Ricky Tomlinson says he is unimpressed by modern comedians

Ricky Tomlinson has revealed he does not find modern comedians funny and believes audiences are being “cheated” by today’s comics.

The 80-year-old actor, best known for his portrayal of armchair-bound slob Jim in sitcom The Royle Family, said some stand-ups “can’t do 15 minutes” on stage.

He told the Radio Times: “It’s not that I don’t like them. I don’t think they’re funny! I think they should be done under the Trade Descriptions Act, the audiences are getting cheated.

Ricky Tomlinson
Ricky Tomlinson has admitted he is unimpressed by modern comedians (Matt Crossick/PA)

“Ken Dodd could do five hours on stage! Some young comics can’t do 15 minutes.”

Liverpudlian Tomlinson is teaming up with his former The Royle Family co-star Ralf Little for a new series which sees them travelling across the North.

Ricky And Ralf’s Very Northern Road Trip involves the two driving a campervan across a region spanning from the Scottish border and down to Manchester.

The six-part series is the first time Tomlinson and Little have worked together on TV since the final Royle Family Christmas special in 2012.

Little, who is from Bury, lives in London and discussed the difference between the North and the capital.

He said: “I know it’s a massive cliche. In London you stick your head in your book or your phone and hope that no-one talks to you. That’s the way it is. You can’t go five yards in the North without, ‘All right, love! How’s it going?’ It’s totally true.”

Tomlinson, who still lives in Liverpool with his second wife Rita, said the northern identity is shaped by politics and economics.

He said: “I think there’s a shared northernness that we didn’t really want. Which is the economic divide between the North and the South, the disparity we still have.”