Nicholas Lyndhurst
Lyndhurst in 2011
Nicholas Simon Lyndhurst[1]

(1961-04-20) 20 April 1961 (age 62)
Emsworth, Hampshire, England
Alma materCorona Theatre School
Years active1973–present
Lucy Smith
(m. 1999)
RelativesFrancis Lyndhurst (grandfather)

Nicholas Simon Lyndhurst (born 20 April 1961) is an English actor. He began his career as a child actor and became best known for his role as Rodney Trotter in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1981–2003). He also had major roles in other sitcoms including Goodnight Sweetheart (1993–1999, 2016) (as Gary Sparrow), Going Straight (1978), Butterflies (1978–1983), The Two of Us (1986–1990), The Piglet Files (1990–1992) and After You've Gone (2007–2008). He starred in the comedy-drama series Rock & Chips (2010–2011) and co-starred in the procedural crime drama series New Tricks (2013–2015).

Lyndhurst won two National Television Awards for his role in Goodnight Sweetheart, as well as being nominated for a British Comedy Award and three British Academy Television Awards for his role in Only Fools and Horses.

Early life

Lyndhurst was born on 20 April 1961,[1] to parents Joe Lyndhurst and Liz Long,[2] and raised in Emsworth, Hampshire. His parents met at the holiday camp run on the farm owned by Lyndhurst's grandfather, Francis Lyndhurst, a theatrical scenery painter and film director, who set up an early film studio at Shoreham Fort, Shoreham-by-Sea. Lyndhurst's parents separated when he was young, reuniting and separating permanently later on; Joe Lyndhurst had an affair and started a family with another woman by the time Lyndhurst was eight, leaving Lyndhurst and his mother "poverty-stricken".[2][3] He attended East Wittering Primary School[1] and Corona Theatre School in Hammersmith, London.[4]


Lyndhurst appeared in various television adverts and children's films in the 1970s,[5] before winning the starring role of Tom Canty/Prince Edward in a BBC Television version of The Prince and the Pauper,[1] directed by Barry Letts and transmitted in January 1976.[6] 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,[1] and Adam Parkinson, a son of Wendy Craig and Geoffrey Palmer in Carla Lane's Butterflies.[1]

Lyndhurst achieved his best known role in another BBC sitcom, Only Fools and Horses,[7] in which he played Rodney Trotter, the younger brother of the main character Derek "Del Boy" Trotter, played by David Jason.[8] Only Fools and Horses first aired in 1981 and 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.[9] Lyndhurst appeared in the show from the start until 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.[5]

From 1993 to 1999, he played the lead character of Gary Sparrow in the time travelling sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart.[10] At around the same time, he was the face and voice on the TV and radio commercials for the telecommunications chain Peoples Phone. Lyndhurst said that he declined an opportunity to play the lead role of Gary in the 1997 British film The Full Monty.[11]

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.[1] He won a BAFTA for his acting in the adverts.[1] In 1999, he played the villainous Uriah Heep opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Dame Maggie Smith in David Copperfield.[12]

In 2013 he joined the cast as a regular in the BBC police procedural series New Tricks alongside Dennis Waterman and Tamzin Outhwaite.[13][14]

In 2016, Lyndhurst revived his Goodnight Sweetheart character Gary Sparrow in a one-off special episode, which aired on 2 September 2016.[10] In 2017, Lyndhurst played the role of Star Keeper in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at the English National Opera.[15] In 2019 he played the Governor/Innkeeper 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.[16]

In January 2023, Variety reported that Lyndhurst would be joining the cast of the Frasier revival.[17]

Personal life

Lyndhurst lives in West Wittering, West Sussex, with his wife Lucy, a former ballet dancer.[18] The couple married in Chichester, West Sussex, in 1999.[1] Their son, Archie Lyndhurst (born 4 October 2000), was also an actor appearing in So Awkward.[12] On 22 September 2020, Archie died from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of 19.[19] In a statement, Lyndhurst said he and his wife were "utterly grief stricken and respectfully request privacy".[20]

Lyndhurst's hobbies include underwater diving, beekeeping and piloting his own aeroplanes.[1][21]



Year(s) Title Role Notes
1973 Bequest to the Nation Shot cabin Boy Uncredited
1983 Bullshot Nobby Clark
1986 Sky Bandits Chalky
2005 Lassie Buckle
2016 A United Kingdom George Williams


Year(s) Title Role Notes
1974 Heidi Peter 4 episodes
1975 Anne of Avonlea Davy Keith 6 episodes
1976 The Prince and the Pauper Prince Edward/Tom Canty 6 episodes
1976 Peter Pan Tootles Television film
1978 Going Straight Raymond Fletcher 4 episodes
1978 The Tomorrow People Karl Brandt 2 episodes
1978 ITV Playhouse Westbrook Episode: "Losing Her"
1978 BBC2 Play of the Week Brian Grant Episode: "Fairies"
1978–1983, 2000 Butterflies Adam Parkinson 28 episodes and 1 special
1979 Father's Day Philip Television film
1979 Two People Matthew 2 episodes
1980 The Dick Emery Show Unknown Episode: #18.2
1980 To Serve Them All My Days Dobson 4 episodes
1981 Spearhead Private Wilson 4 episodes
1981–2003 Only Fools and Horses Rodney Trotter 64 episodes
1982 Arena Dennis Episode: "A Genius Like Us: A Portrait of Joe Orton"
1982 Play for Today Policeman Episode: "A Mother Like Him"
1982 Only Fools and Horses: Christmas Trees Rodney Trotter TV short
1982 The Funny Side of Christmas Rodney Trotter

