“His death is a sad loss to Norfolk and a sad loss to the entertainment industry,” Glowing tributes to actor Roger Lloyd Pack
08:47 17 January 2014
The death of Roger Lloyd Pack has been described as “a sad loss to Norfolk and a sad loss to the entertainment business.”
Sir David Jason (Del Boy Trotter in Only Fools) - “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. I shall remember him with fondness and for all the good times we had together.”
Nicholas Lyndhurst (Rodney in Only Fools) - “I’m so saddened to hear about Roger. He was the most accomplished actor and loved by millions, I will miss him greatly.”
John Challis (Boycie in Only Fools) - “He was a remarkable man and he’ll be missed. Roger is irreplaceable. It’s a very sorry day.”
Father Ted creator Graham Linehan - “Trigger was an ancestor to Father Dougal and I’m glad I once had a chance to tell him so.”
Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel in Only Fools) - “Roger was an incredibly versatile actor but his understanding of the character Trigger was always filled with enormous humour whilst never straying from the truth.”
Gwyneth Strong (Cassandra in Only Fools) - “I have lost a true friend and an incredibly gifted work colleague.”
Doctor Who star John Hurt, who lives in north Norfolk, worked with Roger Lloyd Pack four times, most recently on the drama In Love With Alma Cogan - which was shot in and around Cromer Pier - and blockbuster, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
He said: “He was terrific, he’s almost a talisman for me, I can’t do this unless Roger’s in it.”
BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen - “The nation bids a fond and sad farewell to one of the most popular television sitcom actors of his generation.”
Lord Sugar tweeted: “Trigger was one of my favourite TV characters. RIP”
Archhdeacon of Norfolk The Ven Jan McFarlane - “So sorry he won’t get to see the Bishop of Dibley.”
The actor fell in love with Norfolk and moved to a village close to Fakenham after working at nearby Melton Constable Hall on the film The Go Between in 1970.
Roger Lloyd Pack gave away his winter fuel allowance to help needy Norfolk pensioners stay warm.
The actor was a keen supporter of the EDP-backed Surviving Winter appeal, run by the Norfolk Community Foundation.
“We are constantly having to defend our services and cuts continue to threaten the most vulnerable,” he said after making a donation in October.
“That really is shocking and yet it continues. While we can make our views clear, we also need to do whatever we can ourselves in terms of keeping our elderly out of danger in Norfolk because the need is now pretty immediate – there’s less mainstream funding available, fuel prices have risen and winter is on the way.”
Olive Thompson, finance manager at the foundation, said: “Not only was he an advocate for the appeal but he went a step further and twice donated his own winter fuel allowance to those in greater need too. A very great loss to the county as well as the country.”
Mr Lloyd Pack was also a supporter of the campaign to improve ambulance services in the area and spoke out in August 2012, when he was taken ill at his home and told he could wait up to four hours for an ambulance.
He went on to support many local ventures including Sheringham Little Theatre and Creative Arts East, of which he was patron, and was a popular character in his local community.
His friend, film-maker Tony Britten, from Brinton, directed the film In Love With Alma Cogan, which starred Mr Lloyd Pack and was shot in and around Cromer Pier.
He said: “When shooting The Go Between they found a house in the woods for him to stay at, rather than a hotel, and he just fell in love with Norfolk and decided to stay here.
“He also had a place in London and was always working, but he would be in Norfolk as often as possible.
“It really was love at first sight for him.
“He was quite a private person which is why he loved living in a quiet village in the middle of nowhere.
“He was always supporting Norfolk and he was perfectly comfortable going along to open the local village fete. He felt it was important to give something back to the place he loved so much.”
In the film In Love With Alma Cogan, Mr Lloyd Pack played the leading role of Norman.
Mr Britten said: “Roger was attracted to the film because it was a local project.
“I wrote the part for him and he helped with the writing as well.
“He was such a wonderful, well-rounded actor and I thought it would be great to see him in a leading role, rather than in a comedic supporting role, which he was so good at.
“He was great to work with and was professional to the fingertips. If he wasn’t happy with something he would say so and that is exactly what you want.
“Roger was passionate about poetry, his wife is an excellent poet, and spoke several languages - he was a very complete person.
“Off set he was very ‘un-actorly.’ He was happy to just go for a beer - he wasn’t a lovey.
“His death is a sad loss to Norfolk and a sad loss to the entertainment industry.”
Film star John Hurt has worked with Mr Lloyd Pack four times, including on In Love with Alma Cogan and the blockbuster Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
The Doctor Who star, who lives in north Norfolk, said: “He was terrific, he’s almost a talisman for me, I can’t do this unless Roger’s in it.
“If you worked with him, laughed with him and joked with him and had serious conversations with him, it’s of course a lament.”
Mr Hurt’s wife Anwen, who produced In Love With Alma Cogan, added: “Roger was a lot of fun, I enjoyed working with him. It’s just terribly sad. He was a lovely, lovely man and taken too young.”
Mr Lloyd Pack opened an Only Fools and Horses Museum at Bressingham Steam Museum, near Diss, in 2006, and has supported Sheringham Little Theatre for several years.
Sheringham Little Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “He helped us in three ways: as a champion of repertory - he was always speaking out nationally about its importance - and he helped us here with fund-raising evenings, reading poetry.
“But most importantly he worked with our young people, coming in to the workshops and directing them, which was really valuable to us, and very inspirational for them. He would often sit in the audience, unobtrusive, but supportive.
“He will be very, very sadly missed by all of us here.”
Creative Arts East said in a statement yesterday: “The board and staff team at Creative Arts East are deeply saddened by the loss of our long-standing patron Roger Lloyd Pack and we wish to offer our sincerest condolences to Jehane and his family at this difficult time.
“Roger was a loyal, concerned and enthusiastic supporter of the work of Creative Arts East and we will be forever grateful for his support and consideration.”
Mr Lloyd Pack also performed at Norwich Theatre Royal and visited the venue many of their productions.
Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson said: “I first met Roger when he created the role of Tim, the put-upon stage manager, in the very first production of Noises Off in the West End in 1983.
“He was an immaculate comedian, a thoughtful and considerate friend, an ambitious actor, and a genuinely intelligent, grounded and unpretentious person.
“I am very sorry to hear of his death. I, along with all of us at the theatre who met him, send our condolences to his family.”
Meanwhile, John Drury, from the band Timescape, recalls a recent evening when Mr Lloyd Pack attended one of their concerts.
He said: “A bus operator invited all of the village’s residents to his retirement party, including Mr Lloyd Pack, who came along with his wife and really enjoyed himself.
“It was great to see the way the village accepted him as one of them and to see someone enjoy themselves without feeling threatened by being in the limelight.”
Actor Des Barrit, who is well-known to Norfolk theatre audiences through his appearances in panto and as a patron of Sheringham Little Theatre, also paid tribute to Mr Lloyd Pack.
He said he knew him through his involvement with the Sheringham venue, adding: “When people talk about actors they use the expression ‘luvvie’ because they can never remember anybody’s name, but Roger was the complete antithesis of this. “He was a very ordinary, down-to-earth man. The sort of parts he played in Only Fools and Horses, they were nothing like how he was.”