Only Fools and Horses’ creator, John Sullivan, is reported to have banned one of the episodes from being released in its original state.
The iconic British TV comedy, which aired from 1981 to 1991, was set in working-class Peckham and followed two brothers who would sell almost anything in the hopes of getting rich.
It starred David Jason as Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst as his younger brother, Rodney Trotter.
Throughout its run, Only Fools and Horses was critically acclaimed and received numerous awards, including recognition from BAFTA, the National Television Awards and the Royal Television Society.
Despite being a well-loved sitcom, the programme’s creator, Sullivan, reportedly had concerns over one episode – with it being described as ‘cruel’ and ‘dark’ by editor Chris Wadsworth.
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Released in 1986, ‘A Royal Flush’ was a festive episode in which Del Boy and Rodney take a trip to the fancy Berkshire home of Lady Victoria – a second cousin of the Queen.
Their visit comes after the younger brother strikes up a friendship with Lady Victoria and while Rodney enjoys himself, Del Boy quickly expresses his disinterest in the opera and clay pigeon shooting.
During their trip to the opera, the character even threatens a member of the audience, saying: “I am gonna come down there and smack you in the eye.”
Later on, Del Boy then drinks perhaps a little too much and begins to mock Rodney.
While some viewers may have enjoyed seeing this new side of Del Boy, the show’s editor, Wadsworth, has admitted he isn’t so keen.
In the Channel 5 documentary Secrets and Scandals of Only Fools and Horses, the editor actually recalls how Sullivan said: “This is not a good episode.”
While TV produced Richard Latto commented: “The original where Del Boy is being quite cruel to Rodney… It is a hard watch.”
Sullivan is believed to have thought that the episode’s representation of Del Boy – who is normally depicted as a loving character – wasn’t accurate.
He apparently felt that Sullivan came across as a condescending bully.
Wadsworth said that the show’s creator, who passed away in 2011, had considered doing ‘anything to take out Del being nasty’.
“The episode was shown to an audience to get a laughter track but I don’t think we succeeded completely,” the editor explained.
Sullivan ruled that the episode shouldn’t be repeated, as per The Daily Star.
However, in 2005, Sullivan allowed ‘A Royal Flush’ to be released on DVD – it came with an audience laughter track to soften some of the harsher moments.
Approximately 18 minutes of the original episode has reportedly been removed in order to keep it in line with the rest of the series.