Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Since the series began in 1981, the lovable rogue and wheeler-dealer has become a widely recognised and much loved British icon. The character has made popular such expressions as "Loverly Jubbly" and "Plonker". His penchant for ghastly, extravagant cocktails (such as Baileys and Cherryade) and his love of the go-getter lifestyle helped to popularise British yuppie culture in the 1980s.
Born in 1948 in Peckham Rye , Del Boy is the son of Joan and Reg Trotter, older brother of Rodney, grandson of Edward Trotter, and great nephew of Albert Trotter. He has a niece named Joanne. He has had many girlfriends. His friends include Trigger, Denzil, Boycie, Marlene and Mike. His greatest enemy is DCI Roy Slater. Derek is optimistic but not very bright, and frequently gets Rodney into trouble. In one episode, when a woman accuses Rodney of rape, Del makes a joke of it and says that the Police have named Rodney "The Peckham Pouncer". His favourite song is 'Old Shep'. He believes he is fluent in French when in fact is hopeless at it (he gets bonjour and au revoir mixed up).
Del works as a market trader, running his own company - Trotters Independent Traders (T.I.T)- either from out of a suitcase or out of the back of his bright yellow three wheeled car. This job is the perfect platform for Del's particular brand of wheeling and dealing, for Del is a streetwise chancer, always looking to make a fast buck. With a never-ending supply of get-rich-quick schemes and an inner belief in his ability to sell anything to anyone, Del embroils 'the firm' (as he calls the family business) in all sorts of improbable situations. It is this unwaivering confidence that led to his oft-proclaimed but rarely realised ambition "This time next year, we'll be millionaires!" One of Del's most famous deals was smuggling diamonds, when he was accidently 'kidnapped' by Denzil and taken to Hull.
Though maintaining a tough exterior, family means a lot to Del. He still mourns the death of his mother and he runs T.I.T with his younger brother, Rodney. Del takes great pride in having raised Rodney after their mother's premature death. Del has never forgiven his father for running away when Rodney was five years old. Despite their often minimal income, Del insists on caring for his elderly Grandad. When Grandad died, his role in the family trio was taken up by his brother Albert, who received the same level of respect (and light-hearted abuse).
The popularity of the character was only enhanced by a wonderful piece of physical comedy often fingered as the best of British comedy. Eyeing up a couple of girls in a yuppie wine bar, Del goes to lean on a bar flap which, unbeknownst to him, has just been raised, and with a perfect pratfall drops clean out of shot.
In part, Jason's depiction of Derek Trotter was based on a builder, Derek Hockley, for whom he had worked as an electrician. Hockley had many of the affectations outlined by Sullivan in his characterisation of Del (gold jewellery, camel-hair coat) and Jason added others, like his habit of twitching his neck.
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