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Only Fools and Wizards

EPD24 04 August 2005 00:30

It's a world away from Peckham, but the latest film role for Norfolk actor Roger Lloyd-Pack is just wizard.

Known fondly by millions of viewers for his role as the gormless Trigger in the classic television sitcom Only Fools and Horses and more latterly as Owen in The Vicar of Dibley, the Norfolk-based actor steps into the magical world of Harry Potter in the fourth and latest film due for release in November.

He plays sober-suited senior civil servant Bartemius (Barty) Crouch, the strict head of the Department for International Magical Co-operation. It is a "one-off" role, but one that he greatly enjoyed.

David Tennant, who is to play the new Dr Who in the next BBC television series, appears as Barty's son, also called Barty Crouch.

Although the 61-year-old actor, who lives near Fakenham with his dramatist and poet wife, Jehane Markham, appeared in other films earlier in his career, his latest movie role is his biggest to date.

He was thrilled to be offered the part by director Mike Newell (of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame) after he saw him in a couple of stage plays. It was a "lovely jubbly job" to have, he admitted.

"My character - who is decidedly nasty to his son - is quite crucial to the plot as he features in two of the storylines.

"I hope this part will give me a different profile and that other film parts may be offered to me."

Lloyd Pack added: "The British film industry is pretty thin and films like Harry Potter don't come along every day. Most of my work is theatre and television so it would be great if other film work came along."

Enjoying a break with friends at his Norfolk home, he said he was particularly pleased to be in a film that gave him the opportunity to work alongside some of the biggest and most renowned names in the acting business, including Miranda Richardson, Dame Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Robbie Coltrane.

The latest Potter film once again stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as his close friends, Ron and Hermione.

Another Norfolk-based actor Chris Rankin, who appeared in the first three Harry Potter films as school prefect Percy Weasley, does not reprise his role in the latest film.

Without wishing to give away too much of the plot, Lloyd Pack commented on the role: "Let's just say that I won't be in a position to be in another film in this series, so sadly it's a one-off."

RADA trained, Lloyd Pack - whose daughter, Emily Lloyd, has followed her father into the acting business - is always associated with the award-winning Only Fools and Horses. It is not generally remembered that one of his earliest television roles was in the fashionable spy series Jason King in 1971.

Other highlights from his long television career include: The Naked Civil Servant, Archer's Good, The Gravy Train, Oliver Twist, Born and Bred, Longitude and The Young Poisoner's Handbook.

His feature films credits include The Go-Between, filmed on location at Melton Constable Hall close to his current home, and starring Julie Christie, Edward Fox and Alan Bates. Roger also appeared in Fiddler on the Roof, Nineteen Eighty Four, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and her Lover, Interview with the Vampire and American Friends.