Lyndhurst: 'Only Fools would never be made today'

Nicholas Lyndhurst Nicholas Lyndhurst will play Dan Griffin in New Tricks - "a man with secrets who shows no emotion".

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Nicholas Lyndhurst has said he believes Only Fools and Horses would never be made today.

He told the Radio Times he believes that TV companies would not take a chance on a show like that now.

"TV companies turn down good scripts because they're not prepared to let them develop," he said.

"A talent show will pick up seven million viewers and they can't afford to nurture something that initially will only have a million."

"Only Fools would never be made today, nor Dad's Army."

Only Fools and Horses, which featured Lyndhurst as the hapless Rodney and David Jason as his wide boy brother, had a slow start and it was only when it got to its third series that it became a ratings hit.

It was eventually voted the nation's favourite sitcom in a BBC poll.

New Tricks

Lyndhurst is about to join the cast of New Tricks, replacing Alun Armstrong in the veteran detective series.

The show, which stars Dennis Waterman, Amanda Redman and Denis Lawson, is in its tenth series and has been a ratings success.

Lyndhurst said he was not impressed with the talent shows that TV companies are willing to put money into.

He said he felt watching talent shows was "cruel", and compared watching Britain's Got Talent to "selling tickets to Bedlam" - referring to the Bethlem Royal Hospital for the mentally ill, which allowed the public to pay to look at the patients in the 18th century.

"It's cruel to watch these deluded people - the judges as well, sometimes," he said.

"They don't need to be talented and that's a shame because you don't want to watch people who can't do it."

He admitted his son Archie has inherited the "acting gene" and is at the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

But he worries about what sort of industry he will enter when he leaves.

"I can hardly say, 'Darling, do all this training and the best thing will be Celebrity Dog Watch'. Take away the talent shows, celebrity cook shows, skating, dog training, dancing, putting people on an island - and what's left?

"I've been asked to go on all of them," he admitted.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 484.

    Too many channels!
    There's only so many types of programmes/subjects so: tv is repetitive, dumbed down and is often just an interruption for advertising, either commercials or other programmes, products or services by the broadcaster.

  • rate this

    Comment number 376.

    I disagree with this, especially in an age of multi-channel broadcasting. Many of the "minority shows" may not start as mainstream, but on the minor channels such as ITV2 or BBC3 then move over to the mainstreams when their popularity grows.
    Yes talent shows bring in big audiences, but not just in the "mocking" audition phases. I believe the last BGT final drew in a few million with no "joke" acts

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    I think Lyndhurst is just wrong. Although Fools and Horses was very good, it was actually very conventional sit-com, just better than most. Much of Auntie's more innovative work is now tried out on 3 and 4 first. If they are popular they get transferred to 1 or 2. The period that Lynhurst is whinging about has included The Office, Little Britain, Not going out, and Miranda. Not all bad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.

    Bit unfair about the talent shows. Yes, some *auditions* for BGT and XFactor are despicable laughing at the deluded that shouldn't be aired; but there is a huge amount of genuinely uplifting entertainment in them too. They provided a deserved route to fame for Diversity, Spellbound, and some decent singers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    I am with him 100% on everything he says here.
    Television now is all about talent shows and then calling anybody who ever appeared on them a "celebrity", immediately followed by a multitude of "celebrity" shows.
    Gone are the days where families and/or members of the public appeared in game shows etc.
    As for today's comedy: Get rid of the PC brigade and you might have a chance of success again.


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