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Nicholas Lyndhurst

Nicholas Simon Lyndhurst (born 20 April 1961)[1] is an English actor. He played Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses, Gary Sparrow in Goodnight Sweetheart, Dan Griffin in the BBC drama New Tricks and Adam Parkinson in Carla Lane's series Butterflies. Lyndhurst also starred as Ashley Philips in The Two of Us, as Fletch's son Raymond in Going Straight, the sequel to the sitcom Porridge, Jimmy Venables in After You've Gone, and Freddie 'The Frog' Robdal in the Only Fools and Horses prequel Rock & Chips.

Nicholas Lyndhurst
Nicholas Lyndhurst.jpeg
Lyndhurst in 2011
Nicholas Simon Lyndhurst

(1961-04-20) 20 April 1961 (age 58)
ResidenceWest Sussex, England
Years active1973–present.
Known forRodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses and Gary Sparrow in Goodnight Sweetheart
TelevisionGoing Straight (1978)
Butterflies (1978–1983)
Only Fools and Horses (1981–2003, 2014)
The Two of Us (1986–1990)
The Piglet Files (1990–92)
Goodnight Sweetheart (1993–99, 2016)
After You've Gone (2007–08)
Rock & Chips (2010–11)
New Tricks (2013–15)
Lucy Smith (m. 1999)

For his performance in Only Fools and Horses, Lyndhurst received three BAFTA nominations: two for Best Entertainment Performance and one for Best Comedy Performance.

Early lifeEdit

Nicholas Simon Lyndhurst was born on 20 April 1961 in Emsworth, Hampshire, where he also grew up.[2] He attended Portsmouth grammar school (PGS) as a child student, then onto Corona Theatre School[3] in Hampton, Middlesex.


Lyndhurst appeared in various television adverts and children's films in the late 1970s, before landing a main character role in The Prince and the Pauper in 1976.[2]

Lyndhurst first gained national recognition at the age of seventeen in the sitcom Butterflies written by Carla Lane, in which he played Adam Parkinson. He then played Raymond Fletcher, the teenage son of Norman Stanley Fletcher played by Ronnie Barker in Going Straight, followed by Dobson in the BBC TV series To Serve Them All My Days.

He achieved national stardom in the series Only Fools and Horses in which he played Rodney Trotter, the younger brother of the main character Derek "Del Boy" Trotter. Only Fools and Horses began in 1981 and rapidly grew in popularity until it reached its peak in 1996 with its Christmas Day show in the UK. In a BBC poll in 2004, it was voted No.1 British sitcom ever. Lyndhurst appeared in the show from the very start, right up to its final airing at Christmas 2003.

In 1986, Lyndhurst had a minor part in the film Gunbus/SkyBandits. The film went straight to video and was never seen in British cinemas. During the mid 1980s and 1990s, Lyndhurst also appeared in ITV's The Two of Us with Janet Dibley and The Piglet Files, as well as in a number of stage performances.

From 1993 to 1999, he played the complex lead character of Gary Sparrow in the fantasy sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart. At around the same time, he was the face and voice on the TV and radio commercials for the telecommunications chain People's Phone. Lyndhurst also admits declining an opportunity to play the lead role of Gary in the 1997 British film The Full Monty, but has no regrets.[4]

From 1997 to 1999, Lyndhurst was the public face of the stationery chain store WH Smith, starring in their adverts as all four members of one family. He won a BAFTA for his acting in the adverts. In 1999, he played the villainous Uriah Heep opposite Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe and Dame Maggie Smith in David Copperfield.

In 2006, he appeared as Cruella de Vil's chauffeur, Reg Farnsworth, at the Children's Party at the Palace.

In 2007, Lyndhurst returned to the BBC with his first new sitcom in fourteen years, After You've Gone, in which he plays a divorced dad moving back into the marital home to look after his daughter (Dani Harmer) and son (Ryan Sampson) together with his mother-in-law, played by Celia Imrie, after his ex-wife goes to work as a recovery nurse on a third world disaster relief mission.

Lyndhurst played Freddie Robdal, the 1960s gangster father of Rodney Trotter, in Rock & Chips, the prequel to Only Fools and Horses. The show centres on Del Boy, Robdal and Joan Trotter in early 1960s Peckham. It was first broadcast on 24 January 2010, with another special transmitted on 29 December 2010, and the final episode at Easter 2011.

