1945-1980Derek Edward Trotter was born on the 12th July 1945 in Orchard Street, Peckham, South London to Reg Trotter and his wife Joan Mavis Trotter. He was named after his two grandfathers Derek and Edward. He grew up in a terraced house in Peckham with his parents and ageing grandfather Grandad Trotter - (Edward Trotter), who was separated from his wife Violet Trotter. Aged 11 Del got a paper round which included a "Spick And Span" for the weirdo in Marley Road. Del also used to sell stolen gear down the local markets, often bunking off school. In 1960, Del and his friends Denzel Tulser, Trigger and Boycie left school and Del became a market trader. In 1960, Joan Trotter gave birth to a son Rodney Trotter, a younger brother for Del. Del used to sell knocked off Tom Jones LP's and got 8 A's when he left school, the A's all stood for Absent.
1981-2003In 1981, Del was 36 and still a bachelor but young enough to have ambitions. He mocked Rodney's girlfriend Monica for having fat thighs. He was conned out of £2000 that year by Mr Rham and Vimmal Malik. That year he got in touch with Pauline Harris again, but the Trotters fled to Clacton in Essex when Del realised she was trying to kill him after persuading him to take out a life insurance policy. Pauline later fled the area but left a huge telephone bill. Del tried to set up Trotters Ethnic Tours but Grandad threw all the leaflets away. Del and Rodney even tried to practice for a war so nicked some lead and bits and built a nuclear fall out shelter, on the roof of Nelson Mandela House.
In 1982, Del was annoyed that Rodney started dating a policewoman called Sandra. They later broke off the date after Sandra gave them 24 hours to clear out any hookie gear they had. That year the Trotters went abroad to Spain but Grandad was arrested, what he thought was for gun running in 1936 but for jay walking. In November 1982, Del began to date Heather but she was still in love with her husband who wanted a second chance. Del called off the relationship.
In 1983, Del was conned by Miranda Davenport and almost got into trouble while on holiday with Rodney and Grandad, when the max axe fisherman killer struck. Later that year, Del's old school enemy Roy Slater was back in Peckham. Slater was a Detective Inspector and wanted to find out about a stolen microwave. Rodney, not knowing who Slater was, said Del was coming to the pub but got involved in some business with a microwave. Slater visited Del and tricked them and then arrested Del, Rodney and Grandad. Slater said if Del did not give the name of the microwave thief he would stitch Rodney up for drugs, seeing as he had a cannabis conviction. Del said he would be one of his informers if he gave the name. Slater said if Del ever stepped out of line he would tell the villains Del is an informer and have him killed. Also if Del and Rodney went to jail he would have Grandad assaulted. Del applied for immunity from prosecution and said he nicked the microwave. Slater then left the area for a while.
In December 1983, after 18 years, Del and Rodney's dad Reg Trotter turned up again. He claimed he was dying. Del and Rodney found out the truth and sent him packing. In 1984 Del bought an oil rig for £400 or so he thought.
By 1985, Del was reunited with old flame June Snell. He had last seen her in September 1965 and she was pregnant. Del thought he was the father of Debbie Snell but June later said it was his old friend Albie Littlewood. At the same time, Grandad was in hospital. He soon died and in February 1985 the Trotters united in grief. At the funeral, an old sailor with a beard introduced himself as Albert Trotter, younger brother of Grandad. He later moved in after his nephew Stan Trotter and his wife Jean Trotter abandoned him. As the Trotters were so hard up, Albert fell down a cellar to claim compensation but the courts revealed he had several previous claims. He wanted to get Grandad's headstone. A few more of Del's schemes went belly up such as the Louvre doors.
