"A Touch Of Glass" was the 7th episode of the 2nd series of Only Fools And Horses, airing on the 2nd December 1982 with a viewing figure of 10.2 million. The Trotters get into chandelier cleaning, but thanks to Grandad, things go wrong.
Del, Rodney and Grandad are in Yeovil picking up some stock they won at an auction. China cats that play "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window". On their way back to London down some remote country lanes the Trotters see a woman has broke down at the side of the lane so they pull up and help her. When she explains that she is Lady Elizabeth Ridgemere from Ridgemere Hall Del sees an earner in it and offers to tow her back to her mansion. When they arrive there, she explains to the butler what happened and that said butler calls the Trotters "These people". As Rodney says to Del Boy lets go Del says no because there may be an earner in it. Lord Horatio Ridgemere knocks from an upstairs window saying the mansion is not open to the public for another three weeks and Del says he is friends of his wife. Lord Ridgemere invites them in.
A short time later in one of the main lounges, Del is eyeing up the ornaments and displays in the lavish room which giving his usual banal spiel. Lady Elizabeth is not impressed. Del goes out to get another drink from the study and overhears Lord Horatio talking on the phone to some chandelier cleaners complaining about the price they will charge him. Del sees a money making opportunity in it.
Shortly after, near the entrance Del spots a chandelier and says he used to be in the chandelier cleaning business. Lord Horatio says there is no hurry for Del to go home and offers him a business deal. That night back at their flat in Peckham Del puts Rodney to rights over the deal and says this will make them millionaires. Rodney agrees to give it a go, providing Del uses the right equipment for this job. As Rodney exits to his bedroom Del tells Grandad to go to the kitchen and see if he can find superglue and windolene.
A few days later, the Trotters return to Ridgemere Hall and they are preparing to get ready to take the huge chandelier down and clean and repair it. Grandad goes upstairs to undo the chandelier. Del and Rodney get up on the ladders and have a huge strong cloth spread out ready to catch the chandelier. Del says this is the moment he has been waiting for. Upstairs Grandad is undoing the chandelier and calls through the ceiling to Del and Rodney. He bangs the locking nut to release the chandelier from the fittings but disaster...
He has undone the wrong chandelier (As seen in the screengrab above). A blissfully unaware Grandad walks down to a very shocked Del and Rodney who are stood looking over the shattered glass everywhere. Grandad asks if they dropped it but Rodney says they were working on another chandelier. The butler comes and says he will telephone Lord Horatio immediately, and Del asks if he has their home address and phone number. The butler says no, Del says "Good", meaning the Lord will have no way of tracing him, so Del, Rodney, and Grandad quickly run out of the mansion and into their 3 wheel van. The elderly butler comes out to the main entrance and watches as Rodney bundles into the back of the van as it drives away.
- Derek "Del Boy" Trotter - David Jason
- Rodney Trotter - Nicholas Lyndhurst
- "Grandad" - Lennard Pearce
- Lady Elizabeth Ridgemere - Elizabeth Benson
- Lord Horatio Ridgemere - Geoffrey Toone
- Wallace - Donald Bisset
Previous Episode It Never Rains...Edit
Next Episode Christmas TreesEdit
- John Sullivan's father was the inspiration for the smashed chandelier storyline. Working as a plumber in the 1930's, he and several others were fitting a new heating system into a stately home, and had to move some chandeliers. As with the Trotters, there was a mix up and the wrong one was undone and smashed. David Jason and Ray Butt agreed that the storyline ought to be used, meaning Sullivan had to write the script backwards, starting with just the end point and then working out how the Trotters would come to be in a mansion. The smashed chandelier was made by props company Trading Post. Despite being a fake, it was still worth about £6,000 and only one was made, meaning the scene could only be filmed once. It was initially intended that this would be the final scene in the episode, so after the incident Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst were required to stand and stare at each other in silence for 30 seconds while the camera rolled. Lyndhurst later recalled that Butt threatened him with the sack if he ruined the scene by laughing. Many of the cast and crew struggled to contain their laughter in the aftermath of the shot; Butt himself stuffed a handkerchief into his mouth and left the room. Given the task of finding a suitable "Ridgemere Hall", production manager Janet Bone eventually settled on Clayesmore School, a boarding school in Iwerne Minster, Dorset. The school would not give permission for any of its floorboards to be pulled up however, and so the scene with Grandad undoing the fastening nut was filmed in a house that belonged to Ray Butt's girlfriend. The auction house seen at the beginning of the episode is the village hall of Sutton Waldron, Dorset.
- Lennard Pearce found it difficult to hit the hammer on the bolt and so took several takes.
- It was revealed in the The Peckham Archives that the Ridgemeres were not actually on holiday, but rather in the West Wing Drawing Room of Ridgemere Hall drinking tea when they heard the noise of the chandelier breaking, which means the butler lied to the Trotters.
- The Trotter Van's registration number is APL 911 H in both this episode and "The Russians Are Coming", whereas in "Modern Men", the van's registration is DHV 938 D.
- The Trotter Van has a dark red interior, whereas in "Healthy Competition", the van is shown to be yellow inside the back door as well as outside.