards, including recognition from BAFTA, the National Television Awards and the Royal Television Society, as well as winning individual accolades for both Sullivan and Jason. It was voted Britain's Best Sitcom in a 2004 BBC poll.
Lennard Pearce appeared in the first three series as Del and Rodney's elderly grandad. After Pearce's death in 1984, the show replaced Grandad with Uncle Albert, the boys' great uncle, played by Buster Merryfield. From 1988 onwards, the show features regular characters in Del Boy and Rodney's love interests, Raquel (Tessa Peake-Jones) and Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong) respectively. Other recurring characters include car dealer Boycie (John Challis), road sweeper Trigger (Roger Lloyd-Pack), lorry driver Denzil (Paul Barber), spiv Mickey Pearce (Patrick Murray), Boycie's wife Marlene (Sue Holderness), and pub landlord Mike (Kenneth MacDonald).
The show was not an immediate hit with viewers and received little promotion early on,  but later achieved consistently high ratings, and the 1996 episode "Time on Our Hands" (originally billed as the last episode) holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode, attracting 24.3 million viewers.  The series influenced British culture, contributing several words and phrases to the English language. It spawned an extensive range of merchandise, including books, videos, DVDs, toys, and board games. Episodes are frequently repeated on UKTV comedy channel Gold.
A spin-off series, The Green Green Grass , ran for four series in the UK from 2005 to 2009. A prequel, Rock & Chips , ran for three specials in 2010 and 2011. A special Sport Relief episode aired in March 2014, guest starring David Beckham. In February 2019, a musical adaptation of the show, written by John Sullivan's son Jim Sullivan and Paul Whitehouse, was launched at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London. 
Derek "Del Boy" Trotter (played by David Jason), a South London "fly" trader, lives in a council flat in Nelson Mandela House, a high-rise tower block in Peckham, South London, with his much younger brother, Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst), and their elderly grandad (Lennard Pearce).  Their mother, Joan, died when Rodney was young, and their father Reg absconded soon afterwards, so Del became Rodney's surrogate father and the family patriarch. Despite their differences in age, personality and outlook, the brothers share a constant bond throughout. 
The Trotters attempt to become millionaires through questionable get-rich-quick schemes and by buying and selling poor quality and illegal goods. They have a three-wheeled Reliant Regal van and trade under the name of Trotters Independent Traders, mainly on the black market. 
Initially, Del Boy, Rodney and Grandad were the only regulars, along with the occasional appearances of road sweeper Trigger (Roger Lloyd-Pack) and pretentious used car salesman Boycie (John Challis). Over time, the cast expanded, mostly in the form of regulars at the local pub The Nag's Head. These included pub landlord Mike Fisher (Kenneth MacDonald), lorry driver Denzil (Paul Barber), youthful spiv Mickey Pearce (Patrick Murray) and Boycie's flirtatious wife Marlene (Sue Holderness).  After Grandad died following the death of actor Lennard Pearce, his younger brother Uncle Albert (Buster Merryfield) was introduced and moved in with Del and Rodney, becoming a main character. 
The plots of many early episodes were primarily self-contained, with few plot lines mentioned again, but the show developed a story arc and an ongoing episodic dimension in later series. Del and Rodney's quest for love is a recurring theme, which eventually resulted in them finding long-term love in the form of Raquel (Tessa Peake-Jones) and Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong) respectively; Del also has a son with Raquel, Damien (played by five actors, most recently Ben Smith). The Trotters finally become millionaires, lose their fortune, and then regain some of it. 
The most frequent roles for guest actors in Only Fools and Horses were as Del or Rodney's one-time girlfriends, barmaids at the Nag's Head, or individuals the Trotters were doing business with. Del and Rodney's deceased mother, Joan, though never seen, was frequently mentioned in Del's embellished accounts of her final words or in his attempts to emotionally blackmail Rodney. Her grave, a flamboyant monument, was seen occasionally.  Their absent father, Reg, appeared once in "Thicker Than Water" (played by Peter Woodthorpe), before leaving under a cloud, never to be seen again.  Other members of the Trotter family were rarely sighted, the exceptions being cousins Stan (Mike Kemp) and Jean (Maureen Sweeney), who attended Grandad's funeral.  In "The Second Time Around",  the woman they believed to be Auntie Rose (Beryl Cooke) turned out to be no relation at all but the woman who had moved into Rose's house some years earlier. After Rodney met Cassandra, her parents Alan (Denis Lill) and Pam (Wanda Ventham) became recurring characters.  Raquel's parents, James and Audrey (Michael Jayston and Ann Lynn), appeared in "Time On Our Hands", and it was James who discovered the antique watch which made the Trotters millionaires. 