In late 1985, 40 year old Del Boy was offered a big deal by Boycie and Abdul. They offered him £15'000 to go to Amsterdam in Holland and bring the diamonds back. Del was reluctant but later agreed. However Roy Slater was back policing the area and a Chief Inspector. He knew there were some diamond smuggling rackets and the people behind it were Boycie and Abdul. Slater did not know who the courier was. He did not suspect Del at first. Slater had all the airports covered so Del decided to go by boat, a schooner. Albert was the captain. They reached Holland, Del did business with Mr Van Kleefe. On his return they were surrounded by coppers and it was revealed Slater was behind the schemes as he wanted to retire early in style. He took the diamonds rather than have Del, Rodney, Albert, Boycie and Abdul banged up for 5 years. PC Terence Hoskins set Slater up as the police suspected him. Slater was arrested. Del was paid by Boycie but thought the money was fake and threw it out of the window.
A year later in the summer of 1986, Del took German student Anna under his wing. She was pregnant and as Boycie and Marlene wanted to adopt, Del saw £££ signs. The scheme went belly up as usual. Del then faked a Miracle to help save St Mary's Hospice. One night the Trotters were held hostage by Lennox Gilbey but it was a scam between Lennox and the staff to get the money as the manager was hard up. Lennox was offered a security job there after Del said that he should get a job or he will go to the police, plus the money for the 1000'000th customer winning. That year he saw Lisa, Triggers niece. Del and Rodney fell out over it and Del went hang gliding. After briefly dabbling in the video industry, in October 1986, Del's old friend Jumbo Mills returned after 19 years in Australia. He offered Del a partnership as Del had given him £200 to emigrate in 1967 and Jumbo was now a millionaire. Del agreed but realised he could not leave Rodney as due to his drugs conviction he was refused an emigration visa.
In late 1986, Del mucked up Rodney's date with "posh tart" Victoria, daughter of The Duke Of Maylebury. Del embarrassed Rodney at the dinner at the country mansion but this was a ploy to protect Rodney as they would find out about his cannabis conviction and if he refused to leave Vicky they would send out a hit team. Del's plan may have been to screw money out of the Duke.
In late 1987, the Trotters were trying to flog computers. Del got Rodney a job as a chief mourner to Mr Jahan. At Triggers niece Lisa's wedding, Del met old friend Reenie Turpin, Del's mums best friend. She mentioned Freddie "The Frog" - Freddie Robdal who befriended Joan in about 1960 when her and Reg were going through a rough patch. Reenie said when Robdal died in a safe cracking incident he had left the gold to Joan. Reenie said that Rodney had a resemblance to Freddie Robdal. The gold was later revealed to be buried at sea. It seems the legacy finding was later abandoned.
In 1988, Del signed up to a dating agency. He had made a lot of money recently. Rodney had a date with Nerys Sansom. Del paraded as Derek Duval and at the dating agency, was recommended to a woman called Raquel Turner. They met at Waterloo Station. Del pretended he was a millionaire. Raquel was a small time actress and also a stripper. Del was annoyed at her for not telling him she was a stripper. Rodney was chased by yobs when driving Nerys around and Del later agreed to meet up with Raquel again or she would go on a tour in the Middle East. Del mistook 2 coppers for strippers, thinking Albert had organised it as a revenge ploy for Del organising strippers at his birthday party. Del was arrested after ripping the female coppers blouse open. He was on his way to visit Raquel and she left for the Middle East and Del lost contact with her.
Soon after, Del saw a film called Wall Street which had a character called Gordon Ghekko in it. Del started using a yuppy image, red braces, trendy trenchcoat and smart shirts and ties plus an aluminium briefcase. Meanwhile Rodney started going to evening school to try and break away from being Del's dogsbody down the markets for Trotters Independent Traders. Del started attending wine bars and one time went to lean on the bar flap but did not know it had been lifted up by the barman so he fell arse over head. Trigger was with him. Rodney met a woman at evening school called Cassandra Parry.
Del managed to blag 50 dolls off his mate Denzel but did not know they were inflatable until he opened up the packaging. They ere filled with explosive gas and Del and Rodney dumped them on wasteground. Del then met a retired jeweller called Arnie. Del did some business with him and put together a multi national consortium, well Boycie, Mike from The Nags Head, Trigger and Albert. They planned to double their money by buying the gold chains for £12'500. Arnie had a heart attack and was rushed to hospital. As the ambulance hurried off, no one knew what hospital they took him to and as Arnie's surname was not known, the money vanished. It later turned out Arnie had faked several heart attacks to get some quick dosh.
