Friday, 17 January 2014

Britain is no longer a country for and says "Goodbye" to an old many-faceted actor called Roger Lloyd-Pack who was and will forever be, Colin 'Trigger' Ball

Roger, who played 'Trigger' the slow-witted London road sweeper and patron of the Nags Head pub in the comedy series, 'Only Fools and Horses', has died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 69.

What you possibly didn't know about Roger, that he :

* was born in Islington, North London in 1944, during the Second World War, the son of Elizabeth, an Austrian, Viennese Jewish refugee from the Nazis, who worked as a travel agent and later founded a kindergarten and Charles Pack, an actor, proud of his working-class origins in East London who added 'Lloyd' to his name in the 1930s and worked as a regular in 'Hammer' horror films.

* was sent to St David’s,“a snobby little prep school run by a sadistic couple” and independent coeducational boarding school, Bedales, where he “coasted” but did begin acting and then, after leaving , decided to follow his father into acting, thinking that it was "magic and what I want to do".

* trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and made his stage debut in 'The Shoemaker's Holiday' by Thomas Dekker at the Theatre Royal, Northampton, before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, but found jobs hard to come by, which, in part, he put this down to his looks saying : “It took a while for all my features to fall into place

* made his film debut at the age of 23 in 1968 with a small part in Guy Green's 'The Magus', based on the John Fowles novel and starring Michael Caine and Anthony Quinn and in 1970 had a minor role in 1970 Joseph Losey's 'The Go-Between' adapted by Harold Pinter from LP Hartley's novel and starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates.

* had made his tv debut in 'The Avengers' at the age of 20 in 1965, followed by appearances in the 1970s series : 'Jason King', 'Crown Court' and 'Softly Softly: Taskforce'.

* in theatre in the mid-1970s, was a committed member of the 'Joint Stock Theatre Company', formed by William Gaskill and Max Stafford-Clark which pioneered the idea of using collaborative workshops to inspire new material from playwrights such as David Hare and Caryl Churchill.

*  achieved national recognition and huge popularity at the age of 36 in 1981, playing Colin 'Trigger' Ball, the lugubrious Peckham road sweeper in the late John Sullivan's brilliantly acted tv comedy series, 'Only Fools and Horses' and continued to appear alongside David Jason's, 'Del Boy' and Nicholas Lyndhurst's, 'Rodney' with many a seasonal 'special' for another decade and to record audience of 24 million in 1996.

* demonstrated his comic timing and deadpan delivery in the episode,'Yuppy Love', when he descended the stairs of the wine bar in an arresting electric blue suit and in response to Del's advice about picking up women : "This place is full of yuppy sorts. We can’t go wrong here. All we’ve got to do is learn their language", responded with : ‘Why, are they foreign, then?’

* delivered John Sullivan's lines with comic perfection :
"I don't know what you're worried about (BSE). I've been eating British beef all my life."
"No, I told them (a dating agency) I was bus conductor. To add a bit of glamour"
"That's what I've done. Maintained it (his roadsweeper's broom) for 20 years. This old brooms had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time."

* on stage, appeared in Alan Bennett's, 'Kafka's Dick' in 1986, directed at the Royal Court by Richard Eyre and played an anguished Rosmer in Ibsen's 'Rosmersholm' at the National in 1987, opposite Suzanne Bertish and in film, two years later, played in Peter Greenaway's 'The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover'.

* started to play in 1994, at the age of 49 and continued to play for the next 13 years, Owen Newitt, the local farmer in the tv comedy series, 'The Vicar of Dibley', written by Richard Curtis and starring Dawn French as the ecclesiastical new broom, Geraldine, in a sleepy Oxfordshire parish.

* on stage, appeared alongside Nigel Havers and Barry Foster in Yasmina Reza's, 'Art' in the West End in 2001 and in film in 2005, joined forces with his friend and neighbour, the director, Mike Newell, in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' playing Barty Crouch.

* in 2006, at the age of 61, had fun as John Lumic (left) in the reappearance of 'Doctor Who' on tv, playing opposite David Tennant and in 2009-10 and in 'The Old Guys', with Clive Swift, played an ageing has-been, focusing his attention on  Asher, his disobliging neighbour.

* returned to the stage in a revival of Patrick Marber's gambling classic, 'Dealer's Choice' at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2007 and earned praise as a growly old 'Davies' in Pinter's 'The Caretaker' at the Nuffield, Southampton and a fierce 'Prospero' in 'The Tempest' at the Edinburgh Festival.

* in film in 2010, appeared in 'Made in Dagenham' about the strike at the Ford car plant in Essex in 1968 and the following year, played Inspector Mendel in 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'.

* on stage, in what would be his last appearances, played the Duke of Buckingham (left) in Mark Rylance's 'Richard III' at Shakespeare's Globe and in the West End in 2012 and paired this with a definitive Sir Andrew Aguecheek, the dim-witted, lovelorn sidekick of Toby Belch in Shakespeare's 'Twelth Night' (right).

* participated in community matters in Kentish Town, North London where he was an active political campaigner, backing the 'Save The NHS' campaign and protested against threatened hospital closures and cuts to services and in Fakenham, Norfolk, was highly visible in political and charitable activities and in his commitment to schools, the ambulance service and integrated traffic policies.

* was a cricket fan and supporter of the MCC, Tottenham Hotspur and the Labour Party and campaigned for Ken Livingstone in the 2012 London Mayoral Election, but in 2013, accused Ed Miliband of turning his back on union members who won him the leadership, resigned his Labour Party membership and called for the creation of a new party of the left.

* came to terms with the fact that over the years on many occasions, passers-by, even policemen, would shout out “Wotcher Trig” at him in the street and in conversation, strangers assumed that he was very thick, by describing the role as “like an albatross in one way. If something becomes mega, like Fools, you’ve had it. I’ll never escape Trigger, I’ve learnt to live with that.”

* in his life demonstrated the truth of David Jason's words : "Although he played the simple soul of Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, he was a very intelligent man and a very fine actor capable of many roles."

* revealed that he would like to buried in a cardboard coffin and as for his obituary : “I don’t really care what they say, so long as they are fair. I know I will be best remembered for Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, but I hope all my other work will be acknowledged, too.”

YouTube tribute :

No comments:

Post a Comment