In some episodes, a guest character was essential to the plot. Del's ex-fiancée Pauline (Jill Baker) dominated Del's libido in "The Second Time Around",  prompting Rodney and Grandad to leave. In "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", Del's old business partner Jumbo Mills (Nick Stringer) wanted Del to return to Australia with him and restore their partnership, forcing Del to make a decision.  In "Happy Returns", Del stops a young boy from running into the road and takes him home to his mother to discover she is an old flame from nineteen years ago, June Snell (Diane Langton) and the episode revolves around whether her daughter Debby (Oona Kirsch) is actually Del's child, complicated by the fact that Rodney is dating her. June also appears in "A Royal Flush", attending an opera. An attempt by Lennox (Vas Blackwood) to rob a local supermarket set up the "hostage" situation in "The Longest Night".  Del and Rodney spent the whole of "Tea for Three" battling each other for the affections of Trigger's niece Lisa (Gerry Cowper), who briefly reappeared in "The Frog's Legacy".  Abdul (Tony Anholt) in "To Hull and Back" and Arnie (Philip McGough) in "Chain Gang" were responsible for setting up dubious enterprises involving the Trotters in their respective episodes.  Tony Angelino (Philip Pope), the "singing dustman" with a speech impediment, was the key to the humour and the storyline of "Stage Fright" and EastEnders actor Derek Martin guest starred in "Fatal Extraction". 
Del's nemesis from his school days, corrupt policeman Roy Slater (played by Jim Broadbent), made three appearances, in "May The Force Be With You", "To Hull and Back" and "Class of '62".  Feared local villains, Danny and Tony Driscoll (Roy Marsden and Christopher Ryan respectively) featured once, in "Little Problems", but were mentioned in two previous episodes ("Video Nasty" and "The Frog's Legacy"),  and are important in the story of The Green Green Grass .  An adult Damien (Douglas Hodge) appeared in "Heroes and Villains".  Rodney and Mickey's friends, the smooth-talking Jevon (Steven Woodcock) and then, briefly, Chris (Tony Marshall), a ladies' hairdresser, featured sporadically during the sixth and seventh series and the intervening Christmas specials.  The two-part 1991 Christmas special, "Miami Twice", saw Richard Branson and Barry Gibb make cameo appearances.  Mike Read appeared as himself, hosting an episode of Top Of The Pops , in "It's Only Rock and Roll" and Jonathan Ross appeared as himself in "If They Could See Us Now".  
While their characters were less significant, well-known actors who played cameos in the programme included Joan Sims, best known for her numerous roles in the Carry On films,  who guest-starred in the feature-length episode "The Frog's Legacy" as Reenie Turpin, an aunt of Trigger and old friend of Del's late mother;  successful film actor David Thewlis, who played a young wannabe musician in "It's Only Rock and Roll";  John Bardon, who played the role of Jim Branning in the soap opera EastEnders , appeared as the supermarket security officer Tom Clark in "The Longest Night".  Walter Sparrow, who appeared as Dirty Barry in "Danger UXD", went on to appear in several Hollywood films. 
In 1980, John Sullivan, a scriptwriter under contract at the BBC, was already well known as the writer of the sitcom Citizen Smith . It came to an end that year and Sullivan was searching for a new project. An initial idea for a comedy set in the world of football was rejected by the BBC, as was his alternative idea, a sitcom centring on a cockney market trader in working class, modern-day London. The latter idea persisted.  Through Ray Butt, a BBC producer and director whom Sullivan had met and become friends with when they were working on Citizen Smith, a draft script was shown to the BBC's Head of Comedy, John Howard Davies. Davies commissioned Sullivan to write a full series. Sullivan believed the key factor in its being accepted was the success of ITV's new drama, Minder , a series with a similar premise and also set in modern-day London. 
Sullivan had initially given the show the working title Readies. For the actual title he intended to use, as a reference to the protagonist's tax- and work-evading lifestyle, Only Fools and Horses. That name was based on a genuine, though very obscure, saying, "only fools and horses work for a living", which had its origins in 19th-century American vaudeville.  "Only Fools and Horses" had also been the title of an episode of Citizen Smith, and Sullivan liked the expression and thought it was suited to the new sitcom.  He also thought longer titles would attract attention.  He was first overruled on the grounds that the audience would not understand the title, but he eventually got his way. 