Adam Parkinson

Television film
1983 It'll All Be Over in Half an Hour Various 3 episodes
1983 The Michael Barrymore Show Supporting actor Episode: "26 May 1983"
1984 Round and Round Patrick Episode: "Sex"
1984–1985 The Lenny Henry Show Various 3 episodes
1986–1990 The Two of Us Ashley Philips 32 episodes
1987 The Grand Knockout Tournament Himself Television special
1988 Ariel Liquid (advertisement) Mr H With his co-star, David Jason, as Mrs B
1990–1992 The Piglet Files Peter Chapman 19 episodes
1993 Stalag Luft 'Chump' Cosgrove Television film
1993–2016 Goodnight Sweetheart Gary Sparrow

Colonel Henri Dupont

59 episodes
1996 Gulliver's Travels Clustril Episode: #1.1
1997 Only Fools and Horses: Only Fools Cutaway Rodney Trotter TV short
1999 David Copperfield Uriah Heep 2 episodes
2000 Thin Ice Graham Moss Television film
2002 The Life and Times of Aly Martin-Smith Aly Martin-Smith Made for TV film
2003 Murder in Mind Alan Willis 1 episode: "Landlord"
2006 The Children's Party at the Palace Cruella de Vil's Chauffeur (The 101 Dalmatians) Television special
2007–2008 After You've Gone Jimmy 25 episodes
2010–2011 Rock & Chips Freddie Robdal 3 episodes
2013–2015 New Tricks Dan Griffin[22] 26 episodes
2014 Only Fools and Horses: Beckham in Peckham Rodney Trotter TV short
2017 The Story of Only Fools and Horses Himself 6 episodes
2019 So Awkward Johnny Episode: "Awardatarian"
2023 Frasier[17] Alan Cornwall 10 episodes


Awards and nominations

Year Group Award Work Result Ref
1987 British Academy Television Awards BAFTA Best Light Entertainment Performance Only Fools and Horses Nominated [23][24]
1991 Nominated [23] [25]
1997 BAFTA Best Comedy Performance Only Fools and Horses (Christmas Special) Nominated [23] [26]
British Comedy Awards Best TV Comedy Actor Nominated [23]
National Television Awards Most Popular Comedy Performer 1997 Only Fools and Horses Nominated [23]
1998 Most Popular Comedy Performer 1998 Goodnight Sweetheart Won [23] [27]
1999 Most Popular Comedy Performer 1999 Won [23] [27]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Watch: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Nicholas Lyndhurst". 2017. Archived from the original on 20 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Nicholas Lyndhurst: My family values". The Guardian. 21 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Film Studio". Shoreham Fort. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Corona Theatre School forced to close". 11 February 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Nicholas Lyndhurst". Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  6. ^ "The Prince and the Pauper". BBC Genome Project. 4 January 1976. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst: 'The golden age of television is over'". The Daily Telegraph. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Only Fools and Horses stars Nicholas Lyndhurst and Sir David Jason talk reunion". 11 June 2021.
  9. ^ "Top 50 British TV sitcoms". 2004.
  10. ^ a b "Goodnight Sweetheart at BBC Media Centre". 5 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst: Only Fools and Horses would never be made today". 19 August 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Nicholas Lyndhurst: 'I wanted to be an actor from the age of eight'". 27 August 2011.
  13. ^ "New Tricks at BBC Media Centre". 2013.
  14. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst: "Everything is a game of chess for him"". 2013.
  15. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst joins cast of ENO's Carousel". 20 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst". 2019.
  17. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (13 January 2023). "'Frasier' Sequel Series at Paramount+ Casts Nicholas Lyndhurst (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 14 January 2023.
  18. ^ "How Nicholas Lyndhurst tries to escape the 'plonker' label of his Only". 11 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Archie Lyndhurst: CBBC star passed away in his sleep, says mother". BBC News. 16 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Nicholas Lyndhurst says he is 'utterly grief stricken' following his son's death". ITV News. 1 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  21. ^ "Lyndhurst: I said no to diving show". Belfast Telegraph. 1 September 2013.
  22. ^ "Wall to Wall - New Tricks Series 10". Archived from the original on 28 August 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "Nicholas Lyndhurst Awards". IMDB (Index source only). Retrieved 14 November 2022.
  24. ^ "BAFTA Television Awards in 1987". 1987.
  25. ^ "BAFTA Television Awards in 1991". 1991.
  26. ^ "BAFTA Television Awards in 1997". 1997.
  27. ^ a b "National Television Award Winners 1995 to 2022". 2022.