News: Roger Lloyd Pack Obituary

Rodger Lloyd-Pack

Saddened to hear of the death of Roger Lloyd Pack from pancreatic cancer at the age of 69. He was a sitcom regular who will probably - and unfairly - be best remembered in years to come for standing next to Del Boy when he fell through the bar in Only Fools And Horses. He more recently also starred in the Vicar of Dibley, where his hangdog stupidity brightened up most episodes and made what could have been a simple cliched yokel character into something much deeper.

In the tributes that have poured in today it is also interesting to note that Lloyd Pack is one of those comedians who transcended old wave and new wave comedy. Father Ted co-writer Graham Linehan tweeted: "Trigger was an ancestor to Father Dougal and I'm glad I once had a chance to tell him so." Peep Show writer Sam Bain was also quick to respond on Twitter: "One of the loveliest most talented actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with." Bain wrote for Lloyd Pack when he co-starred with Clive Swift in The Old Guys, written by Bain, Jesse Armstrong and Simon Blackwell, which was a kind of Peep Show forty years on. 

I used to see Lloyd Pack at openings and first nights and he always looked, how can I put it, like he had lived life to the full. He was a bit bohemian, frequently bearded, scarved and scruffy. He was also often involved in political campaigns, either in Camden Town near to where he lived or further afield. He once offered to read Chaucer at the Occupy camp in the city. He certainly, no pun intended, packed plenty into his 69 years.

I also saw him perform a couple of times. He appeared at an impro show at the Hackney Empire with Paul Merton in 2004 which, coincidentally, was in aid of Bart's Cancer Care, and a couple of years later I saw him do a solo piece, An Oak Tree, in which he had to take live direction from creator Tim Crouch. Lloyd Pack performed at both events with a benign smile on his face even when he wasn't sure what was going on. He seemed totally relaxed onstage, but maybe it was in his genes. His father was actor Charles Lloyd Pack and his daughter is Emily Lloyd. 

He was also one of those actors, like Judi Dench and Richard Briers, who was equally at home onstage doing Shakespeare and in primetime sitcoms. I'm not sure if we even have that kind of actor any more. Successful sitcom actors these days seem to come from the live comedy circuit or, if they are trained actors, they seem to come from other television shows rather than the stage. Lloyd Pack was not totally unique, but, at the same time, I can't think of anyone around today who is quite like him.

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