Trigger (Colin Ball) was a regular character in Only Fools And Horses throughout the shows run and in the prequel Rock And Chips. He also appeared in the first episode of the spin off Green, Green Grass. Trigger was the local dimwit, yet actually he thought everyone else was one and that he was the clever one. He was sharper in the early years as he was a dodgy dealer who sold fellow dodgy dealer Del Boy stolen goods. Also Trigger could be sly and crafty at times when he once stole The Nags Head cigarette machine, emptied to contents then put the machine back. Trigger always used to call Rodney Trotter "Dave". Trigger was a friend and former schoolfriend of Del Boy, Roy Slater, Boycie and Denzel. Trigger was played by Roger Lloyd Pack.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Backstory
- 3 Rock & Chips
- 4 Only Fools & Horses (1981)
- 5 If They Could See Us Now
- 6 Strangers On The Shore
- 7 Sleepless in Peckham
- 8 The Green, Green Grass (2005-2009)
- 9 Beckham In Peckham (2014)
- 10 He Who Dares (2015)
- 11 Observations
- 12 Personality
- 13 Why does Trigger call Rodney "Dave"?
- 14 Quotes
- 15 Trivia
- 16 Memorable info
Colin Ball was born on the 28th April 1945 in Peckham, London, SE15 to Elsie Ann Ball. Colin had a sister, probably a half sister as Elsie never married, and Colin's father was allegedly a soldier. 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. Colin was a slow child and a slow learner at school. The classes were not big but they had high ceilings. As a child Trigger used to eat wood and laughed at the TV, when it was off. Del always found him a bit odd. One day in about 1954 or 1955, a bullet ricocheted and hit Trigger on the head. Del partially blamed this on why Trigger became like he was, even though he was a bit odd beforehand.
Rock & Chips
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 (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.
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, and even nick stuff with mates so he could sell them to traders, especially Del Boy. Briefcases, tins of paint etc.
Only Fools & Horses (1981)
In 1981, Trigger was a road sweeper but also remained as a part time dealer who used to sell stolen goods to local market traders including his best friend Del Boy Trotter. In 1981 he had to arrange an alibi for next Tuesday. In the pilot episode 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!" He also 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. In early 1985 he cleverly stole the cigarette machine from The Nags Head and also stole the burglar alarm.
Later in 1985, Trigger was a suspect in a diamond smuggling caper but was dismissed as being too daft. By 1986, Trigger stopped dealing to Del as much, he had a lesser role in Del's trading business. He did nick a pork pie off Mike at The Nags Head in 1989 and gave it to Del, even though he denied he nicked it.
Trigger got a bit more dense as he got older. He took things literally all the time. When the boys used to crack jokes, Trig would wait until they finished laughing, then would laugh himself. 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. Trigger thought Gandhi was someone who made 1 great film then you never saw him again.
If They Could See Us Now
Strangers On The Shore
Sleepless in Peckham
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.
In 2005, Boycie contacted the Nags 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.
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 for 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)
According to Del's autobiography He Who Dares, from 2015, Reg Trotter was a suspect as to who could be Trigger's real father. However, the real father was believed to be Donald Turpin though. Del's book also says that Trigger is retired now.
Believe it or not, Trigger was much sharper in the early years of the show. He was a small time crook who stole goods to sell to his mates. He was never Einstein (or Epstein in his book) but was much more with it. Del once said in his 2015 autobiography He Who Dares that sometimes his dippy brother Rodney "made Trigger look like Stephen Dawkings". Trigger usually said some of the silliest things. He misunderstood even the simplest of jokes. One time Del said how women always seem to correct men even when they ask them a question, it gets answered and the woman seems to correct them anyhow. Del, Denzel, Boycie and Mike all say "Why ask" at the same time. A few seconds later Trigger says "Why ask" very foolishly.
When Del and the boys found out that retired jeweller Arnie was a conman and was faking heart attacks so he could make off with the money and the gold chains leaving no contact details, Trigger thought Arnie should be taking things easy in his condition. Del had to explain that Arnie is not a sick man but a con man. Trigger then even asked what Arnie's alleged seller Mr Stavros had to do with it, when it was obvious that Stavros never existed. Well, Arnie seemed to know him pretty well, according to Trigger. Del tried to explain further but gave up. Del even used the expression "Keep your ear to the ground" and told Trigger not to take it literally, it just means "listen out".
Another example of Trigger's inability to get a simple joke or metaphor is when Rodney talked about a black hole in our universe, Trigger asked what the government are going to do about it. Rodney was about to say nothing they can do but then decided to make a sarcastic remark "They are going to send navvies up with a spaceship full of bricks", Trigger replied with "No they will need more than one".