A week or so later Del started applying for every competition possible, Spot The Dog, Corn Flakes. 12 years before Rodney had wrote his name on a painting of The Marble Arch At Dawn and when Del saw it he entered Rodney for the competition. They then won a trip to Marbella, but Rodney had to pretend to be 14 and Cassandra had to pose as his common law stepmother. Del enjoyed winding Rodney up and when they thought they had won £1000'000 they were told no money could be given as Rodney's name was on the ticket and he was under 18. As Del had doctored all his documents, they could not prove his real age.
Upon their return from Mallorca, Del carried on his yuppy image but started getting stomach pains. He blamed it on Yuppie Flu but was secretly worried. Also he had not paid the rent for 3 months and was being threatened with eviction. He tried to earn money by arranging seances with medium Elsie Partridge. Del refused to go to the doctor until Albert told Elsie to pretend she got a message from his late mum saying he had to go to the doctors. Del went to the doctors but said he was a vegetarian health freak, and had 1 cigar a year. The doctor admitted him to hospital and Del was very worried, he thought he had AIDS due to his promiscuous past. Dr Meadows heard Del's name by accident and as he was the family doctor, he read Del's reports which said he lead a healthy lifestyle when in reality he was a wheeling dealing Pina Colada lout, curry king, cigar smoker and woman magnet. Del was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He was mightily relieved and cried, as he knew deep down that there was nothing seriously wrong with him, just a severe case of Yuppie Flu. Rodney then announced his engagement to Cassandra.
Rodney failed his diploma but Del bribed the teacher to pass him. Rodney then got a job at Cassandra's father Alan Parry's printing firm as a computer programmer, no more being Del's dogsbody down the market. Del knew Boycie owed him money but then got involved with The Driscoll Brothers, who thought Del was trying to con them over some phones. He tricked Boycie into thinking it was the VCR's Boycie sold him so Boycie gave him £3000. Del took a beating rather than let Rodney down over the promised £2000 flat deposit. Del witnessed Rodney walk up the aisle. Rodney had flown the nest, he now had a good job, nice flat, new wife and Del was proud of him.
In August 1989, Del organised the annual Jolly Boys Outing. Rodney was now the Head Of The Computer Section at Alan's printing firm and was doing really well. Del was still flogging hookie gear down the markets with Albert having taken Rodney's job. However, Cassandra was friendly with her boss from the bank, Steven The Yuppie. Rodney hated Steven who was always flirting with Cassandra.
On the beano to Margate, the coach blew up when no one was in it after Del sold the driver a dodgy car radio. There was a rail strike and the last bus back to London had gone by the time the gang arrived at the bus stop at 7:40pm. They had to spend the night in Margate. Rodney was worried that Cassandra would get lonely and invite Steven round. While at a nightclub Del, by chance saw Raquel on stage and he was back in touch. She had got back to England 6 months before. On the return to London the following morning, Rodney returned home and saw Steven in his flat and punched him, until he saw his wife Joanne was there making coffee. Rodney was thrown out and moved back in with Del. Raquel soon moved in with Del.
1990-1991 - Relationship with Raquel and impending fatherhood, plus an old enemy returns, and who his estranged wife is, shows it really is a small world.
In February 1990, 6 months since the beano to Margate, Rodney was back with Cassandra but there was still friction. They had another row and Rodney yet again went back to Del's flat. He started drinking with his mates, and Mickey Pearce suggested Rodney ask a girl out to make Cassandra jealous. Rodney took Del's van to the local exhaust centre and asked Tanya The Kwik Fit Receptionist out on a date. Del informed Cass but Rodney said he decided to not go through with the date. Del tried to tell Cassandra but it was too late and she threw him out. Rodney was mad at Del but later agreed they both mucked this up and Del took him back to the flat.
