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Roger Lloyd-Pack (1944-2014)

I was saddened to hear that the actor Roger Lloyd-Pack died yesterday of pancreatic cancer.

Probably one of my favourite TV shows whilst growing up was “Only Fools and Horses” and Lloyd-Pack’s “Trigger” was an absolutely vital part of the ensemble that made that show so brilliant – and it was epically good at times rising to heights of utter genius. Of course he was in loads of other stuff like “Harry Potter” and “Dr Who” but for me he shall always be the bumbling Peckham street-cleaner. I think we forget too easily that whilst the show was centred on the antics of Del and Rodney the rest of them from Mike at the bar of the Nag’s Head to Denzil the scouse trucker, Grandad, Uncle Albert, Boycie, Marlene and all the rest of them really made the show and gave the central cast folks to spark off.

As I said, I grew up watching that and I still watch it. Trig is no longer in my memory but in the Sky (in every sense). He is the overhead one Dave or Watch or whatever. Perhaps the nearest to immortality we can get. His peerless deadpan shall not be forgotten as long as electromagnetism exists.

I don’t think I can embed this (it’s BBC) but just click

…and there is loads more.

11 Comments

  1. john in cheshire says:

    All right, Dave?

    High quality performances every time. I’m sorry to learn of his death. I don’t see any of the more recent cohort of supposed comedic actors or comedians coming anywhere near to the standards set by the likes of this man and his peers.

  2. RAB says:

    Damned shame. A great actor who has died far too young. How would some of our loftier luvvies approach playing a character like Trigger who, to all intents and purposes, inhabited a parrallel universe, I wonder? Badly I expect.

    “an absolutely vital part of the ensemble that made that show so brilliant” Is on the money. Sullivan wrote a cast of characters that were not only hilariously funny, but were all people, or very like people, that each and every one of us Brits have met and could identify with. Their dialogue was not forced just for the laugh line, it was real and believable. And it wasn’t just a laugh a minute either, there was bathos and pathos by the sackful. People you knew and loved and wanted the best for, that was the magic of Only Fools and Horses, and why we kept tuning in every week.

  3. Edward Lud says:

    Sorry, never got it. Slightly less humiliatingly unfunny than On the Buses, marginally less almost-occasionally-but not quite amusing as Dad’s Army. British TV comedy. Sheesh. Uniformly to be buried at midnight, at a crossroads, with a stake through it’s heart. The only thing we do well, and it’s not really funny so much as gruesome and stylistically impressive, is things like The Office or Fresh Meat.

    Blackwater and Fawlty Towers are, obviously, exceptions to the forgoing. FT IN particular is the greatest concentration of comic genius ever to grace our screens. And I include MASH, Frasier and Cheers in that.

    I will not brook contradiction on this point.

  4. RAB says:

    Blackwater? You can’t even get the name right, let alone a grasp on truly great British humour. British humour is about US, or at least the people we thought/think we are. Brit sitcoms, the great ones that is… Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe and Son, Till Death us do Part …, are as much social commentary as they are laugh a minute comedy. That is what the Americans do; got to have a gag every 30 seconds or the ratings go down and bugger the storyline. They have teams of up to 10 writers to do that, and it becomes comedy by committee. Brits usually use a max of two writers with a vision.

  5. Tim Newman says:

    I thought OF&H lost it’s way towards the end, as so many comedies do, partly because there was too much focus on the marriage/family. Plus it’s been shown to death. But it was brilliant, and the scene with Trigger describing his broom on of the best.

    Modern British comedy can be very good, with the already mentioned Fresh Meat being an example (especially if you were a student in Manchester). And some American comedy is superb, but different. I just pick an choose what to watch and laugh at, which is remarkably easy these days.

  6. Edward Lud says:

    Blackwater, obvo.

    Hate this phone. Stupid HTC ONE X, if you must know.

  7. Edward Lud says:

    RAB, what’s wrong with gags in comedy?

    I’m all in favour of a storyline, as well, but maudlin social commentary masquerading as comedy is, well, not comedy.

    And I see no merit in US sitcoms not being written in a garret by a couple of blokes. I mean what kind of objection is that?

    Just remembered, Yes, Prime Minister was also very good.

  8. Edward Lud says:

    ‘king BlackADDER. sodding phone.

  9. Lynne says:

    A sad loss. And not just for comedy either. He excelled in all of his roles which is what made him so popular and so watchable.

  10. RAB says:

    Nowt wrong wi gags in Comedy Edward lad, else it wouldn’t be comedy would it? :-)

    What I’m saying, and I will brook no contradiction on this, is that the whole ethos of American comedy is completely different to British comedy.

    In UK one or at most two writers pitch an idea for a sitcom to a TV company ( I don’t remember Galton and Simpson living in a Garret either) then on acceptance, write it.

    In the States one bloke dreams up the idea, then on acceptance the TV company hires a huge team of writers, all of whom are competing with each other to get as many gags into the show as possible. They also hire a bloke with a stopwatch, and if there isn’t a gag every 30 seconds they get bollocked or fired. In America it is all ratings driven and quite brutal. If it doesn’t succeed instantly it is dropped, and if it does succeed it is usually kept going long after its sell by date. Mash actually ran longer than the Korean War it was based around.

    In Britain things are allowed to build slowly, to find their feet, adjust and fine tune, and it’s not just the gags that are all important. The story and empathy for the characters are uppermost. Trigger is a solid 24 carat idiot, but none of the other characters (apart from a roll of the eyes) ever puts him down. Nobody shouts “fuck off you moron” at him, because he’s a mate. He may be an idiot, but he’s our idiot.

    Similarly you will never see Comedy Drama like Minder, Darling Buds of May or Auf Wiedersehen Pet coming out of America, because they just don’t understand how to do it.

    British Comedy is superior to American Comedy in almost every way, because it is not just funny but real, albeit in an exaggerated sense, that we Brits can all recognise from our own experiences and lives.

  11. NickM says:

    OFAH did go off the boil in the end. Everything does. But at it’s best it was not “maudlin social commentary”. In fact the first episode has Del make a speech about how they don’t pay taxes but neither do they claim (I can’t find it on Youtube). It makes quite a contrast with the roughly contemporary “Bread” which was about a bunch of bludging Scousers. I considered a compare/contrast post but can’t find the Del speech – and it is a speech. But having said what I did I liked the story arc element in that Rodney “grows up” and all that because serial shows in which everything “resets” every episode bore me. And yes, I do love the likes of “Frasier” but whilst that was written in the US style “Yes (Prime) Minister” was written by the “two blokes in a garret” and was utterly brilliant. Indeed, Fawlty Towers was written by just Cleese and Booth.

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