Ronnie Corbett, the veteran comic, has claimed he was frozen out of the BBC in favour of edgier performers and other channels because he refused to swear.
Ronnie Corbett with the statue of his long time comedy partner Ronnie BarkerPhoto: PA
9:44AM GMT 12 Nov 2010
He made a scathing attack on the country's younger generation of comedians, saying they are only interested in shocking audiences or trying to be clever.
Corbett said that many are not genuinely funny and do not have a feel for comedy.
The 79 year-old, who is most famous as being one half of The Two Ronnies, says he was frozen out by the BBC and other television networks in favour of more edgy performers and that his refusal to swear caused him problems.
He told Saga magazine: "There are many around who do not really have a feel for comedy.
"They can say outrageous things, have clever thought and deliver some funny angles.
"They are not genuinely funny.
"They walk on, stand at the microphone, deliver and walk off again. They are not interested in a particular style of performance. The great Tommy Cooper could just walk on stage and the audience would dissolve into laugher, just from looking at him."
Corbett told the magazine his nice personality belies a fierce underbelly.
"I have not survived in showbusiness for more than 50 years by being Mr Nice. I might like to hide behind the impression but it's simply not true. If you are weak, this business eats you up."
He also spoke of his sadness of being dumped by the BBC back in the 80s, when they dumped his comedy series Sorry but told how he is now back in fashion.
"It was a huge blow at the time. I went from the non-stop success of The Two Ronnies and several series of Sorry to nothing at all. But what do you do? I smiled sweetly and took it.
"I have burned with indignation inside. I dont like myself when I feel like that. I try not to show it but I know that I suffer from the same jealousies and feelings of rejection as anyone. I've just hung around long enough to come back in to fashion. It's a bit like keeping old clothes in the wardrobe. At some point, they seem quite fashionable again. That's exactly how it has been.
"I never eff and blind. That has been a problem in recent times.
"I am a stick-in-the-mud about work. I like to turn up in plenty of time, know my lines, not cause a fuss and be pleasant to people. The face that has got me this far says something."