How Only Fools and Horses Changed the World

Only Fools and Horses wasn't just a very cushty comedy - it actually shaped the way we live now. Don't believe us? Here's how.

How Only Fools and Horses Changed the World

Trotters Independent Traders' three-wheeler will always be safely parked in the all-time-great sitcom car park, and Gold viewers have now voted on their all-time favourite episode. But never mind all the chuckles - did you know that the programme actually led to 21st Century living as we know it?

Cocktail culture

These days even your grubbiest local is likely to serve up a respectable martini or mojito, and you can barely cross the road without stumbling into a Prohibition-themed speakeasy. And who was well ahead of the curve when it came to posh cocktails? Del Boy, of course. From the sophisticated 'Caribbean Stallion' to a refreshing and rather energising Tia Maria and Lucozade, Del always had a taste for exquisite elixirs, teaching us there's more to life than fizzy lager (while also reminding us of the dangers of leaning on the bar).

Hipster Peckham

Peckham used to be a by-word for drab, dowdy London. These days it's the height of hipster chic with its vegan caf├ęs, skate ramps, pop-up restaurants and more artists than the Tate Modern's Christmas do. Let's not beat about the bush: it's all thanks to Only Fools, and the Trotters and co bringing their own brand of savoir faire (ask Del what that means) to the streets of SE15. Now you're more likely to pick up some artisanal focaccia than a dodgy watch at a local Peckham stall, but the residents should raise a pina colada in honour of the plonkers who made it possible.

Modern entrepreneurs

Look around you. Everyone with a laptop thinks they're going to be the next Steve Jobs, start-up CEOs are feted as rock stars, and TV shows like Dragons' Den and The Apprentice have made superstars of lingerie salesmen and set-top box peddlers. But the original entrepreneur was of course Derek Trotter. Rather than a team of suits, all Del had to help him was Rodney's basic IT skills and Uncle Albert's memories of the war. He couldn't quite sell ice to Eskimos, but he did manage to flog "Peckham Spring Water". The man's entrepreneurial spirit infected the nation. And no way would Del have ever been called into the boardroom...


In this unforgiving economy, businesses have to span the globe to stand a chance of surviving. But long before people were Skyping their Tokyo office or jetting out for brunch in the Big Apple, Trotters Independent Traders was a multinational concern. As the lettering on the Reliant Regal proudly announced, they spanned the major business nerve centres of the world (New York, Paris, Peckham), and with Del's knack for picking up foreign lingo there was no language barrier too great to stop a deal being made quicker than you could say "bonnet de douche". You just know Rodney would have been a whiz at knocking up a website, too...

Beardy men

There's no denying that the beard is back in vogue, with everyone from fashionistas to footballers sporting bushy face-fuzz, but where do you think this hankering for wispy whiskers stemmed from? That's right - Uncle Albert. With his lush chin topiary, Albert has unwittingly moved from a slightly baffled former war hero to an unlikely style icon, becoming the David Peckham of Nelson Mandela House in the process. Let's just hope all these proud beard-sporters don't try to copy his cooking as well.

Loveable fools

There was a time when being dumb was a serious hindrance to your career prospects, but in modern Britain it's hip to be daft. Just look at Joey Essex - aka the man who once asked "Who's the Prime Minister of Essex?" He and various other reality show upstarts have made a virtue from being less than stellar in the noggin department, and their spiritual father is of course Trigger. The man who made a fine art of failing to understand things before Joey and co were even born. Just ask Dave. Whoever he is.