The Young Ones' Dopey Neil star Nigel Planer is unrecognisable 39 years on from show debut

NEARLY 40 years have passed since the classic British sitcom The Young Ones first aired – and one of the cast members looks completely unrecognisable these days.

The classic British sitcom first aired in 1982 and focused on the hilarious lives of four students sharing a house.

Among the cast, Dopey Neil – played by Nigel Planer – was one of the best-loved characters in the series. 

The hippy character was the mother hen of the house – and even landed himself an award at the Brits for Best Comedy Record in 1985.

Despite his success in The Young Ones, Nigel, now 68, later admitted he only made "a pittance" from the show.

He revealed: "The Young Ones was a big hit, but we only made 12 episodes and of course that was our first foray into TV.

"I was only paid a few hundred pounds an episode – maybe £400.

"I do still receive royalties for the show, but that's worked out as a percentage of what I was originally paid.”

After finding success on the BBC show, Nigel went on to star in comedies such as Upstart Crow, Inside No. 9 and The Comic Strip Presents.

He has also appeared in plenty of West End musicals – from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to a cameo in Jeepers Creepers in 2020.

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The show, which also starred Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson and Christopher Ryan, revolved around four students sharing a rather grubby house.

From appearing on University Challenge to duetting with Cliff Richard, the show made waves in the cult comedy scene until they drove a bus off a cliff in the series conclusion.

Its legacy has lived on ever since, helping to bring alternative comedy to British TV in the 80s and making household names of its cast.

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