Filming of the first series began in May 1981, and the first episode, "Big Brother", was transmitted on BBC1 at 8:30 pm on 8 September that year. It attracted 9.2 million viewers  and generally received a lukewarm response from critics.  The viewing figures for the whole first series averaged at around 7 million viewers.  According to an interview with John Challis in 2015, the viewing figure "today would be very good but in those days wasn't considered great at all, so it was sort of put on the back burner for a bit – no particular plans for a second series".  The costumes for the first series were designed by Phoebe De Gaye. Del's attire was inspired by her going to car boot sales. She took Jason shopping in Oxford Street, and had him try a variety of suits. De Gaye purchased some gaily coloured Gabicci shirts, which were fashionable at the time and she thought "horrible".  Del's rings and bracelet were made of fake gold and came from Chapel Market. Rodney's combat jacket came from the BBC's Costume Department, and De Gaye added a Yasser Arafat scarf purchased from Shepherd's Bush Market. De Gaye used Vaseline, make-up and food to make Grandad's costume look dirty. The idea was that he never had his hat off, never dressed properly and usually wore dirty pyjamas underneath his clothes. 
A second series was commissioned for 1982. This fared a bit better, and the first and second series had a collective repeat run in June 1983 in a more low-key time slot, but attracted a high enough viewing figure for Davies to commission a third series.  From there, the show began to top the television ratings. Viewing figures for the fourth series were double those of the first.  In early December 1984,  during the filming of Series 4, Lennard Pearce suffered a heart attack and was taken to hospital.  He died on 15 December, the day before he was due to return.  Sullivan wrote Grandad's death into the series with the episode "Strained Relations" which featured Del and Rodney's goodbye to Grandad.  According to Sullivan, recasting Grandad was considered disrespectful to Pearce by the team, so it was decided that another older family member was to be cast. Buster Merryfield was then cast as Grandad's brother Albert.  The scenes from "Hole in One" that featured Pearce were re-filmed with Merryfield. 
Midway through the filming of the fifth series, Jason told Sullivan that he wished to leave the show in order to further his career elsewhere. Sullivan thus wrote "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", which was intended to be the final episode and would see Del accepting a friend's offer to set up business in Australia, leaving Rodney and Albert behind. Plans were made for a spin-off entitled Hot-Rod, which would have followed Rodney's attempts to survive on his own with help from Mickey Pearce but leaving open the prospect of Del's return. Jason then changed his mind, and the ending of the episode was changed to show Del rejecting the offer. 
Sullivan had a tendency to write scripts that were too long, meaning a lot of good material had to be cut. Shortly before filming of the sixth series began, he and Jason requested that the show's time slot be extended and it was agreed to extend its running time to 50 minutes.  This required a 40 per cent increase in the show's budget,  and coincided with the show's becoming one of the BBC's most popular programmes.  Robin Stubbs became the costume designer for the sixth series, and was responsible for getting Del's attire to match his new yuppy image. His new suits cost around £200 each and were purchased from Austin Reed in Regent Street. The rest came from stores such as Tie-Rack and Dickins & Jones. His jewellery was replaced each series because it was very cheap (the "D" rings cost 50p each). 
The seventh series aired in early 1991.  Jason and Sullivan were involved with other projects, and it was confirmed that there were no plans for a new series.  Despite this, the show continued in Christmas specials until 1993.  Sullivan nonetheless wanted a final episode to tie up the show.  In late 1996, three more one-hour episodes were filmed,  to be broadcast over Christmas 1996.  All three were well received and, due to the ending, were assumed to be the last.  The show made a return in Christmas 2001 with the first of three new episodes which were shot together but ultimately broadcast over three consecutive Christmases from 2001 until 2003.   Despite rumours of further episodes,  in a 2008 interview, Sullivan was quoted as saying: "There will not be another series of Only Fools And Horses. I can say that. We had our day, it was wonderful but it is best to leave it now".  Though Sullivan died in 2011, it returned for a special Sport Relief episode in 2014. 
Only Fools and Horses has separate theme songs for the opening and closing credits, "Only Fools and Horses" and "Hooky Street", respectively.  The original theme tune was produced by Ronnie Hazlehurst and recorded on 6 August 1981 at Lime Grove Studios. Alf Bigden, Paul Westwood, Don Hunt, John Dean, Judd Proctor, Eddie Mordue, and Rex Morris were hired to play the music. The tune was changed after the first series, and the new one was written by John Sullivan (he disliked the tune for the first series, and his new one explained the show's title  ), and Hazlehurst conducted it. It was recorded at Lime Grove on 11 May 1982, with musicians John Horler, Dave Richmond, Bigden, and Proctor. Sullivan had intended Chas & Dave to sing it because they had enjoyed success with the "Rockney" style, a mixture of rock n' roll and traditional Cockney music.  Sullivan was persuaded to do it himself by Ray Butt.  Despite the creation of a new theme tune, the original one remained in occasional use.  Chas & Dave did later contribute to the show, performing the closing credits song for the 1989 episode "The Jolly Boys' Outing".  Both songs are performed by Sullivan himself, and not – as is sometimes thought – by Nicholas Lyndhurst. 