Cass took a break to Spain. Del organised a honeymoon suite for Rodney and Cass upon her return to Gatwick but due to Cassandra's plane being diverted to Manchester Albert did not tell Cass that Rodney was staying in some hotel. This meant she would think Rodney was going caso with some tart. Rodney tried to ring Alan. In the end Cass somehow found out the truth. She still stayed with her parents. Rodney and Cass went for a meal and they got back but that night he was escorting one of Del's exes to the taxi and Cass drove past and saw him. She dumped him. Rodney, for the umpteenth time, went back to live with Del. He was worried that Alan would sack him over the marriage problems. Rodney tried to hand in his resignation so Alan would refuse it, knowing Rodney was too important to the firm but Alan accepted it. Rodney the plonker lost the highly paid job he had for the past year and a half, as a computer programmer. Del was angry at him. Del found out he was going to be a dad again and Rodney was soon back to where he was before, Del's dogsbody. Del managed to earn extra money by pairing Raquel up with Tony Angelino, who could not pronounce his R's.
In January 1991, Del was invited to a school reunion, of which no one knew who had arranged it. Turned out it was Del's old school enemy Roy Slater. Roy tried to convince others he had changed and in the end Del forgave him until he found out Slater was Raquel's much referred to but never identified husband. Raquel had never told Del her married name. Slater said he had an inheritance coming through and also hinted that Del's business clients would never trust him again if they knew he was seeing the ex wife of an ex copper, hinting that he would tell people. Del tried to keep Slater sweet and he knew the divorce proceedings were being filed and when Slaters wallet was left lying about, Del stumbled across a post nuptial agreement Slater wanted Raquel to sign, and that his inheritance was 10 stolen diamonds pugged away in a Bond Street merchants. This meant Raquel had to sign the form or Slater would blab to everyone he is her ex husband, thus tarnishing Trotters Independent Traders. Del and Rodney had one up on Slater and said they got a photocopy of the letters. Del said Slater could keep his money but was to divorce Raquel, leave her alone forever, leave Peckham forever and never return and to keep his mouth shut that he was married to Raquel or they would go to the police and this time Slater could get a 10 year prison term. Slater agreed to the deal and left Peckham that day, forever.
Shortly after, Del bought a Capri Ghia so Raquel would be safe when going shopping, rather than walk and risk being mugged. Albert was "mugged" one night and Del vowed revenge until it turned out Albert had a fight over Marlene's mum Dora Lane.
In February 1991, Del became a dad to Damien Trotter and Rodney finally got back with Cassandra but was still Del's dogsbody.
In late 1991, Del and Raquel had baby Damien christened. Del conned his way to a holiday to Miami after a wine deal went belly up, he wanted to get away for a week. He used Rodney's golden handshake proceeds to book the holiday and booked a week that Cass could not make it. While in Miami, Del was "befriended" by some Mafia people who posed as businessmen, they saw Del was a double for the Mafia Boss Don Ochetti who was up on trial for 3 murders and drug offences and risked a life sentence in jail. Del and Rodney later foiled their plan and managed to escape the Mafia. The following night, they flew back to England.
1992 was a tough year for the Trotters. By the summer they were not buying or selling anything and by November, they were in dire straits. They had not bought or sold anything for months. Del owed the casino lost of money and found he was now the owner of the flat after all his paperwork came through after his application to buy the flat 4 years earlier. Only Albert's pension helped keep the Trotter family afloat. Del was also told to clear out Grandad's old allotment or face jail. Del came up with a scheme to "discover" a urban spring and sell the water. Myles was a local businessman who was conned into thinking the water was real. Del began to sell tap water. In the end the scheme was abandoned but the Trotters had made a lot of money.
