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Roy Slater

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Roy slater
Oh yeah. The bloke what walked the plank. I was always the bloke what walked the plank wasn't I? I must have been in and out of that pond more times than a duck's head. I always wanted to be Bluebeard.
~ Roy Slater

DCI Roy Slater is a recurring antagonist in the Only Fools and Horses. He only apperead in only three episodes (May the Force Be With You, To Hull and Back and The Class of 62), as well as two episodes from the prequel trilogy Rock & Chips. However he was one of a very few true villains in the show, and was Del's archenemy.

He was played by Jim Broadbent who would go on to play another policeman Frank Butterman


Very littlle is known about Slater's childhood except the fact that he and Del were old school enemies. He used to play with Del and Trigger at a pond where he used to be "the bloke that walked the plank." and described hmself as "being in and out of that pond more times than a duck's head" He also wanted to be Bluebeard which Del let him be which was the time he had to walk the plank. He was one of Trigger's victim's who tried to pour itching powder on his belly button but Slater paid Del's act of kindness by snitching to the headteacher that Del had been with his sister.

Rock & Chips

Set around February to November 1960, Slater was a prefect at the the Martin Luther King Comprehensive School, and was a member of Del's gang, trying them to keep them out of trouble, leading to a strain on his friendship with them. Despite this, they invite Slater on the very first Jolly Boys' Outing in June, when Albie Littlewood and Jumbo Mills tricked him into taking drugs, lying that they were breath fresheners to attract girls. At a halfway house, Slater danced until he passed out from the effects of the drugs, and Del and the others left him behind, only picking him up on the way back.

Five Gold Rings

Slater showed up at the market to tell Del and friends that he had left school to become a police cadet. Slater arrested Del and Jumbo for selling illegal American records, but was snubbed by Sgt. Foster, who just kept the records for himself and let Del and Jumbo off without a warning.

May the Force Be With You

In his first appearence, Slater is now a Detective Inspector for the Peckham police force. After Rodney bumps into him he threatens him with arrest and then tricks Rodney into taking him to meet Del Boy at his house. Upon discovering Slater in his house, Del is horrified and angrilly explains to Rodney that Slater is anything but an old mate. Slater discovers a suspicious looking microwave at Del's house and eventually puts the entire Trotter family under arrest. At the police station, Slater reveals that Boycie is selling pirate video tapes and before interrogation he and Del have a conversation about their childhood. When Slater is questioning Rodney and Grandad, his colleague PC Terrence Hoskins advises Del to tell Slater the truth, as he has no scruples and will try anything to make Del give him the truth. Hoskins points out that the police actually hate Slater more than the criminals. Upon returning, Slater informs Del about Rodney's drug conviction and threatens both Del and Rodney with potential imprisonment if he refuses to comply. Slater also hints that their vulnerable Grandad would be left alone on the estate with nobody to protect him from thugs. At this, Del summarised Slater in one of the show's legendary poignant moments:

"Now listen to me, Slater. I know a lot of coppers and they're all good blokes. I mean, I don't like 'em or nothing, but they play a fair game. And then there's you, you dirty, stinking..."

Slater warns Del that he may have to add abusive language to his ever growing list of offences, and that he may not have enough space on the charge sheet. Before Slater can have a chance to type up the charges, Del stops him and agrees to make a deal. If Del has immunity from prosecution, and Rodney and Grandad are allowed to go free, he will agree to become of Slater's informants. Slater is pleased at this, and warns that if Del ever stepped out of line, Slater will tell everyone of Del's betrayal. At the end, Slater is pleased when Del confesses but Del shows his immuntiy from prosecution in triumph smiling.

To Hull and Back

Slater returns as the main antagonist in To Hull and Back and becomes involved in Hull in a diamond smuggling operation. Facing forced retirement, he spends the episode trying to hunt down the dimond smuggling activities (which Del and Rodney are involved in as they desperatly need the money). Following them arriving back from Amsterdam with the dimonds, Slater and his men corner them, talking to them alone Slater offers to cut them lose and just take the dimonds for himself. However Del figures out from the fact that Slater knows to much about the dimonds and the people involved, that it was him who organised the smuggling operation in the first place. Slater confirms this revealing he and Van Cleaf (the dutchman who supplies the dimonds) are in a partnership, and through this method they get paid at both ends with no risks. Not able to do anything they give him the diamonds and leave, however it is then revealed the police were aware of his illegal activities and now have him with evidence. In the end he is imprisoned.

The Class Of '62

Slater, now out of prison and retired from the police force, now appears to have taken the role of an undertaker and says the police force wouldn't let him back in. He is now searching for Del's love interest Raquel Turner who was once married to him, he stages a class reunion with Del and his school pals to get with them, and pretends to build bridges between his former foes. However upon his staged reunion with Raquel he begins blackmailing and extorting Del, threatening to reveal the information that Raquel was his wife which would ruin Del's reputation and leave him unable to trade, severely damaging the Troters already scare finances. However Del finds out his plans to get her to sign a pro-nuptual agreement, so he won't lose anything when he sells the several diamonds he did manage to keep and the police failed to recover. Armed with knowledge, Del and Rodney defeat him by bluffing that they have evidence about the several diamonds, Slater tires to cut a deal but Del bluntly tells him he's not interested and demands that he leave Peckham forever and never dare breath a word of him and Raquel's marriage or else they will spill all and Slater will be sent back to prison (once he's left Del also acknowledges there is no need for a deal, as once Raquel deforces Slater, there still get half of the money he makes reguardless).


  • Slater is in many ways Del's opposite, where as Del does break minor laws (such as dealing in dodgy or even stolen goods) he has a strict moral constitution, is a loveable rogue and never crossess any serious lines, Slater on the other hand is a high up police officer, however he is a corrupt and petty bully who abuses his power and uses it to intimidate others. Another differance is Del is a mostly larger than life character who acts silly and extravagant, but is really a quick witted, very cunning and highly caring man, while Slater is a cold, uncaring and arrogant man, who underneath it all isn't as smart as he thinks he is. Del is by and large loved by his family, where as Slater is hated by his family, especially his father, as demonstrated by the fact while he was imprisoned his mother wrote to the Govenor asking him not to let her son out for his father's funeral. As well as this Del is a highly popular man being friends with Trigger, Denzil, Boycie and Mike whereas Slater is a highly unpopular man who was bullied at school, disliked by his collegues and even bullied at prison by the wardens.

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