Roger Lloyd Pack Interview
Roger Lloyd Pack is better known to most people as Trigger from Only Fools and Horses, although he has had a long and distinguished career in both television (stretching all the way back to Dixon of Dock Green), film (he was in Interview with a Vampire) and on the stage. We caught up with him to have a little chat about the city he's lived in for his whole life.
You were born in London and you still live in the city - what keeps you there?
I do spend time out of London in the country but I can't envisage being away from London for long. I like having the pavement under my feet to a certain extent, I like the bustle, and I like being able to go round the corner to a film or a play or a concert when I want. I like having all those amenities on tap. I like the buzz of London.
Do you think it has a distinctly different buzz to other cities?
Well I do, because I live here - I've got access to the veins and arteries of the city; which I don't have in Paris or Rome or other cities. I think it is a pretty amazing city actually, although we have a lot of problems with transport and getting around London is impossible. But the sheer variety of people in the city who have made it their home…and the restaurants - the choice you have is overwhelming really. I think it's one of the most cosmopolitan cities that I know.
I had heard that there's something like 120 different languages spoken in Greater London itself.
Yes, it's extraordinary isn't it?
Now, mentioning the transport thing - how do you think it's being handled at the moment?
Well, it's a very complex situation. I'm actually in favour of the charge. We've got to do something. I know it militates against people and that it's not fair - people who've got money will pay it and people who haven't won't. I don't see any way round that at the moment.
I do think more emphasis should be put on providing cheap and regular public transport. Now there is a huge improvement in the buses - I use them myself and I've noticed that it's much easier to get around with them. There probably aren't enough of them still but that's a big improvement.
The Underground has a long way to go, but I can't blame the mayor for that because he's being blocked by the government. I think the government are really obstructionist in that department. They haven't helped at all. But then they haven't grasped the nettle of public transport generally, which is that it should be a cheap service to enable and facilitate people to get to work and for the cogs of business to run smoothly.
It should be cheaper and that's why I think the balance is wrong and the charge is penalising motorists but not offering them a reasonable alternative and that's why I criticised the balance of it. I do think you've got to encourage people not to bring cars into London though. Some journeys are essential and those people should have special dispensation but a lot of journeys could be made out of the car.
London is a small city with small streets - it's not built for this amount of cars. Something has to be done and I'm afraid that financial penalties seem to be the only way of getting people to do anything.
London must have changed an awful lot since you were young.
But what do you think are the really major differences?
Well, cars obviously - we used to play in the street. Massive changes. We used to wander around the Fulham Road as kids with no worries about traffic. The wealth of the city, it was pretty run down when I grew up there and look at it now. It was a bombsite then, lots of bombed houses I remember. The buildings that have gone up have changed it out of all proportion, I mean, if you don't go somewhere for a year it's unrecognisable next time you see it. There's so much changing so quickly now.
Is that alarming or reassuring? The city obviously isn't stagnating…
Well, as you get older you become more resistant to change and you like things to be as they were. So I'm disturbed by too much change but at the same time I know that it's part of life and has to happen.
I wouldn't equate stagnation with things staying the same necessarily. Some changes aren't for the good; some buildings that go up are pretty monstrous. The river area is brilliant I think, the redevelopment that's gone on all down the river is great. But you know, I used to play there - actually on the river base. We'd walk down those steps at Chelsea Embankment when the tide was out and play. Can you imagine anyone doing that now? We just used to do it - no restrictions or anything…you could do a lot more in those days, it was very unrestricted. We're restricted almost out of existence these days.
You're not wrong! Finally, is there any one bit of the city you go to get away from everything?
I live near the heath and I feel very fortunate living there. I go for a walk there or a swim, it's great to have that on my doorstep - so that's where I go.
Content updated: 20/05/2013 17:21
With the sun having set on the 2013 Sundance London film and music festival, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on some of the films and events that graced the screens and stages at the event held at the O2 this year, and to remind ourselves what an excellent selection of films were on offer to eager London cineastes this time around.
The stellar cast of Star Trek Into Darkness, including the supernova stars Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch, were joined by director JJ Abrams and many more to discuss the new film in the massively popular Sci-Fi franchise, what Star Trek means to them all, and how they all strived together to make a film that is full of amazing action and will appeal to established fans and newcomers alike.
Fred Schepisi, director of family drama The Eye of the Storm, talks to View about adapting a marvellous novel for the big screen, casting excellent actors and allowing them to seek out the nuances of their characters, and how great scenes must be created organically to achieve brilliant results on film.
In London to celebrate and promote the Sundance London premiere and the upcoming DVD release of The History of the Eagles, current band members Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit discuss the documentary in detail, as well as their personal experiences in the music industry, their plans for an upcoming world tour and their love and gratitude for the female folk musician that ultimately brought them together, Linda Ronstadt.