In late 1993, Del was going down the pubs every night and the casinos. Raquel and him had marriage troubles and Del had a sore tooth. Raquel left him after Del came in at 8am one morning. Turns out Del was doing these nightclub jaunts as a phase because he was putting a deal together over some VCRs and did not want word slipping out as he had competitors. What at a dentist, when he was temporarily split from Raquel, Del asked Beverley out on a date. Rodney was horrified and Del agreed to break off the date, leaving a message on her answer phone. He then thought Bev was stalking him because he gave her the elbow. Del and Raquel later reconciled after he agreed to change. By chance, Bev met Raquel and swapped Damien's highchair for Bev's answer phone. Bev had left the message from Del on the machine. Rodney said it was a good deal and plugged the machine in on Christmas Night when they were all celebrating in the Trotter's flat. The machine played the message and Raquel thought Del had been having an affair all these months. She threw stuff at Del. 12 floors down Bev could hear the commotion and smiled to herself.
Del and Raquel later reconciled and by 1996 Del was 51 and Rodney was 34. Rodney and Cass were still trying for a baby. Del applied for a grant to have his kitchen done up. It was rejected but when Del and Rodney (while dressed as Batman and Robin for a costume event) saved the Councillor from being mugged, Del persuaded her to give him the go ahead for the council grant. Cass was pregnant and Del won a medal for tackling the muggers. Del then bought a book called Modern Man and sold Dr Singh some out of date paint. Del considered having a vasectomy so he could reproduce years later when he is rich and famous. Cass had a miscarriage which devastated Rodney, who was comforted by Del. Raquel had a dinner with her parents James Turner and Audrey Turner. Her brother in Milton Keynes did not attend. As James was an antiques dealer he spotted a watch in Del's garage. He assumed it to be the 300 year old lost Harrison timekeeper. This was later confirmed and as the Trotters had the receipt to prove ownership, they won a £6.2 million fortune.
After 30 odd years of getting up at 4am to flog hookie gear down markets and working until 7 at night, Del could finally relax. He bought a mansion while Rodney and Cass bought a riverside apartment. He then realised the millionaire lifestyle was not all it was cracked up to be as he had won his millions rather than earned it. Rodney talked him round. Del said they could still invest and could be billionaires.
1996-2001 - The millionaire lifestyle
They enjoyed the flash lifestyle, holidaying in Monte Carlo. In 2001, they invested in a dodgy South American stock market which crashed. The Trotters were bankrupt and lost the millions they had made on top of the ones they had. Del had never sold his flat in Peckham and they had to move back, also, Del owed £50'000 to the Inland Revenue due to some bouncy cheques. Del was back to where he was before, he had to come out of early retirement and go back to getting up at 4 or 5am to flog hookie gear down markets all day. Albert died suddenly while staying with Elsie Partridge. Some of Del's schemes included a few dodgy booze runs to France. They found out Albert had put it about all over the place and that they were distantly related to Rashid Mammon, a Middle Eastern millionaire as his gran met an English sailor in the war and Rashid had a resemblance to Albert. Turned out Rashid's son was the stowaway the Trotters thought was an illegal immigrant.
Cassandra was pregnant again and Rodney was very worried something would go wrong. Del and Rodney tried to make a movie. Sid was still running the Nags Head in Mike's absence while in jail for fraud. They got chatting about the old beanos to Margate and after the last one in 1989, the coach company refused to do business with them any more. Sid lent Rodney a photo from the first JBO in 1960. Rodney had it enlarged but saw a photo of Freddie Robdal in the pic, and that Rodney looked the spitting image of him. Rodney said he had suspected for years. Del later saw the pic and knew Rodney was having it enlarged and worried he would see Freddie's face. Del said he also had suspicions as when he was 20 his 6 year old kid brother was taller and many people knew Freddie was friendly with their mother at the time Rodney was conceived. Albert had left Del and Rodney £150'000 in his will, which put them out of debt and Rodney became a father to baby Joan Trotter Jnr.
2014In March 2014, Del Boy was still trading at the age of about 69. One of his latest lines have been pants that have been signed by David Beckham. Del and Rodney are personal friends of David.