The opening credits see images of the three principal actors peel on and off the screen sequentially. These appear over a background of still photographs of everyday life in London. The sequence was conceived by graphic designer Peter Clayton as a "metaphor for the vagaries of the Trotters' lifestyle", whereby money was earned and quickly lost again. Clayton had also considered using five-pound notes bearing Del's face. The action was shot manually frame by frame and took around six weeks to complete. Clayton knew that it was important to have the characters established in the titles and prepared a storyboard depicting his ideas using drawings. He photographed various locations with a photographer, and the titles were shot using a rostrum camera and not edited. Brian Stephens, a professional animator, was hired to create the labels' movement. 
Clayton returned to the show when the closing credits were changed for "Christmas Crackers". He re-cut the entire sequence and added Christmas items. Another change was made necessary by Lennard Pearce's death and Buster Merryfield joining the cast, so the pictures of David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst were updated too. The sequence was shot on motor drive. 
The closing credits for the programme varied series by series. The first series used peeling labels featuring the names of the cast and crew, mirroring the opening sequence, but these had to be updated with every new episode, making the process very time-consuming; from the second series the credits switched to a standard rolling format. The third series featured additional symbols. For the fourth series, these designs were replaced with white lettering on a black background. The fifth series had a black and white background, but the sixth series reverted to the black one. For the seventh series, the credits scrolled against a freeze frame of the final scene. 
The original "Nelson Mandela House" in the titles was Harlech Tower, Park Road East, Acton, London. From 1988 onwards, Whitemead House, Duckmoor Road, Ashton in Bristol was used. The tower block is located behind Ashton Gate, the home ground of both Bristol City Football Club and the Bristol Bears, with some scenes filmed in the stadium's carpark. 
Sixty-four episodes of Only Fools and Horses, all written by John Sullivan, were broadcast on BBC1 from 8 September 1981 until 25 December 2003.   The show was aired in seven series (1981–1983, 1985–1986, 1989 and 1990–1991), and thereafter in sporadic Christmas special editions (1991–1993, 1996, 2001–2003).  The episodes from the first five series (excluding Christmas specials) had a running time of 30 minutes, but from Series 6 (1989), the running time of the series episodes was extended to 50 minutes. 
Several mini-episodes were produced.  An eight-minute episode aired on 27 December 1982 as part of a show hosted by Frank Muir, The Funny Side of Christmas , and attracted 7.2 million viewers.  A 5-minute spoof BBC documentary was shown on Breakfast Time on 24 December 1985, with Del being investigated by a BBC consumer expert.  An educational episode named "Licensed to Drill", in which Del, Rodney and Grandad discuss oil drilling, was recorded in 1984 but only shown in schools.  A 5-minute 1990–91 Persian Gulf War special (dated 1 December 1990) has Del, Rodney, and Albert convey a message to British troops serving in the conflict.  It has never been broadcast commercially, but a copy exists at the Imperial War Museum, London.  A Comic Relief special showing Del, Rodney and Albert making an appeal for donations was shown on 14 March 1997, with 10.6 million viewers.  A Sport Relief special was aired on 21 March 2014. 
Only Fools and Horses had two producers: Ray Butt from 1981 to 1987,  and Gareth Gwenlan thereafter.  Seven directors were used: Martin Shardlow directed all episodes in series one,  Bernard Thompson directed the 1981 Christmas special,  Susan Belbin series four,  and Mandie Fletcher series five.  Butt directed series three and five, as well as the 1985, 1986 and 1987 Christmas specials.  Tony Dow became the established director after 1988, directing all subsequent episodes, bar the first part of Miami Twice, which was directed by Gareth Gwenlan.  John Sullivan was executive producer on seven of the final eight episodes. 
A BBC documentary titled "The Story of Only Fools and Horses" aired in December 2002.  A six-part documentary series also titled "The Story of Only Fools and Horses", began on 29 August 2017 on Gold and finished on 3 October 2017. The series features rare and unseen footage from the archives and specially re-created moments from Del Boy's family and friends.  On 27 December 2020, a special called "We Love Only Fools and Horses" was broadcast on Channel 5 in which various fans, actors and crew recalled the story of the series and why the show is still popular. 
