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A Slow Bus to Chingford

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Episode no.  Series 1 Episode 5
Written by  John Sullivan
Directed by  Martin Shardlow
Produced by  Ray Butt
A Slow Bus to Chingford
Original air date  6 October 1981 (7 million viewers)
Running time  29:50 (DVD) / 29:52 (iTunes)

"A Slow Bus to Chingford" is an episode of the BBC sit-com, 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.



As Rodney invites his girlfriend to the flat, Del Boy gives him a job as a nocturnal security officer (an NSO) within new security company Trotter Watch (TW). As Rodney is sent to guard a bus depot, Del frightens him by whistling along with him from afar.

The next morning at Nelson Mandela House, as Grandad tells Del that he used to be a security officer during the war, Rodney is woken up just to hear Del's latest get-rich-quick scheme: Trotters Ethnic Tours. Rodney will drive the bus, Del will be the tour guide, and Grandad will send the leaflets to every part of London.

The next day, while the tour bus is ready to go, nobody has turned up at the moment, but Del bets Grandad £50 that the tourists will show up. Throughout the day, Del tells Rodney and Grandad that he will take the tourists to the house where Sherlock Holmes was born, and to North London where Jack the Ripper was "buried".

After a while, Del stands on the top floor of the bus and explains to Rodney and Grandad his dream to become a millionaire. He claims to have had a vision in which he sees himself standing on the balcony of a tower block, with the initials of his company in giant flashing lights. As soon as Rodney points out that Trotters Independent Traders spells out "TIT", Del decides to just give up and go home.

As the Trotters get back to Nelson Mandela House, Del finds out the real reason why nobody came: Grandad threw all the leaflets in the rubbish chute. Enraged, Del threatens him with violence and Rodney starts chasing after his brother, trying to calm him down.

Episode concept

According to John Sullivan, he got the idea for the script from his father's favourite pub called the Duke of Devonshire. The man who ran it was even called Boycie. The place suffered from terrible business, but the owner explained it was "Ethnic English" thus the idea was implanted in Sullivan's mind.


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A Slow Bus to Chingford Wikipedia

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