Nicholas Lyndhurst might be sitcom royalty in the UK, but when he signed up to another classic comedy on the other side of the pond some of his new bosses admitted they had no idea who he was.
The actor is best known for playing Rodney Trotter in the long-running series Only Fools and Horses, regularly voted as one of the nation’s favourite comedies.
Now, he is set to appear as a new character in a reboot of US comedy Frasier, where he will join the show’s original star Kelsey Grammer.
But despite his British fans seeing what a coup Lyndhurst is for the cast, one of the reboot’s team has admitted to Metro that he wasn’t on their radar.
Casting director Jeff Greenberg, who has worked on Cheers, the original Frasier and the reboot, explained that despite not knowing the Only Fools and Horses icon, he was instantly impressed by Lyndhurst’s comic acting.
He said: “The cast is just outstanding, and every one of them really stepped up and did a great job.
“I’ve never worked with [Nicholas] before and don’t really know his work as well as everyone in the UK. He is a revelation, he is so fantastic. He is really outstanding in this part, he is truly hilarious.
“I really wasn’t as familiar with him as I could have been, and he just bowled me over. He’s just incredible.”
Lyndhurst plays Alan, an old friend of radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane who will be played again by Grammer.
Although some of the show’s other stars aren’t expected to return, including David Hyde Pierce who played Niles Crane and Jane Leeves who played Daphne Moon, Greenberg said he was “misty eyed” to welcome Grammer back.
Frasier, which began in 1993, aired its last episode in 2004, but Greenberg said it was as if Grammer had never been away and added “like riding a bike, he was Frasier again”.
Only Fools and Horses ran from 1981 to 2003, and since it finished Lyndhurst, 62, has starred in After You’ve Gone and New Tricks, as well as leading the cast in Goodnight Sweetheart from 1993 to 2016.
Although he was nominated for awards for his work in Only Fools and Horses, Lyndhurst’s two National Television Awards wins for most popular comedy performer were for Goodnight Sweetheart.
The Frasier reboot sees Frasier, originally a character from sitcom Cheers, return to Boston many years after leaving during one of the show’s storylines.
It will begin streaming on Paramount+ from 12 October in the UK.