A spin-off of Only Fools and Horses entitled The Green Green Grass , also written by John Sullivan and directed by Tony Dow, was first aired in the UK in September 2005.  Sullivan had considered writing a sitcom around the popular characters of Boycie and Marlene (John Challis and Sue Holderness) since the mid-1980s, but it was not until Only Fools And Horses ended that the idea came to fruition. The Green Green Grass saw Boycie and Marlene forced to leave Peckham by one-time Only Fools and Horses villains, the Driscoll Brothers, and included guest appearances by Denzil (Paul Barber) and Sid (Roy Heather). A second series of The Green Green Grass was broadcast in the UK in October 2006,  a third in November 2007  and a fourth in January 2009. 
In 2003, it was reported that Sullivan was developing a prequel to the original series, Once Upon a Time in Peckham, which would feature Del as a youngster in the 1960s, and have a prominent role for his parents.  In 2009, it was again reported that the BBC were considering commissioning the show, although nothing was confirmed.  On 5 April 2009, Sullivan said that he was planning a prequel to Only Fools and Horses which would star Nicholas Lyndhurst as Freddie "The Frog" Robdal, a local criminal and Rodney's biological father; Robdal was the focus of the episode "The Frog's Legacy". 
On 3 July 2009, the BBC revealed that the title of the spin-off would be Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Chips, and would be a 90-minute comedy drama.  The title was subsequently changed to Rock & Chips .  Filming began in August 2009, and it was shown on BBC One at 9pm on 24 January 2010.  In October 2009 it was confirmed that Lyndhurst would star as Robdal.  The Inbetweeners and Off The Hook actor James Buckley played the role of the young Del Boy. 
The show has been released on VHS, DVD and audio CD in several guises. A DVD collection containing every episode was issued, along with various other special edition box-sets, such as a tin based on their Reliant Regal. Videos and DVDs of Only Fools and Horses continue to be among the BBC's biggest-selling items, having sold over 1 million VHS copies and 6 million DVD copies in the UK.  
The series made its debut on Blu-ray on 6 December 2021, with a three-disc set entitled Only Fools and Horses: The 80s Specials. It featured the five feature length Christmas specials broadcast from 1985 to 1989, restored and remastered in high-definition. For the restoration process, the original 16mm film elements were cleaned and rescanned, while the standard-definition videotape elements were "digitally reprocessed" and upscaled to HD.  On the set, the episode "A Royal Flush" is featured both in its original and "writer's cut" versions; "The Jolly Boys' Outing" is fully uncut; and various photo galleries, a booklet and artcards are also included.  It entered and peaked at #10 on the U.K. Official Blu-Ray Chart the week ending 18 December 2021. 
A number of episodes were re-edited for audio purposes and released on either audio cassette or CD.  In total, there were 5 CDs released, with the first one being released on both CD and cassette. 
An album was released in 2002. Only Fools and Horses: The Album featured songs used in the show, as well as John Sullivan performing the theme tune and Hookie Street.  Apart from the physical CD release, the album has never been available digitally, meaning that the theme tune has never appeared on streaming or download services as of 2023. A single was released to support the album, which sampled the show's theme tune, titled Delboy's Tune .  The music video features John Challis as Boycie and Patrick Murray as Mickey Pearce. 
Before Euro 2004, an unofficial England song was released by Undercover. The track, titled Viva England!, sampled both the opening theme from Only Fools and Horses and Hookie Street - used with John Sullivan's blessing - and reached number 49 in the charts.  
A four-minute show named "Royal Variety Performance" was shown on 27 November 1988 (viewed by 18.14 million people) and had Del, Rodney, and Albert appear on the Royal Variety Show.  It was staged on 24 November 1986, and the plot saw David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Buster Merryfield appear on stage in character, thinking that they are delivering boxes of alcohol to an associate of Del's, only later realising where they actually are.  They also mistake the Duchess of York for Del's associate. 
An idea of an Only Fools and Horses stage show was mooted by Ray Butt, following the success of other sitcom crossovers such as Dad's Army and Are You Being Served? . Sullivan was not keen, owing to his work on Just Good Friends as well as Only Fools and Horses, and inexperience with the theatre, so nothing came of it. 
In July 2018, John Sullivan's son, Jim Sullivan, announced that an Only Fools and Horses musical was nearing completion, with a script by Jim Sullivan and Paul Whitehouse. Jim Sullivan said, "Back in 2010 my Dad had been toying with the possibility of a stage show but sadly didn’t get the chance to commit to it. In 2015 we met with the producer, Phil McIntyre, and agreed to develop the idea. Soon after that, Paul Whitehouse came on board and things have been bubbling away ever since. I am very pleased and excited to say that the show will be launching early next year." The musical launched on 9 February 2019 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, London. 
Only Fools and Horses spawned many merchandising spin-offs. Several books have been published, such as "The Only Fools and Horses Story" by Steve Clark  and "The Complete A-Z of Only Fools and Horses" by Richard Webber,  both of which detail the history of the series. The scripts have been published in a three-volume compendium, "The Bible of Peckham". 
