Even his greatest moments have been tinged with regret.
When he was knighted by the Queen in 2005, he was disappointed that she clearly had no idea of the massive popularity of his TV shows.
He then tried out for the role of Corporal Jones in Dad's Army but was rejected in favour of Clive Dunn.'I was really disappointed at the time in both cases,' he says. He greeted me completely drenched and dripping in his trunks.
'You build yourself up, you think something is going to happen and then it doesn't. Catherine told him off and he said: 'What's the problem? We can be just who we are.' He's a great actor who has managed to keep his feet on the ground and I like that.
And Catherine has always been a wonderful girl.'Jason says he has lived his life backwards. His long-term girlfriend was the Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, and they spent 18 years together until her death from breast cancer in 1995. Although I was sad to see Ed Balls get voted off Strictly.
Devastated by the loss, he threw himself into working even harder. He was very entertaining.' The only family show he won't watch is Bake Off. 'I don't see what all the fuss is about, baking cakes. It's just the parts you need.'I'm not resting, I'm reading. And I will keep reading – until I find something special.' Since the advent of real-life murder mystery Serial, which smashed records in 2014 and attracted a staggering 70 million followers, our appetite for podcasts has proven insatiable. Tracks The Hour actress Romola Garai plays a troubled Welsh GP who gets embroiled in the aftermath of a suspicious plane crash in this Radio 4 conspiracy thriller. Alice Isn't Dead This fiction serial follows a truck driver who scours America for his presumeddead wife, finding ghost towns and not-quite human serial murderers along the way. Penguin Books Podcast Richard E Grant hosts fascinating conversations with such authors as Zadie Smith, Bill Bryson, Clare Balding and Colm Tóibín, who dissect why certain objects have inspired their books. You Must Remember This Unearth the secret history of old-world Hollywood in this series narrated by former film critic Karina Longworth. And how did KT Tunstall come up with the infectious Suddenly I See?
Yet he's never cashed in by starring in a blockbuster movie or appearing in a lucrative advertising campaign, though at the height of his fame in the Eighties, Nineties and Noughties, Jason was the king of primetime TV, moving from Only Fools to The Darling Buds Of May and A Touch Of Frost. But what I really wanted was success, which is a different thing from fame and money.'We are living in a different world today, where people confuse those things.
The clever ones these days set up their own production companies and make the money that way.He used to say that as performers we are our own currency and you must spend it wisely.'When my career was at its absolute height with Fools, it was Ronnie's words that kept my feet on the ground. I just wanted to be thought of as good at what I do and to have good standards. His opinion of political correctness is that we live in a world gone mad.You've got to have standards.' There is perhaps another reason why he has never been offered a big British movie or a Netflix role. He himself has been hauled over the coals by 'the PC brigade'. Comedy is anarchy and if you start making rules about what we cannot laugh about then it's all lost.'I find it sad that we allow the voices on Twitter and the like to take over and dictate what we can say. A lot of the comedy I've done couldn't be done today for those reasons.Revolting BBC2, Tues 10pm The pranksters behind BBC3's Bafta-winning The Revolution Will Be Televised return with a new series of satirical sketches and stunts, and have already caused an uproar with their Real Housewives Of Isis sketch.The Chris Ramsey Show Comedy Central, Wed 10pm The charismatic Geordie standup's new show mixes topical comedy with games and celebrity guests in front of a studio audience. Uncle BBC3, Sun 10am; BBC1, Fri 11.25pm Nick Helm and Elliot Speller-Gillott return for a third and final series as the mismatched titular slob and his geeky nephew in this sweet, occasionally gross-out rites-of-passage sitcom.
Now you just need one comment to destroy everything.'Now in his eighth decade, it's Jason who dominates the screen as the haplessly grumpy Granville in the expletive-free Still Open All Hours, alongside a new cast including Johnny Vegas and Tim Healy.