Nicholas Lyndhurst - things you didn't know about the Only Fools and Horses star

Nicholas Lyndhurst
(Image credit: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Nicholas loves flying and is still best friends with Only Fools and Horses co-star David Jason...

Nicholas Lyndhurst is known to millions of Only Fools and Horses fans as "plonker" Rodney Trotter.

Alongside David Jason as Del Boy, Nicholas struck up one of television's greatest ever comedy double acts.

He also enjoyed comedy hits with Butterflies and Goodnight Sweetheart, while he also starred in hugely popular BBC crime drama New Tricks. But, how much do you know about the man himself?

Most fans of the actor will know that:

  • He has appeared in various films throughout his career
  • He won a BAFTA for his role in adverts for WH Smith
  • He's appeared in David Copperfield with Daniel Radcliffe and Dame Maggie Smith

Nicholas Lyndhurst: little known facts about the acting legend

1. Nicolas Lyndhurst is married to a former ballerina

Nicholas Lyndhurst with his wife Lucy and son Archie

Nicholas Lyndhurst with his wife Lucy and their late son, Archie (Credit: FilmMagic) (Image credit: FilmMagic)

Nicholas is married to Lucy, a former ballerina. When he recently starred alongside Kelsey Grammer at the London Coliseum theatre, Nicholas told the Irish News that he’d seen his wife dance there. “I watched my wife dance here for the first time in 1992 when she was with the English National Ballet – so it’s a special place for me.”

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2. Nicholas Lyndhurst and David Jason wore cunning disguises…

Nicholas and David Jason share a classic scene as Rodney and Del in a 1990 episode of Only Fools and Horses

Nicholas and David Jason share a classic scene as Rodney and Del in a 1990 episode of Only Fools and Horses (credit: Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Yep, to evade enthusiastic Only Fools and Horses fans, Nicholas and David took to wearing… erm, hats! “David had a pork pie hat and sunglasses and I had a baseball cap and sunglasses,” he recalled in an interview with the Daily Mail. “It obviously worked, because one day in Bristol we walked right past one another in the street!”

More: Things you didn't know about EastEnders legend Steve McFadden 

3. He loves flying and has his own pilot’s licence

Like his Only Fools and Horses co-star David Jason, Nicholas has a love of flying. Asked for his best piece of travel advice, he once told The Daily Telegraph: “If you possibly can, fly yourself, which I do whenever I can. I have a private pilot’s licence and have flown around England quite a bit.” His other hobbies include beekeeping and underwater diving.

4. Nicholas was a child actor

With Annabelle Lanyon in 1975 in the TV series Anne of Avonlea (pic: Getty Images)

With Annabelle Lanyon in 1975 in the TV series Anne of Avonlea (pic: Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Before finding fame in Butterflies and Only Fools, Nicholas enjoyed early career success as a young teenager. He popped up in the TV series Heidi in 1974 and also in the BBC series The Prince and the Pauper in 1976.

5. Nicholas was once told he’d be fired from Only Fools and Horses if he laughed…

Who can forget the legendary scene in Only Fools and Horse when they’re cleaning chandeliers and dopey granddad sends one of them crashing to the floor?! “I was nearly fired because of that scene,” Nicholas recalled in a Gold documentary once. “I’m a bit of a giggler when it comes to that sort of stuff.

“So Ray Butt our producer came up to me and he said, ‘This chandelier cost six grand, we’ve only got one, we can only afford one, if you laugh that’s the entire scene blown. If we blow the scene the BBC won’t buy the series and that will be down to you. If you laugh I will fire you.” So, Nicholas didn’t laugh!

MORE: 7 things you didn't know about Pointless host Richard Osman

6. Nicholas grew up by the sea

Colourful Beach Huts At West Wittering Beach South England

Nicholas Lyndhurst grew up enjoying the seaside (pic: In Pictures via Getty Images) (Image credit: In Pictures via Getty Images)

Talking about things he couldn’t live without to the Express, Nicholas said the sea. “I grew up in West Wittering [West Sussex] which has the most amazing beach. As a youngster I spent a lot of time in the water, either swimming or on my board.”

He added: “For years I lived in cities and as much as I enjoyed the buzz, I know that the coast is where I truly belong.”

Nicholas Lyndhurst's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the actor....

How old is he?

Nicholas Lyndhurst's age is 59. His date of birth is 20th April 1961.

Is he in a relationship?

Nicholas Lyndhurst's been married to wife, Lucy Smith, since 1999.

Does he have kids?

Nicholas Lyndhurst and wife Lucy had a son called Archie who was born in 2000 and sadly died in September 2020.

Where was he born?

Nicholas Lyndhurst was born in Emsworth, Hampshire.

How tall is he?

Nicholas Lyndhurst's height is 1.87m.

We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Main picture of Nicholas Lyndhurst: Dave Benett/Getty Images

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!