|Joan Trotter Sr.|
|Portrayer|| Kellie Bright (2010-2011)|
|First seen||"Rock & Chips"|
|Last seen||"The Frog and the Pussycat"|
|Date of birth|| Circa 1927 |
(died March 12, 1964)
|Occupation|| Ice cream girl at the Ritz Cinema|
Part time filing clerk at the town hall
|Family|| Reg (husband)|
Freddie Robdal (lover - deceased)
Ted (father-in-law - deceased)
Violet (mother-in-law - deceased)
Albert (uncle-in-law - deceased)
Ada (aunt-in-law - deceased)
Raquel Turner (future daughter-in-law, fiancée of Derek)
Cassandra (daughter-in-law, wife of Rodney)
Joan Trotter Jr. (granddaughter)
Joan Mavis "Joanie" Trotter Sr. is the mother of Del Boy and Rodney, appearing regularly by name in the popular BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, though she remained unseen until the 2010 prequel Rock & Chips as the main character.
Only Fools and Horses
Joan was never seen in Only Fools and Horses, having died of an unspecified illness in 1964, some 17 years before the first episode "Big Brother". She was nonetheless an important figure in the family, particularly to Del, who was devoted to her memory. He would often regale Rodney with (likely embellished) accounts of her, with stories beginning "Mum said to me on her deathbed...", usually in an attempt to emotionally blackmail Rodney into doing some onerous job. He would also attribute any good fortune the Trotters had to her influence.
Joan's headstone, a large fibreglass monument, was seen in the episodes "The Yellow Peril", "As One Door Closes" and "Sleepless in Peckham". She ostensibly appeared at a seance conducted by Elsie Partridge and urged Del to visit a doctor about his stomach pains, although it was subsequently revealed that this was a ruse arranged by Elsie and Uncle Albert, as Del would only ever listen to Joan. Her voice was heard in flashback in the final scene of "Time On Our Hands" as Del quietly reminisced in their now-empty flat in Nelson Mandela House.
However, it is apparent that Del has an idealised recollection of Joan, and it is heavily implied that she had a string of affairs with other men. Boycie remembered her "standing in the corner of a pub with two geezers". This was finally confirmed in "Sleepless in Peckham", when it emerged that Rodney's biological father was one Freddie Robdal, with whom Joan had been having an affair.
Rock & Chips
Joan is a markedly idealistic character, who invests her time reading trashy romance novels and watching Hollywood movies in the rundown Ritz cinema, seemingly to escape the reality of her loveless marriage to Reg Trotter and precarious financial situation. Implied to have had a string of extra-marital affairs, she seems to be constantly searching for something more, changing her hairstyle rapidly to match that of big-screen starlets as if it were that easy to simply step out of her own shoes and into theirs. As stated by Irene "Reenie" Turpin: "You read too many rubbishy books, watch too many of these soppy films and believe them."
Despite this, Joan is hard-working, holding down several jobs at once in order to keep her family afloat even while she dreams of escape. For a long time she was the sole earner of the Trotter household, employed as a part-time manager of the Ritz cinema and as a filing clerk at the Peckham council building. As far as her son, husband, and in-laws were aware, she also worked as Freddie Robdal's charlady three days a week; however, this was merely an excuse for the two, involved in a passionate affair, to meet without suspicion.
She seems to have had an extremely close relationship with her son, Derek Trotter, who years later still mourns her death and spends each anniversary by her graveside. For Joan's part, she refused to break away from Peckham with her lover Freddie until she could be certain that the unreliable Del would be well-looked after - ultimately, after a disaster with Del Boy's fiancee, this would mean she'd never left Peckham at all. Ironically, Del would later prove himself to be well capable of looking after himself following Reg's desertation. Her other son, Rodney, also seems to think fondly of her, although due to her premature death he has few memories of his own; most information gleaned about his mother is filtered down through the rose-tinted spectacles of Del Boy.