In October 2015, He Who Dares..., a fictional autobiography, was published by Ebury Press. The book was written by John Sullivan's son, Jim Sullivan.  
In August 2017, Only Fools and Horses: The Peckham Archives, was published by Ebury Press. The book was written by Rod Green, with the help of Jim Sullivan. 
In November 2018, You Know It Makes Sense, Lessons From The Derek Trotter School of Business (And Life), was published by Ebury Press. The book was written by John Sullivan's son, Jim Sullivan. 
Two board games based on the show were released: a Monopoly-style game, the "Trotters Trading Game", in which participants attempt to emulate the Trotters and become millionaires,  and another game set in their local pub, entitled the "Nag's Head Board Game". 
A CD-Rom was released in August 2000 by BBC Multimedia. It featured a calendar, a calculator, a pub quiz, numerous clips from the show, and a driving game. 
An app was released for mobile phones in 2010. The Only Fools & Horses Plonker Test app included a quiz, mini-games, and audio clips from the show. It has since been discontinued. 
Only Fools and Horses is one of the UK's most popular sitcoms. It was among the ten most-watched television shows of the year in the UK in 1986,  1989,  1990,  1991,  1992,  1993,  1996,  2001,  2002  and 2003.  The 1996 Christmas trilogy of "Heroes and Villains", "Modern Men" and "Time on Our Hands" saw the show's peak. 21.3 million viewers watched the first two installments   while the third (said to be the show's final episode at the time of broadcast) attracted 24.3 million,  a record audience for a British sitcom.  Repeat episodes also attract millions of viewers,  and the BBC has received criticism for repeating the show too often.   
Only Fools and Horses won the BAFTA award for best comedy series in 1985,  1988  and 1996,  was nominated in 1983,  1986,  1989,  1990  and 1991,  and won the audience award in 2004. David Jason received individual BAFTAs for his portrayal of Del Boy in 1990  and 1996.  The series won a National Television Award in 1997 for most popular comedy series;  Jason won two individual awards, in 1997 and 2002.  At the British Comedy Awards, the show was named best BBC sitcom for 1990,  and received the People's Choice award in 1997.  It also won the Royal Television Society best comedy award in 1997 and two Television and Radio Industries Club Awards for comedy programme of the year, in 1984 and 1997.  John Sullivan received the Writers' Guild of Great Britain comedy award in 1997. 
The show regularly features in polls to find the most popular comedy series, moments and characters. It was voted Britain's Best Sitcom in a 2004 BBC poll,  and came 45th in the British Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes.  It was 3rd on a subsequent viewers' poll on the BFI website.  Empire magazine ranked Only Fools and Horses #42 on their list of the 50 greatest television shows of all time.  It was also named the funniest British sitcom of all time through a scientific formula, in a study by Gold.  Scenes such as Del Boy's fall through a bar flap in "Yuppy Love" and the Trotters accidentally smashing a priceless chandelier in "A Touch of Glass" are recognisable comedy moments, invariably topping polls of comedy viewers.     Del Boy was voted the most popular British TV character of all time in a survey by Open....  and in a 2001 Channel 4 poll he ranked fourth on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.   A Onepoll survey found that Only Fools and Horses was the television series Britons would most like to see return. 
|Episodes||First aired||Last aired||Avg. |
|1||Tuesday 8:30 pm||6||8 September 1981||9.2||13 October 1981||8.8||7.7|
|2||Thursday 8:30 pm||7||21 October 1982||7.7||2 December 1982||10.2||8.8|
|3||7||10 November 1983||9.4||22 December 1983||11.9||10.5|
|4||Thursday 8:00 pm||7||21 February 1985||15.2||4 April 1985||14.2||14.9|
|5||Sunday 8:35 pm||6||31 August 1986||12.1||5 October 1986||18.8||16.0|
|6||Sunday 7:15 pm||6||8 January 1989||13.9||12 February 1989||18.9||16.7|
|7||6||30 December 1990||15.0||3 February 1991||18.9||16.8|
In addition to its mainstream popularity, Only Fools and Horses has developed a cult following. The Only Fools and Horses Appreciation Society, established in 1993, has a membership of around 7,000,  published 45 issues of a quarterly newsletter, Hookie Street, and organises annual conventions of fans, often attended by cast members. The Society has also organised an Only Fools and Horses museum, containing props from the series, including Del's camel coat and the Trotters' Ford Capri.  It was named one of the top 20 cult television programmes of all time by TV critic Jeff Evans. Evans spoke of:
[shows] such as Only Fools and Horses, which gets tremendous viewing figures but does inspire conventions of fans who meet in pubs called the Nag's Head and wander round dressed as their favourite characters 
Only Fools and Horses – and consequently John Sullivan – is credited with the popularisation in Britain of several words and phrases used by Del Boy, particularly "Plonker",  meaning a fool or an idiot, and two expressions of delight or approval: "Cushty" (from the Roma word for "good")  and "Lovely jubbly". The latter was borrowed from an advertising slogan for a popular 1960s orange juice drink, called Jubbly, which was packaged in a pyramid shaped, waxed paper carton. Sullivan remembered it and thought it was an expression Del Boy would use; in 2003, the phrase was incorporated into the new Oxford English Dictionary. 
