In order to justify an actor obituary in a blog about management and leadership you have to have a link and in the case of Roger Lloyd Pack it’s a learning point. As Trigger in Only Fools and Horses his ongoing insistence on calling Rodney, Dave has kept audiences amused for years and become the stuff of folklore.
How many times have you been asked by someone in a shop or in a business meeting for your name, you tell them but immediately if not seconds later they start calling you something else? It drives me mad and from talking to other people it is one of our real ‘hates’. When we first meet people we form opinions of them in the first few seconds. If they get our name wrong we badge them as people that don’t listen and/or have no attention to important detail. In business or in sales that is not a great start to a relationship.
When I teach listening skills and talk about names, every delegate has a horror story to reinforce the point above and all can reel of the variants they usually get of their own name. When I ask how they feel when this happens the descriptive words of the person usually given are not printable without some of the letters being replaced by an asterisk or two!
Here is the script when Rodney finally asks Trigger why he always calls him Dave.
Rodney – Why do you call me Dave, Trig’ – My name’s not Dave, Its Rodney.
Trigger – Are you sure?
Rodney – Yes, I’ve checked it on my birth certificate and everything, its definitely Rodney.
Trigger – So what’s Dave, a Nickname ‘like?
Rodney – No – you’re the only person who calls me Dave, everybody else calls me Rodney – and the reason they call me Rodney, is because Rodney is my name.
Trigger – Well, I shall have to get used to calling Rodney from now on.
Rodney – Thank you.
Trigger – How long are you going to be Baz, Me and Dave haven’t got all day?
Rodney – RODNEY!
Trigger – Yeah yeah.
He also got some of the series’ other most memorable lines. In the episode Heroes and Villains, Trigger was given an award for saving the council money. “I happened to mention one day that I’ve had the same broom for the last 20 years,” he proclaimed. “They were very impressed and said ‘have a medal’.” Holding the broom aloft, he proudly declared: “This old broom has had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time.” “How can it be the same broom then?” asked Sid, the cafe owner, at which Trigger produced a battered photograph of him and the broom and asked: “What more proof do you need?”
Roger Lloyd Pack was born in Islington, north London on 8 February 1944 and his father, Charles Lloyd-Pack, was an actor of many minor roles in the Hammer horror films. He was aged 69 when he died of pancreatic cancer on 16th January 2014.
Thank you for the entertainment and making us laugh.