Syd Little has revealed he turned down a personal plea by Ricky Gervais to join Extras – because of the risk of appearing racist.
The comic, one half of Little and Large, recalled the 2006 offer and said he was concerned how his appearance as a fictionalised version of himself would affect his reputation as a family entertainer, which he earned alongisde his comedy partner.
Syd recalled: “I was told Ricky wanted to book me to play myself.
“Describing the part I’d play, my agent said, ‘You’re always late, you forget your lines… and you’re racist.’
“I didn’t want to spoil the reputation we had as family entertainers. I refused it.
“A fortnight on, Ricky rang me.”
Now Syd, 75, is pleased he stuck to his guns despite Ricky’s plea.
He said: “I saw Keith Chegwin in my place. I’m so glad I didn’t do that.”
This week Syd joins other celebrities in India for the Real Marigold Hotel.
The Real Marigold Hotel airs on Wednesday from 9pm on BBC1.
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