Owing to its exposure on Only Fools and Horses, the Reliant Regal van is often linked with the show in the British media.    The one used by the Trotters has attained cult status and is currently on display at the Cars of the Stars exhibition at the National Motor Museum, alongside many other vehicles from British and American television and movies, such as the Batmobile and the DeLorean from Back to the Future .  Boxer Ricky Hatton, a fan of the show, purchased one of the original vans in 2004.  Another of the vans used in the series was sold at auction in the UK for £44,000 in February 2007. 
During the media frenzy surrounding The Independent 's revelations that the new bottled water Dasani, marketed by Coca-Cola, was in fact just purified tap water from Sidcup, mocking parallels were made with the Only Fools and Horses episode, "Mother Nature's Son", in which Del sells tap water as "Peckham Spring". 
Rose Tyler's father Pete Tyler is referred to as "a bit of a Del Boy" in the 2005 Doctor Who episode "Father's Day". 
In the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, the Trotters' yellow Reliant van appeared on stage, along with Del Boy and Rodney body doubles dressed as Batman and Robin, a reference to the Only Fools and Horses episode "Heroes and Villains". 
Only Fools and Horses was sold to countries throughout the world. Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Yugoslavia are among those who purchased it.  In all former Yugoslav countries in which Serbian or Croatian is spoken the title was Mućke (or Мућке in Cyrillic script), which can roughly be translated as "shady deals". This translation was also used in Macedonia, where the show was titled Spletki (Сплетки in Cyrillic). In Slovenia, however, the show was titled Samo bedaki in konji, which is a literal Slovenian translation of the original English title. The show has enjoyed particular popularity in Serbia where it has achieved cult status.  In Hungary, the first three series were on air on Danube TV channel with title: Csak kötözött bolondoknak.[ citation needed ]
A number of overseas re-makes have also been produced. A Dutch version aired for one series in 1995, entitled Wat schuift 't? ("What's it good for?"). The Trotters were renamed the Aarsmans and it starred Johnny Kraaykamp jnr. as Stef (Del), Sacco Van der Made as Grandad and Kasper van Kooten as Robbie (Rodney), and was shown on RTL 4.  A Portuguese re-make, O Fura-Vidas, a local expression for someone who lives outside the law, ran for three series from 1999 to 2001. It was a literal translation of the British version, with all episodes based on the originals. It centred on the Fintas family, who live in Sapadores, a neighbourhood in Lisbon, and starred Miguel Guilherme as Quim (Del), Canto e Castro as Grandad, and Ivo Canelas as Joca (Rodney). In this Portuguese version the Reliant's equivalent was a 1988 Suzuki Super Carry.  A Slovenian re-make, called Brat bratu (Brother to Brother), was broadcast from 2008 to 2009. All episodes were based on the original British storylines, and it was made in co-operation with John Sullivan. It featured brothers Brane (Brane Šturbej) and Bine (Jure Drevenšek), who moved from Maribor to Ljubljana. The series also stars Peter Ternovšek as Grandad. It was directed by Branko Đurić. The series was cancelled after thirteen episodes due to poor ratings. 
There have been several plans to produce an American version. One was to be a star vehicle for former M*A*S*H actor Harry Morgan, with Grandad rather than Del becoming the lead character.  The other, entitled This Time Next Year..., would have seen the Trotters renamed the Flannagans. A draft script was written for the latter,  but neither show materialised. In 2010 Steve Carell, star of the US version of The Office , expressed an interest in making an American version of the series, with him to star as Del Boy.  In January 2012 US network ABC commissioned a pilot of an Only Fools and Horses remake titled "King of Van Nuys", written by Scrubs writers Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley.  It was developed, rejected and then redeveloped, only to be rejected again later in the year. The pilot starred John Leguizamo as Del, Dustin Ybarra as his brother Rodney and Christopher Lloyd as Grandad. 
A parody called Only Jerks and Horses was written by David Walliams and Matt Lucas and directed by Edgar Wright in 1997. 
