Only Fools The Longest Night

Lennox Gilbey threatening to shoot the Trotter family.

Detailed sypnosisEdit

During their weekly shopping trip at their local supermarket, Del Boy, Rodney, and Albert are called up to the manager Mr. Peterson's office after being wrongly accused of shoplifting. But then, a young 20-year old man enters the supermarket and tries to steal some food, but Tom Clark, the head security officer, catches him in the act and takes up to the manager's office. But the young man, who reveals himself as "The Shadow", turns the tables by pointing a handgun at everyone in the room, including the Trotters. It seems that the young man's goal is to steal a vast sum of money from the supermarket's safe, but unfortunately, he comes up short when the safe has a time lock that won't open again until tomorrow morning, and that he has a faulty watch.

Throughout the night, the Trotters try to keep themselves from boredom, such as Albert doing exercise. Then, Del recognizes the thief as Lennox Gilbey, whose mother Del Boy knew. The two get reacquainted, as well as bring up the fact that Lennox's faulty watch was bought by his mother from Del at the market.

The next morning, with only half an hour to go until the safe's time lock reopens, Del and Albert, along with Mr. Peterson and Mr. Clark, wake up to see Rodney running the risk of tip-toeing over to reach and grab a sleeping Lennox's gun. But unfortunately, Rodney just picks up a packet of cigarettes. Lennox wakes up, and he, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Clark all confess to the Trotters that they were planning to break into the safe and share all the money, and do to that, they needed some "hostages" to pull off the scam perfectly. Instead of going to the police, Del strikes a deal with them; let Lennox become head security officer when Mr. Clark retires, and allow the Trotters to become the one millionth customer in order for them to get the prize money. Mr. Peterson agrees with the proposal, and Del shakes hands with him to seal the deal.


Season: 5
Writer: John Sullivan
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Producer: Ray Butt
Duration: 30 minutes
Airdate: September 14, 1986
Audience: 16.7 million

Featured charactersEdit

Other notesEdit

Episode conceptEdit

  • The idea for the script was based on a true story that John Sullivan had read about a small-time criminal who went into a supermarket and pulled off a scam with the security manager and the store manager.

Miscellaneous triviaEdit

  • This episode is the third of only three episodes of Only Fools and Horses in which the interior of the Trotters' flat is not seen. The other two are "Cash and Curry" from Season 1, and "Who's a Pretty Boy?" from Season 3.

Previous episode: The Miracle of Peckham
Next episode: Tea for Three

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