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Lyndhurst in 2011
Nicholas Simon Lyndhurst
20 April 1961
|Known for||Rodney Trotter in Only Fools and Horses and Gary Sparrow in Goodnight Sweetheart|
Nicholas Simon Lyndhurst (born 20 April 1961) is an English actor best known for his role as Rodney Trotter in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. A former child actor, he is also known for other BBC sitcom roles such as Gary Sparrow in Goodnight Sweetheart, Fletch's son Raymond in Going Straight and Adam Parkinson in Butterflies. He also played Ashley Philips in The Two of Us, Jimmy Venables in After You've Gone and Freddie 'The Frog' Robdal in the Only Fools and Horses prequel Rock & Chips. He appeared regularly in the later series of the procedural crime drama New Tricks as Dan Griffin.
Lyndhurst was born and raised in Emsworth, Hampshire. He attended East Wittering Primary School. He attended Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS), then on to Corona Theatre School in Hampton, London.
Lyndhurst appeared in various television adverts and children's films in the 1970s, before winning the starring role of Tom Canty/Prince Edward in a BBC Television version of The Prince and the Pauper, directed by Barry Letts and transmitted in January 1976.
Lyndhurst gained increased national recognition two years later in two BBC sitcom roles, Raymond Fletcher, the teenage son of Ronnie Barker's Norman Stanley Fletcher in Going Straight, and Adam Parkinson, a son of Wendy Craig and Geoffrey Palmer in Carla Lane's Butterflies. This was followed by playing Dobson in the BBC drama series To Serve Them All My Days in 1980-81.
He achieved national stardom in another BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses, in which he played Rodney Trotter, the younger brother of the main character Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, played by David Jason. Only Fools and Horses first aired in 1981 and rapidly increased 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 Britain's Best Sitcom by television viewers. 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 played Ashley Phillips in ITV's The Two of Us which co-starred Janet Dibley and MI5 agent Peter "Piglet" Chapman in 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.
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 Daniel Radcliffe and Dame Maggie Smith in David Copperfield.
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. 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.
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.
Lyndhurst lives in West Sussex with his wife Lucy, a former ballet dancer (married in Chichester, West Sussex, 1999). They are the parents of Archie Lyndhurst, born 2000. Lyndhurst's hobbies include underwater diving, beekeeping and piloting his own aeroplanes. 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.
|1975||Anne of Avonlea||Davy Keith|
|1976||The Prince and the Pauper||Prince Edward/Tom Canty|
|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|
|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||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"|
Mr Nicholas Lyndhurst, actor, 51