From TV comedy classics to great Britten in the Steel city

Actor Roger Lloyd Pack
Actor Roger Lloyd Pack
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Actor Roger Lloyd Pack, who is visiting Sheffield next week to take part in a music festival, has revealed that Only Fools and Horses may be making a comeback for one night only.

Roger, who played Trigger in the show, said: “I’ve just had an email from the son of John Sullivan, who wrote the scripts.

“It is talking about the possibility of doing a short sketch of it for Sports Relief, using some things he wrote.

“There was lots of stuff he had to leave out of the scripts.”

Roger, who also starred in The Vicar of Dibley as Owen, said that the reruns of Only Fools and Horses mean that lots of people still remember him as the slightly dim bloke in the pub who always called Rodney Dave.

He said: “That’s the odd thing about it – the show is as popular now as it ever was. I get recognised as much now, if not more as when we did it.”

Roger said that he doesn’t really keep in touch with the show’s stars, David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, who played Del and Rodney.

“I don’t see Dave or Nick. Nick lives down in Sussex, and Dave is a bit of a loner. I’m still in touch with some of the girls.

“Actors are like ships in the night. You do a show and get close and don’t see people for years after that. Then you pick up where you left off.”

He said he really enjoyed the challenge of playing the memorably horrible farmer Owen in The Vicar of Dibley.

“It was fun bringing out the grotesque part of me. It gives one a bit of licence to be outlandish and crude.”

He added: “I like finding some psychological reason about why people are like they are.

“I think Owen was somebody who’s been rather neglected and abandoned in his childhood, and perhaps unloved.

“He’s a lonely, abandoned person who has not had a mother around and a cruel father. Maybe he had obsessive compulsive disorder.

“He doesn’t have a censorship button. It’s like he has a bit of Tourette’s with the things he says.”

Roger says he doesn’t mind being recognised a lot for his TV roles. “I’m used to it really – resigned is the word.

“They were fantastic shows to be in. I was fortunate to be in not one but two cracking shows. I’m very grateful so it would be churlish to be fed up about people talking about them.”

Roger says that he may be back on our TV screens soon. He said he was going to the Canary Islands to record the pilot for a new show but couldn’t say much more.

His interest in what makes people tick gave Roger some fond memories of his last trip to Sheffield. He appeared in the play Blue/Orange at the Crucible in 2005.

He said: “Last time I was in Sheffield was a memorable time. I thought that was a terrific play that dealt with things I’m interested in – psychology and how you define who is mentally ill and who isn’t.

“I’ve always liked coming to Sheffield as you’ve got the Peaks so near.”

This time will be a bit more of a flying visit as Roger is returning to appear in the city’s A Boy Was Born festival, celebrating the centenary of the composer Benjamin Britten.

The year-long festival, being run by the University of Sheffield, is the largest festival in the UK to celebrate Britten’s birthday.

Roger is appearing alongside the Utter: Jazz Collective in a show called Look, Stranger.

The musicians will play their improvisations on some of Britten’s songs and Roger will read poems from WH Auden.

He said: “I’ve read a lot of poetry and poetry with musicians. My wife’s a poet, she does a lot of work with jazz musicians.

“They got permission to adapt Britten’s music to a jazz context. I helped to pick out the poems but couldn’t commit to it at first.

“I haven’t heard the piece yet but I’m looking forward to hearing it, it’s quite exciting.

“I’m reading some really great poems and looking forward to hearing the music.”