Home Breaking News Only Fools and Horses: How star-struck Sotheby’s auction house rolled out red...

Only Fools and Horses: How star-struck Sotheby’s auction house rolled out red carpet for the Trotters


Only Fools and Horses was one of the biggest shows to appear on TV in this country, attracting record breaking audiences regularly.

Naturally, the show has won over some very famous fans over the years for example, world champion boxer Ricky Hatton is such a super fan he owns one of Del Boy’s Reliants!

But, it might surprise you to read that when the show rocked up to Sotheby’s auction house to film an episode, the auctioneers were such big fans they’d gone out of their way to accommodate the Trotters.

READ MORE: Only Fools and Horses: How much Del Boy and Rodney Trotter would be worth in today’s money

The episode in question is Time on Our Hands, one of the later episodes in the show, filmed as a Christmas special in 1996.

It’s also the famous episode where all the Trotter’s wheeling and dealing finally comes off and they’re made millionaires, originally intended to be the final curtain call for the show.

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It attracted a British sitcom record audience of 24.3 million viewers at the time.

In the episode Del and Rodney find an old watch that they think is just junk while clearing out their garage.

It later transpires the watch could be a rare one made by a notable clock maker from the 18th century John Harrison.

So the pair take the watch to the auction house after having its authenticity confirmed by experts and it sells for £6.2m finally making their dream of the easy life come true.

0 Del and rod step outside

The brothers had to step outside after Del fainted early in the bidding

The auction house scenes in the episode were filmed at the prestigious Sotheby’s in Mayfair.

Donal Woods was the set designer for Only Fools from 1992 onwards, he talked about the experience of filming at Sotheby’s to Steve Clark in his book Only Fools and Horses: The Inside Story.

Donal said: “The best thing about working on the show is that because it was so popular people and companies were really keen to help.

“Wherever you go people have heard of it. For instance when we filmed at Sotheby’s for Time On Our Hands they couldn’t have been more helpful.

“They got in early a whole set of seriously valuable Old Masters paintings to decorate their gallery for us, brought in their telephone dealers and got porters in for us.

0 the auction house

The auctioneer in the episode with one of the ‘seriously valuable’ Old Master paintings behind him

“Then of course we put the Trotters’ van outside.

“When you think about it this is one of the major auction houses in the world and you want to put a three-wheeled Reliant van outside their building.

“If it was any other show they’d probably tell you to get lost. But they even took down scaffolding for us for a day so we could film it there.

“No-one would normally do that.”

Safe to say the Trotters had some big fans at the historic auction house.

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