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"A Rocky Start"
The Green Green Grass episode
1.2 - A Rocky Start.jpg
Rocky the Bull
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 2
Written by John Sullivan
Directed by Tony Dow
Production no. 1:2 (2)
Original airdate 16 September 2005
Season 1 episodes

1. Keep on Running

2.A Rocky Start

List of episodes

A Rocky Start is an episode of the BBC sitcom, The Green Green Grass. It was first screened on 16 September 2005, as the second episode of series one. [1]



Having now met the farm manager, Elgin Sparrowhawk, Boycie is now convinced that he is of Gentlemen Farmer material. However, he finds himself reluctant to meet the other staff which he also didn’t know existed. Worst of all, he needs to buy some animals but getting some of those won’t be a problem... will it?

After Elgin’s fantastic idea of getting the bull owner drunk and getting a lower price of around nine thousand pounds, Boycie stills ends up paying more. He ends up paying around eighteen thousand pounds as he got more drunk. He then attempts to return home but Marlene has locked up and Elgin has taken his car keys so it looks like he’s going to have a night out in the wild.

The next morning, the bull arrives and Boycie finds himself face to face with it and the staff find out that Rocky isn’t attracted to the

Episode cast

Actor Role
John Challis Boycie
Sue Holderness Marlene
Jack Doolan Tyler
David Ross Elgin
Ivan Kaye Bryan
Ella Kenion Mrs Cakeworthy
Peter Heppelthwaite Jed

Production, broadcast and reception



This episode was written by John Sullivan, writer of Only Fools and Horses. The whole of the first series was written entirely by John Sullivan.


During its original airing, the episode had a viewing audience of 6.34 million, in the 8:30pm timeslot it was shown. This is the same audiences that sitcoms such as My Family attract.

This episode has since been re-run on BBC1, BBC HD and GOLD. The show received one of the highest ratings of the week making it into the top thirty.

DVD release

The UK DVD release was released on 23 October 2006.[2] The release includes the 2005 Christmas Special, a short special entitled 'Grass Roots' and a short documentary on 'Rocky'.[3]


  • A reference to Uncle Albert is made.
  • Brief references are made by both Boycie and Marlene regarding their lives in Peckham.


This episode was designed to introduce the characters of Bryan, Jed and Mrs Cakeworthy – staff that Boycie didn’t know existed. The episode works as a set-up that shows the viewers the Boyce’s new lives and how their sudden move to Winterdown Farm has affected them. The episode was also needed to introduce Boycie’s first animal – Rocky the Bull.


The Green Green Grass is filmed at two main locations. Teddington Studios is used to film interior scenes whilst John Challis’s actual manor house. The surrounding area is also used for filming whilst a local farmer provides the livestock.


This episode sees the first appearance of Bryan as played by Ivan Kaye. The episode all sees the first appearance of Jed as played by Peter Heppelthwaite and Mrs Cakeworthy as played by Ella Kenion. This episode is the only episode in the first series to only feature the main cast. No guest stars or regulars appear in this episode.


  • This episode marks the first in a story arc spanning several series in the form of the gay bull joke.


  • There are no spotted errors within this episode.


Preceded by
"Keep on Running"
The Green Green Grass
16 September 2005
Succeeded by
"The Country Wife"


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