ACTOR John Challis has a new fixture at his Wigmore home, with which he is less than enamoured.

The self-confessed luddite bought a new laptop this month and bravely admitted he struggles with new technology when he supported a new campaign aimed at first-time web users.

His computer purchase came just weeks before the chancellor George Osborne, announced plans to inject £530 million into improving broadband connection in Herefordshire and other rural areas.

And yet the man still known as Boycie from Only Fools and Horses still knows very little about the internet, even though working in, and communicating with, the modern world makes it increasingly difficult to ignore.

“I have always seen it as a bit of a threat to the life I like to lead, I didn’t want it invading my house really,” he said. “I think this happens to a lot of people – it’s a fear of failure and I am not very good at it, it doesn’t come naturally to me really.”

Holed up in his countryside home, the star managed without for years but various forthcoming script and book projects saw him finally relent.

With a new autobiography and gardening tome in the pipeline, the web promised too much when it came to research and keeping contact with his publishers, for example.

“We have resisted it for such a long time, but of course there are terrific advantages and contemporaries of mine have really worked hard at it, and become very successful through it,” he added.

And so he agreed to talk to friend and presenter Nick Owen about it on TV, took a half-hour lesson with staff from Kington’s Marches Access Point and, aside from the odd forgotten password, has been progressing well.

Now the sports fan can already listen to the cricket results, follow his beloved Arsenal Football Club, book hotel rooms and access local news at online.

“It’s like learning a script I suppose, you look at it and you think ‘yes I want to do this’, and you start learning it but you can’t remember a single word – but after a few days you gradually learn part of a speech, and so on,” he said.

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