- Born: 12th July 1945
- Full Name: Derek Edward Trotter
- Parents: Reg Trotter and Joan Mavis Trotter
- Siblings: Rodney Trotter (half, same mother)
- Grandfathers: Edward Trotter, Derek Hollins
- Grandmothers: Violet Trotter, Mavis Hollins
- Spouse: Raquel Turner (common law)
- Children: Damien Trotter (1991)
- Great Uncles: Albert Trotter, George Trotter, Jack Trotter
- First cousins: Stan Trotter, Audrey Trotter
- Occupation: Market Trader (1960-1996), Millionaire Businessman (1996-2001), Market Trader (2001-present)
First Line: "You two at it again are you?" to Rodney and Grandad in "Big Brother".
Final Line: "What a plonker" about David Beckham in the "Sport Relief Sketch 2014"
Del Boy was a very streetwise South Londoner. He always meant well but was always interfering in Rodney's love life, and Rodney was always threatening to clump Del for it. Del was a petty criminal and never was afraid to bend the law, buying and selling stolen gear, and if not stolen then fake gear such as fake Rolex Watches. When Del and Rodney's mum died in 1964, and their dad walked out on them, Del had to bring his much younger brother up. He fed and clothed him and was like a father figure to him, seeing as their Grandad was an out of work lamplighter waiting for gas to make a comeback. Del did take advantage of his friends especially Denzel Tulser and Trigger. In 1982 and 1989, Del got into scrapes and was once mistaken for Rodney even though Tommy MacKay never met Rodney, Rodney had been dating Irene MacKay, Tommy's husband. Del said he spoke to Irene to persuade her to leave Rodney alone, seeing as she was a lot older and was married to a convict. Tommy thought Del was Rodney and Del agreed to take a beating on Rodney;s behalf. Del would go to the very end for Rodney. Despite being a dodgy street trader, and being streetwise, Del was not very bright. In 1992, he read a article in a Sunday newspaper which said diving was all the go with yuppies but they meant scuba diving and Del had bought a deep sea divers suit. He also thought an acronym was a swan and an anagram was a dead body in a coffin. Rodney had to explain to Del what an anagram was, a word with the letters mixed up which spells another word, and what an acronym was, a word made out of the initials of a sentence or set of words. Del also thought the Russian male ballet dancer Nijinski was a woman and that Alan Sugar is Alec Sugar and is a pannelist on the BBC1 show Dragon's Den. This may have been due to just ignorance than being thick and was not a slur on his capabilities.
Confusion of age and possible theories to explain this
Del Boy Trotter's age has varied throughout the years in the Only Fools And Horse series canon. In Go West Young Man - (15th September 1981) he says that he is 35 making him born in 1945 or 1946 but in he says his dad left in 1964 on his 16th birthday, making him born about 1948. In the 1991 episode The Chance of a Lunchtime (6th January 1991), but set several months earlier (maybe mid 1990 as Raquel was only just pregnant), Trigger is meant to be 44, and if he went to school with Del Boy then that makes him born about 1945 or 1946. That does tie in with "Go West Young Man". 35 in 1981 and 44 in 1990. Kushti, as Del would say.
In the first episode of the Only Fools And Horses prequel Rock And Chips it is early 1960 and Del is supposedly 15. The PE teacher, who found Del and his mates disruptive, complains that they have to stay on another year due to the school leaving age being raised to 16. This means Del Boy was born in perhaps late 1944 or the first half of 1945.
A theory is that Del Boy may not have been honest with Rodney about how old he was when his mum died, he was really 18 but said he was 16 to make it look like he was a very responsible man at just 16. I think Del Boy was born in July 1945 or perhaps the first half of 1945. His exact age was never explicitly stated in the 3 episodes of Rock And Chips but in the second episode, set in December 1960, Del is supposedly 16 or nearly 16.
Father Reg Trotter
Mother Joan Mavis Trotter
Paternal grandfather Edward Trotter
Paternal grandmother Violet Trotter
Maternal grandfather Derek Hollins
Maternal grandmother Mavis Hollins
Sibling Rodney Trotter (Half brother, same mother)
Children Damien Trotter (1991)
Significant Other Raquel Turner