Later that same year he began his six year run as time traveler Gary Sparrow in Goodnight Sweetheart. As the series began, Gary was a married loser TV repair man who stumbles upon a time portal that takes him to war-torn London of 1940. There he meets Phoebe, a barmaid (Dervla Kirwan, who would achieve even greater fame in a similar part in Ballykissangel), and is instantly attracted to her - even though he has a wife in 1993. Thus a comedy about bigamy and living two lives, with Gary flitting back and forth between the past and present, although without too many moral dilemmas. Eventually he married Phoebe and had a son, while trying to keep up his marriage to Yvonne, his wife in the 1990s. The series finally ended last year as Gary discovered his destiny, after encounters that included being a spy in France, and neighbors with Noel Coward!

American audiences got to see Lyndhurst in the epic Gulliver's Travels in 1996, playing a Lilliputian who accompanied Ted Danson for part of his journey. And last year he played Uriah Heep in an all-star production of David Copperfield on the BBC (originally to have been adapted by Only Fools scribe John Sullivan and co-starring David Jason, Sullivan got into a disagreement with the BBC and subsequently went over to ITV, taking Jason with him!).

It's probably safe to say it won't be too long before Lyndhurst appears in another comedy series, so familiar is he to the British public (and the BBC love to give the public what it likes!). All three of his most famous series have been seen in America (although it's been a while with Butterflies, and Goodnight Sweetheart is just beginning to be picked up by a few PBS stations). But sooner or later you are bound to run into a performance by Nicholas Lyndhurst, and whether playing a bumbling brother, husband, or son, he's sure to bring a smile to your face with his ingratiating, pleasant personality.

> > Page 1, 2

Previous Features