Nicholas Lyndhurst: Only Fools and Horses would never be made today

New Tricks' latest recruit says broadcasters turn down good scripts in favour of reality TV formats featuring "deluded" contestants

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Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst says the hit sitcom would never get off the ground if it was pitched to TV bosses today. 

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“Only Fools would never be made today, nor Dad’s Army. TV companies turn down good scripts because they’re not prepared to let them develop,” says Lyndhurst in the new issue of Radio Times magazine (on sale Tuesday).

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

On the kind of reality shows dominating modern TV, Lyndhurst says, “It’s cruel to watch these deluded people – the judges as well, sometimes. 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.”

Meanwhile, Lyndhurst also reveals how he turned down the lead role in smash British big-screen comedy The Full Monty.

“I was in rehearsal in Northampton, on a bleak day, and my agent phoned. ‘Darling – availability check: British film, not much money, set in Sheffield, about male strippers.’ I said I’d pass. I don’t regret it.” 

Next week, Lyndhurst joins the cast of New Tricks as Dan Griffin: “He’s a man with secrets who shows no emotion. Hopefully the audience will be intrigued rather than irritated.”

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Read the full interview with Nicholas Lyndhurst in the new issue of Radio Times on sale now