Trigger (Only Fools and Horses)

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Only Fools and Horses
Rock & Chips
Portrayed byRoger Lloyd-Pack (1981–2003)
Lewis Osborne (2010-2011)
Duration1981–1983, 1985-1993, 1996, 2001-2003:
Only Fools and Horses
Rock & Chips
First appearanceBig Brother
Last appearanceSleepless in Peckham
Created byJohn Sullivan
ClassificationFormer; regular
OccupationRoad sweeper

Colin Ball, more commonly known as Trigger, is a fictional character in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses and its prequel Rock & Chips.[1] He was played by Roger Lloyd-Pack in Only Fools and Horses and Lewis Osbourne in Rock & Chips.


A regular at the Nag's Head pub, and old friend of Del Boy, Trigger is a road sweeper, and also engages in trading and petty thefts (though this status as a small-time thief is soon phased out of the character's development). Trigger speaks in a slow, monotone voice, and is very simple-minded, although affable and warm-hearted. Trigger did not know his father, saying "he died a couple of years before I was born", when Rodney asks of his whereabouts in the episode "Ashes to Ashes". He was brought up by his grandparents, with his grandfather having also been a roadsweeper. When Trigger is pushed by Boycie to say who his mother had written down on the birth certificate as Trigger's father Trigger says, reluctantly, "Some soldiers". The 2015 official 'autobiography' of Del Boy, He Who Dares, states of Trigger: "It was generally agreed though that his dad was Donald Turpin (brother of Mum's best mate, Reenie)... when Elsie started showing, she claimed she'd been 'visited by an angel!', leading the rest of the Ball clan to start making plans for the arrival of a new messiah. But Donald had been heard bragging about how he'd lost his virginity... giving full details of the time and place, and was therefore fingered as a much more likely suspect than the Archangel Gabriel."[2] Trigger is not married, but he occasionally mentions past relationships during the series and is seen on a blind date with a woman in the 1988 Christmas special, Dates.

Trigger always calls Rodney Trotter "Dave". Rodney corrects him in "Homesick", and he agrees to stop, but a few seconds later he calls him "Dave" again.[3] When Cassandra Trotter, Rodney's wife, announced she was pregnant in "Modern Men", everybody raised a toast and said "To Cassandra and Rodney", but Trigger can be heard saying "Dave" after everyone else has spoken. At another point, while discussing Del and Raquel's son, Trigger reports that "if it's a boy, they're naming him Rodney, after Dave".[4]

In 2010, Lloyd-Pack stated that Trigger, while not intelligent, believed that he had an insight into life. Lloyd-Pack suggested that Trigger felt excluded as a child and found his status by saying things that made people laugh.[5]


Trigger first appeared on Only Fools and Horses in the first episode and appeared regularly throughout the entire show's run. He is an example of a breakout character in that he became popular with the show's audience, despite his status as a minor, supporting character.

Trigger appears as a teenager in the Only Fools and Horses prequel series, Rock & Chips. He is a relatively minor character in the prequel series, but in "The Frog and the Pussycat", Violet Trotter, Del's grandmother, mentions Grandad's affair with Trigger's grandmother, Alice Ball.[6] This is the first time in the Only Fools and Horses franchise that Trigger's real name is mentioned. At one point in the pilot episode, Reg asks Del and Jumbo if Trigger is mentally OK, since he once spotted Trigger laughing at a television set which was turned off.

Trigger was scripted to appear in the 2014 Only Fools and Horses sketch for Sport Relief, but Lloyd-Pack died on 15 January 2014, from pancreatic cancer. The script was subsequently rewritten to omit his role, although it is mentioned in the sketch that Trigger cannot assist Del and Rodney with their latest business venture because he is working at the market. The sketch was dedicated to the memory of Lloyd-Pack and John Sullivan.


  1. ^ He Who Dares, Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter, Penguin Random House, 2015, p. 2
  2. ^ He Who Dares, Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter, Penguin Random House, 2015, pp. 3-4
  3. ^ BBC Comedy Greats (29 October 2009), My Name is Rodney! - Only Fools and Horses - BBC, retrieved 9 May 2016 – via YouTube
  4. ^ BBC Comedy Greats (17 January 2014), If it's a boy they're naming him Rodney... - Only Fools and Horses - Series 7, retrieved 9 May 2016 – via YouTube
  5. ^ Hary, Rebecca (24 September 2010). "I triggered my daughter's downfall: Only Fools and Horses turned Roger Lloyd Pack into a star but when his daughter Emily Lloyd found fame, it drove her to the edge". Mail Online. DMG Media. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Peckham Uncovered". BBC Online. February 2003. Retrieved 4 August 2013.