Lyndhurst's stage performances have been relatively few, but he received good critical notices for his performance as Norman in Sir Ronald Harwood's The Dresser, directed by Peter Hall, and for his Trinculo in The Tempest.

In 2013 he joined the cast as a regular of Series 10 of New Tricks.[5] In 2014 Lyndhurst revived his Only Fools and Horses character Rodney Trotter in a return Sport Relief Special, which aired on 21 March 2014.

In 2016, Lyndhurst revived his Goodnight Sweetheart character Gary Sparrow in a one-off special episode, which aired on 2 September 2016.[6]

In 2017, Lydhurst played the role of Star Keeper in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at the English National Opera.[7]

In 2019 he played the Governor/Innkeper in Man of La Mancha for English National Opera at the London Coliseum opposite Kelsey Grammer as Cervantes/Quixote, Danielle de Niese as Aldonza/Dulcinea and Peter Polycarpou as Sancho.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Lyndhurst lives in West Sussex with his wife Lucy, a former ballet dancer (married in Chichester, West Sussex, 1999).[2] They have a son, Archie, born 2000.[9] Lyndhurst's hobbies include underwater diving, beekeeping and piloting his own aeroplanes.[2][10][11] Lyndhurst is the grandson of Francis Lyndhurst, a theatrical scenery painter and film director, who set up an early film studio at Shoreham Fort, Shoreham-by-Sea.[12]



Year(s) Title Role Notes
1974 Heidi Peter
1975 Anne of Avonlea Davy Keith
1976 The Prince and the Pauper Prince Edward/Tom Canty
1976 Peter Pan Tootles
1978 The Tomorrow People Karl Brandt 1 episode: "Hitler's Last Secret"
1978 Going Straight Raymond Fletcher 4 episodes
1978 Play of the Week: Fairies Brian Grant
1978–83, 2000 Butterflies Adam Parkinson 4 series and 1 special
1979 Father's Day Philip Television film
1980 To Serve Them All My Days Dobson 4 episodes
1981 Spearhead Private Wilson 4 episodes
1981–1996, 2001-2003, 2014 Only Fools and Horses Rodney Trotter 7 series and 15 specials
1982 Play for Today: A Mother Like Him Young Police Constable
1986–90 The Two of Us Ashley Philips 4 series
1990–92 The Piglet Files Peter Chapman 3 series
1993 Stalag Luft Chump Cosgrove
1993–99, 2016 Goodnight Sweetheart Gary Sparrow 6 series and 1 special
1996 Gulliver's Travels Clustril
1999 David Copperfield Uriah Heep 2-part television serial
2000 Thin Ice Dr. Graham Moss One-off BBC drama
2002 The Life and Times of Aly Martin-Smith Aly Martin-Smith
2003 Murder in Mind Alan Willis 1 episode: "Landlord"
2007–08 After You've Gone Jimmy Venables 3 series
2010–11 Rock & Chips Freddie Robdal 3 episodes
2013–15 New Tricks Dan Griffin[13] 3 series
2013 Peter Panzerfaust Significant cast member
2017 The Story of Only Fools and Horses Himself 6 episodes
2019 So Awkward Johnny 1 Episode "Awardatarian"




  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2014. Mr Nicholas Lyndhurst, actor, 51
  2. ^ a b c d "WATCH: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Nicholas Lyndhurst". Spirit FM. 2017.
  3. ^ "Corona Theatre School forced to close". BBC. 2013.
  4. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst: Only Fools and Horses would never be made today". Radio Times. 2013.
  5. ^ New Tricks at BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 2012-12-26
  6. ^ Goodnight Sweetheard at BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 2012-12-26
  7. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst joins cast of ENO's Carousel | WhatsOnStage". Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  8. ^ Man of La Mancha - English National Opera website (2019)
  9. ^ Nicholas Lyndhurst: 'I wanted to be an actor from the age of eight' - Profiles - People - The Independent
  10. ^ Lyndhurst: I said no to diving show -
  11. ^ "Only Fools and Horses: Where are they now?". The Telegraph. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Film Studio". Shoreham Fort. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  13. ^ Wall to Wall - New Tricks Series 10

External linksEdit