Why does Trigger call Rodney "Dave"?
The real reason why Trigger called Rodney "Dave" was never 100% revealed. It could be that Trigger was so stupid that he had this idea in his head that Rodney was called "Dave". Even when Rodney called Trigger out on it, Trigger asked if Rodney was sure his name was Rodney. Trig then asked if Dave is a nickname. Rodney said to Trigger that he is the only one who calls him Dave, and that everyone else calls him Rodney.
Trigger has had some cracking quotes over the years, some of them veer on sheer stupidity. Here are several memorable Trigger-isms.
- Trigger: Yeah you were at the funeral weren't you Dave?
- Rodney: Trig why do you call me Dave? My name is not Dave. My name is Rodney.
- Trigger: I thought it was Dave.
- Rodney: No its Rodney.
- Trigger: Are you sure?
- Rodney: Yeah positive, I have looked it up on my passport and birth certificate. It is definitely Rodney.
- Trigger: Oh well you live and learn. So what is Dave then? Nickname like?
- Rodney: No you are the only one who calls me Dave. Everyone else calls me Rodney. And the reason they call me Rodney is because Rodney is my name.
- Trigger: Oh well I shall have to get used to calling you Rodney.
- Rodney: Thank you.
- Trigger: Oi Basil, you gonna get this meeting started, me and Dave aint got all night.
- Rodney: Rodneyyy!!
Unusally, Trigger has a date tonight with a woman he met at a dating agency.
- Trigger: I've got a date.
- Rodney: Oh you wanna watch them stones because Del got one caught in his throat once.
- Trigger: No Dave I have a lunch date with a lady.
Trig says a dating agency arranged it for him.
- Trigger: That is what I like about these agencies. They insist on honesty.
- Boycie: So you told them you were a road sweeper?
- Trigger: No. I told them I was a bus inspector.
- Mike: Why?
- Trigger: To add a bit of glamour.
From The Class of '62
For the school reunion, the boys are meeting in a function room upstairs at The Nags Head.
- Trigger: I got lost on my way here.
- Denzil: You have been coming to this pub since you were 16.
- Trigger: I know I found the pub alright, I just could not find this room. I've been standing in your dance hall for the last hour.
- Mike: All the lights are out Trig.
- Trigger: I know.
- Boycie: You have been standing in the dark for an hour?
- Trigger: Yeah. I thought we were all going to jump out and surprise someone.
- Mike: But there is no one else in there.
- Trigger: I did not know that did I? The lights were out.
Later on in the same episode:-
- Boycie: (To Trigger) How can you drink with Slater? When he is the one who stitched you up over those knocked off stamps and put you away for 18 months?
- Trigger: I know. But when I got out I got an electric blanket and a radio with them.
- Del Boy: Fancy a cognac?
- Boycie: And quick.
From Time On Our Hands
- Rodney: And as Andy Warhol said, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.
- Denzil: How can everyone be famous for 15 minutes? There's not enough time in the world is there?
- Rodney: Not everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, he was just generalising upon modern society. Some people become famous for a little while then disappear like Renee And Renato, Simon Dee....
- Trigger: Or Gandhi.
- Rodney: Yeah exactly. So maybe this time it is our....Gandhi?
- Trigger: Yeah. I mean he made one great film and then you never saw him again.
- Del Boy: (To Rodney, Denzil, Boycie and Mike) No, lets go. Lets go. (They leave Trig sat on his own).
From If They Could See Us Now
- Rodney: What you doing here Trig?
- Trigger: Well Del said he'd give me a lift to the pub.
- Rodney: But you live closer to the pub than us. In fact you have to walk past the pub to get to this flat.
- Trigger: Yeah. But Del said he'd give me a lift.
- Trigger, along with Del Boy and Rodney, are the only characters to appear in the first episode "Big Brother" and then the final episode of the main series "Sleepless in Peckham".
- Originally Trigger was going to appear in the 2014 Sport relief sketch "Beckham in Peckham" and Roger Lloyd Pack was interested in reprising the role. But due to ill health it became apparent to him that he would be unable to take part, and he ended up passing away before filming could begin. The episode is dedicated to Roger.
Born: 28th April 1945
Full Name: Colin Ball
Siblings: 1 sister
Grandfathers: Arthur Ball
Grandmothers: Alice Ball
Aunts: Reenie Turpin
Cousins: Cyril, Marilyn, Ronnie
Occupation: Road sweeper (1960-c2010), Dodgy goods dealer (1981-1987), Retired (2010-present)