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

A childhood friend of Del Boy, he is a roadsweeper and (occasionally) petty criminal known for his stupidity, in particular his belief that Rodney's name is Dave.

Biography

According to Del's autobiography He Who Dares, from 2015, Reg Trotter was a suspect as to who could be Trigger's real father. When it came to to his birth certificate, his mum Elsie written 'some soldiers'. However, the real father was believed to be Donald Turpin though due to how pleased he was with sleeping with Trigger's mum, bragging about how he lost his virginity in such detail inlcuding the time & place.

Trigger was brought up by his grandparents, Arthur and Alice. Arthur was a roadsweeper and was only too happy to pass on the legacy.

As a child, Colin (who hadn't gained the nickname Trigger at this point) would explore local bomb sites with his mates, his best mate at the time being Colin,One day he & Trigger found a couple of bullets so tthey stuck them into a vice and gave them a whack with a hammer. This day became what Del refered to as one of his many brushes with death, as one of the bullets ricocheted off a rock and came right back at him but it missed him by a couple of inches, instead hitting Trigger on the head, who was behind him at the time. This knocked him unconcious for a bit but he eventually awoke with ab ruise on the side of his head but it didn't seem to bother him too much. This was believed by many to be an explanation for why Trigger ended up the way he is, but del recalled that he had always been odd even before any head injuries.

Rock & Chips

Trigger went to school with Del, Boycie, Denzel Tulser, Roy Slater and Jumbo Mills. Due to his haircut he later gained the nickname "Trigger" as his haircut made him look like a horse.
Trigger in Five Gold Rings

Trigger in 1961 (Five Gold Rings)

He joined in on the

first Jolly Boys' Outing in 1960. Trigger is a relatively minor character in the prequel series, giving a daft remark every now and again, but he receives a rather notable mention in "The Frog and the Pussycat" when Violet Trotter, Del's grandmother, mentions Grandad's affair with Trigger's grandmother, Alice Ball[5] (marking the first time in the history of 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.

After The Rock & Chips Trilogy

Around 1963-1964, Slater planted some Green Shield stamps on Trigger and he got put away for 18 months in a young offenders home. When he got out he got an electric blanket and a radio with them. Enough to make anyone want a cognac quick after hearing that story.

Trigger was not bright at all but he had more common sense as in 1977 he started to dabble in stolen gear with Monkey Harris, and even nick stuff with mates so he could sell them to traders, especially Del Boy. Briefcases, tins of paint etc.

Only Fools & Horses

Trigger's First Appearance

Trigger in 1981

Trigger first appears in the pilot episode of Only Fools & Horses were he sells several stolen briefcases to Del boy. Rodney asked Del where Trigger got his nickname, thinking Trigger was an armed criminal (i.e. a trigger man). Del however replies that it's because "he looks like an horse", this being a reference to the famous screen horse Trigger of the 1950s and 1960s, as Del says to Trig later on "You know what happened to the real Trigger don't you? Roy Rogers had him stuffed!"

Trigger speaks in a fairly slow, monotone voice, but he is loyal, friendly and kind. However, Trigger's most noticeable trait is that he is stupid beyond belief, which is a source of much humour in the show, despite him remaining deadly serious in his delivery. For example, in one episode, Del had relationship problems with Raquel and a very bad tooth. Whilst talking about the problems with Raquel, Trigger confused the subjects, advising him to just "get shot of it," and proceeding to say, "I know what it's like, you give them pet names, I've done it, but take my advice, go to the dentist and have it taken out."

Trigger at Grandad's funeral-0

Even the simplest joke can go over Trigger's head and he often makes ridiculously stupid statements. Most noticeably of all, he insists on calling Rodney "Dave". This began in "Big Brother" when Del introduced Rodney to Trigger saying "Trig', have you met my brother?"; despite having never met Rodney before, Trigger mistakenly answers "Yeah, 'course, how ya going, Dave?" The name appears to have stuck with Trigger and much to Rodney's despair he appears now to have resigned to it, despite having attempted to get through to Trigger on several occasions that he is called Rodney and nobody else calls him Dave. On one particularly odd occasion, Trigger relays that if Raquel's unborn child (later Damien) is a girl Del and Raquel plan to name her Sigourney after Sigourney Weaver, but if it's a boy they're going to name him "Rodney, after Dave."

Trigger did not know his father and in all seriousness says "he died a couple of years before I was born" when Rodney asks of his whereabouts in the early episode, Ashes to Ashes. He was brought up by his grandparents, with his grandfather having also been a roadsweeper. Trigger is unsurprisingly not married, although he occasionally mentions past relationships during the series and is seen on a blind date with a woman in the 1988 Christmas special, Dates.