Derek Edward Trotter, more commonly known as Del Boy, is a fictional character from the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses and one of the main characters of its spinoff series, Rock & Chips. He was played by David Jason in the original series and was portrayed as a teenager by James Buckley in the prequel. Del Boy is often regarded as one of the greatest comedy characters in the history of British television, and is regarded as an iconic character in British culture. In a 2001 poll conducted by Channel 4 Del Boy was ranked fourth on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.
Edward Kitchener "Ted" Trotter, better known simply as Grandad, is a fictional character who was one of the original leads of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. He appeared in the show's first three series, played by Lennard Pearce. The character is grandfather to Del Boy and Rodney Trotter. Pearce's death in December 1984 was written into the series with the death of Grandad. His place was taken by Uncle Albert.
Colin Ball, more commonly known as Trigger, is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses and its prequel Rock & Chips. He was played by Roger Lloyd-Pack in Only Fools and Horses and Lewis Osbourne in Rock & Chips.
Albert Gladstone Trotter, better known as Uncle Albert, is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, portrayed by Buster Merryfield. He was introduced during the fourth series as a replacement for the character of Grandad due to the sudden death of Lennard Pearce in 1984.
"A Touch of Glass" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, first screened on 2 December 1982 as the final episode of series 2. It was the first episode of the show to attract over 10 million viewers.
"Thicker than Water" is the third Christmas special episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, broadcast on 25 December 1983, and is the first to be screened on Christmas Day.
"Big Brother" is the first episode of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. It is the first episode of series 1, and was first broadcast on 8 September 1981. In the episode, Del buys a consignment of briefcases, only to later discover that the combinations are locked inside.
"Strained Relations" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the second episode of series 4, and was first screened on 28 February 1985.
"May the Force Be with You" is an episode of the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. It was the fifth episode of series 3, and was first screened on 8 December 1983. In the episode, the despised DCI Roy Slater returns to Peckham and arrests the Trotters for stealing a microwave.
"Hole in One" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the third episode of series 4 and was first broadcast on 7 March 1985. In the episode, Del decides to sue the brewery after Uncle Albert falls down the Nag's Head cellar.
"A Losing Streak" is the third episode of series 2 of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was first broadcast on 4 November 1982. In the episode, Del Boy plays a high-stakes game of poker with Boycie. Also, this is the only episode in the series in which Boycie serves as an antagonist.
"Go West Young Man" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the second episode of series 1, and was first screened on 15 September 1981. This was the lowest rated episode of the entire series, with only 6.1 million viewers. In the episode, Del sells a faulty car to an Australian man.
Cassandra Louise Trotter is a fictional character from the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses. She is portrayed by Gwyneth Strong.
"Sleepless in Peckham...!" is the final episode of BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. It was first screened on 25 December 2003 as the third and final part of the early 2000s Christmas trilogy, and as the eighteenth and final Christmas special. It was the last Only Fools and Horses-related episode until the Sport Relief special in March 2014.
"A Slow Bus to Chingford" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the fifth episode of series 1, and was first broadcast on 6 October 1981. In the episode, Del acquires an old double decker bus and decides to give tours around London.
"From Prussia with Love" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the first episode of Series 5, and was first broadcast on 31 August 1986. In the episode, the Trotters meet a pregnant German girl and invite her to stay at the flat.
"Wanted" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the sixth episode of series 3, and was first broadcast on 15 December 1983. In the episode, after an incident with a local woman, Del Boy pretends that Rodney had been dubbed the 'Peckham pouncer' and is being hunted by the police, so Rodney goes on the run.
"Sickness and Wealth" is an episode of the BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses. It was the fifth episode of series 6, and was first broadcast on 5 February 1989. In the episode, Del is suffering from stomach cramps, but refuses to see a doctor. Elsewhere, Del organises a séance.
Rock & Chips is a British television comedy-drama miniseries and a prequel to the sitcom Only Fools and Horses. The show is set in Peckham, southeast London, during the early 1960s, focusing primarily on the lives of Del Trotter, Freddie Robdal and Joan and Reg Trotter. Nicholas Lyndhurst, who played Rodney in Only Fools and Horses, plays Robdal alongside James Buckley, Kellie Bright (Joan), Shaun Dingwall (Reg) and Phil Daniels (Grandad). The Shazam Productions and BBC co-production was written by Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan, directed by Dewi Humphreys and produced by Gareth Gwenlan.
Only Fools and Horses The Musical is a 2019 British stage musical with book, music and lyrics by Paul Whitehouse and Jim Sullivan, with additional music by Chas Hodges and writer John Sullivan. It is based on John Sullivan's BBC television sitcom of the same name which ran from 1981 to 2003.