Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Roger Lloyd-Pack/Trigger - 'Sleepless in Peckham'

The actor Roger Lloyd-Pack (1944-2014), who died last week, was as North London as they come: a Spurs supporter born in Islington and died in Kentish Town. But his most famous part was of course as Trigger, the Peckham road sweeper in 'Only Fools and Horses'. He appeared in the first episode in 1981, and the final one 'Sleepless in Peckham' in 2003, plus many others in between. 'Only Fools and Horses' was set in Peckham, but I don't think any of it was filmed anywhere near, and perhaps it wasn't a very accurate portrait of multi-cultural SE15*.  But the ducking and diving characters struck a chord and 16m people watched that last episode - plus the Morning Star pub in Rye Lane was renamed The Nags Head after the fictional pub in the series (I seem to recall it even had a yellow Reliant Robin in it at one time)

Roger was a socialist and community campainger, and would no doubt have been amused that a Southern Train from Tonbridge was redecorated at the weekend by graffiti artists with a Trigger RIP design, complete with yellow reliant robin.

Image from a panoramic shot taken by Guy Taylor - see the whole thing here.
* It's funny that two iconic TV comedies of the 1980s/90s, 'Only Fools and Horses' and 'Desmonds', were both set in Peckham. Someone could write a book about it, if they haven't already! It would be called something like 'Del Boy and Desmond: TV representations of race, class and urban London' with chapter headings like 'The pub and the barbers shop: different social spaces of White English and African-Caribbean working class males in late 20th century Peckham'. 

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