In the episode "Heroes and Villains", Trigger wins an award for owning the same broom for 20 years. He reveals that it has had 17 new heads and 14 new handles, but insists it is still the same broom. This has given rise to the expression "Trigger's broom" (more properly known as the Ship of Theseus paradox). For example : "Sugababes are the Trigger's broom of pop music", indicating that none of the original line-up remain in the group.

If They Could See Us Now

Strangers On The Shore

Trigger in Strangers On The Shore

Trigger in France

Trigger joined in on Denzil & the Trotters journey to France, waiting at the warehouses with Denzil whilst Del & Rodney attended Uncle Albert's reunion. At four o'clock Trigger met up with The Trotters and Denzel but wasn't aware of the discresion at play due to Roddney being kept in the dark, blowing their cover.

Sleepless in Peckham

Sid tells Trigger (who has been creating a portable backscratcher made out of chopsticks) that he got some suggestions from Mike on how to make the pub look a lot better. He also shows Rodney, Del, Trigger, and Mickey Pearce an old photograph of the very first Jolly Boys' Outing in 1960. Throughout the story Trigger tries to help Del come up with different ideas to become a millionaire again. including attempting to invent a back scratcher out of chopsticks.

One night Trigger becamse fascinated in UFOs after seeing a star dissappearing and reappearing, convincing him it was a close encounter. This led to his belief in the extraterrestrial even though in reality it was simply caused by him blinking.

A few days later Trigger joined Del in his investigation into the disappearance of Marlene, following Del to a restraunt where they find Denzil and discover he's suffering from piles. On the night of the Ziggy Sawdust tribute, Trigger is present at the event when Marlene makes a retrun after being mysterious missing for the past couple of days. after finding out she had a boob job, Trigger didn't seem too impressed, finding the thought of carrying a heavier pair to be quite uncomfortable, which he expressed to Raquel & Cassandra.

Trigger's Last Appearance

Trigger at boycie & Marlene's 35th anniversay celebration

The Green, Green Grass (2005-2009)

Aside from flashbacks in series 4, Trigger doesn't appear in the series but is referenced to a few times.

It was during this time that the autobiography "He Who Dares" reveals that The Driscoll Brothers went knocking at his house looking for Boycie, as well as Denzil's and Del Boy's.

In 2005, Boycie contacted The Nag's Head to see if Trigger was stupid enough to buy a gay cow off him. It turned out that even Trigger wasn't that stupid enough to accept such an offer.

Boycie makes a reference to Trigger in the episode "Pillow Talk" when he tells Tyler about his mate who hadn't got an education just went around sweeping the roads.

Another time, when Marlene was creating a Calendar boys for charity, Trigger was one of the people to send a photo of himself. From how Mrs Cakeworthy reacted, it's implied he used his broom in his picture.

Beckham In Peckham (2014)

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.

He Who Dares (2015)

Del's book also says that Trigger is retired now but still manages the Trotters Transcendental Training Programme that Del passed on to him. As well as this, his fascination with close enocunters and UFOs that developed in Sleepless in Peckham is still present as he watches The X-Files a lot. He also spends his retirement years talking to pigeons in the park or at The Nag's Head, confirming it was still running as of 2015.

Characterisation

A regular at The Nag's Head, and an old friend of Del Boy, Trigger is a road sweeper, and also appears to dabble in trading and petty thefts. He once supplied Del with paint which Del proceeded to use to decorate his mother's grave. Only then did Trigger inform him that the paint was used on signs in railway tunnels and was, therefore, luminous. He also supplies a load of stolen cigarettes, and in the opening episode he announces to Del that "he popped round to his sisters to sort out an alibi for next Thursday." Trigger has appeared on Only Fools and Horses since the very first episode, "Big Brother", and carried on appearing in almost every episode and Christmas special until the final episode and 2003 Christmas special, "Sleepless in Peckham". He also appeared in the prequel series Rock & Chips.

Appearances

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, where he is portrayed as equally daft as in the main series. As shown in "Sleepless in Peckham", he accompanies Del, his gang, his family and Freddie the Frog on the first Jolly Boys' Outing in 1960. Trigger is a relatively minor character in the prequel series, giving a daft remark every now and again, but he receives a rather notable mention in "The Frog and the Pussycat" when Violet Trotter, Del's grandmother, mentions Grandad's affair with Trigger's grandmother, Alice Ball[5] (marking the first time in the history of 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.

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