I'm a week late with this blog post as I've been busy but last Saturday saw the sad passing of Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan.
John Richard Thomas Sullivan OBE (23 December 1946 — 23 April 2011) was an English television scriptwriter responsible for several popular British sitcoms, including Only Fools and Horses, Citizen Smith and Just Good Friends.
From working class South London, Sullivan worked in a variety of low-paid jobs for 15 years before getting his first break writing Citizen Smith. However, it was for the sitcom Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003). He also wrote spin-offs The Green Green Grass and his last work was Rock & Chips, a comedy drama prequel to Only Fools and Horses. The final episode of Sullivan's last comedy series aired five days after Sullivan's death from pneumonia.
Mr Sullivan died aged 64 in a private hospital in Surrey, after having viral pneumonia for six weeks. BBC Director-General Mark Thompson paid tribute, saying: "John had a unique gift for turning everyday life and characters we all know into unforgettable comedy."
Gareth Gwenlan, a producer of Only Fools and Horses and a close friend of Sullivan, paid tribute to the writer: "The sudden death of John Sullivan has deprived the world of television comedy of its greatest exponent. John was a writer of immense talent and he leaves behind him an extraordinary body of work which has entertained tens of millions of viewers and will continue to do so for many decades to come."
Sullivan is survived by his wife Sharon, two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.
As you can imagine I was saddened by this news as I loved Only Fools, Green Green Grass and although it took a bit of convincing I came round to love Rock & Chips as well.
On Thursday after watching what will now be the final episode. I was lucky enough to have a brief Twitter chat with actor Lewis Osborne (young Trigger)in Rock & Chips. He retweeted a rather crude tweet of mine about never being lucky enough like del-Boy tobe offeredthe chance to grab hold of any of my female friends mothers boobs.
Jamie_Dodger - Is @LewisOsborne the guy playing young Trigger in #RockAndChips? If so he just RT my tweet regarding old women's boobies. HOW COOL IS THAT!?!
Jamie_Dodger - It's ok @LewisOsborne is Trigger (forgot I could look it up on Internet, proper Trigger moment lol). Cool guy, thanks for the RTweet mate :)
Lewis Osborne - ha, hope you enjoyed it.
Jamie_Dodger - Yes I did sir. Big fan of John Sullivan. Such a shame he is no longer with us.
Jamie_Dodger - Probably insensitive of me 2 ask (And I honestly mean no disrespect) but did Mr Sullivan have any more scripts completed?
Lewis Osborne - we haven't been told anything. But it would be great if he had wrote some more. That was last one most likely. But I'm happy.
Jamie_Dodger - You should be proud sir. I wasn't quite sold with the first one but on a rewatch I adored it. I think on a first viewing kept seeing James as Jay from Inbetweeners. The second viewing I noticed the suttle Del Boy/David Jason touches he put in. I think you guys did a fantastic job as younger versions of characters I've loved for over 20yrs.Thank you for making me laugh.
Lewis Osborne - thank you! Only fools has the best fans in the world.
Jamie_Dodger - No problem mate. All the best and thank you for taking the time to respond to my tweets.
The world has lost a comedy genius but like it's been said already many more generations to come will grow up and love the comedy of John Sullivan thanks to a wonderful legacy of work he has left behind.
"This time next year Rodney..."