'Only Fools and Horses' creator dies after battling illness
Published 25/04/2011 | 05:00
Scriptwriter John Sullivan has died at the age of 64, the BBC announced.
Most famous for creating the favourites 'Only Fools and Horses', 'Citizen Smith' and 'Roger Roger', the writer died after a short illness.
Mark Thompson, the BBC Director General, said: "John created some of the UK's most-loved comedies, from 'Only Fools and Horses' to his most recent work, 'Rock & Chips'.
"He had a unique gift for turning everyday life and characters we all know into unforgettable comedy."
Sullivan was born in 1946 in Balham, south London, and was married to wife Sharon. He had two sons, one daughter and two grandchildren.
He died at a private hospital in Surrey after a battle with viral pneumonia.
Sullivan got his first job at BBC Television Centre as a scene hand at the age of 16, shortly after he left school.
Always fascinated by literature and the English language, the would-be writer tried to work on as many comedy programmes as he could.
His break came when he submitted one of his scripts to Dennis Main Wilson, the renowned BBC comedy producer.
John Challis, who played Boycie in 'Only Fools and Horses', spoke to Radio 5 Live about working with the series creator.
After a clip was played of Sullivan talking about the hit comedy, Challis said: "I feel so numb, and to hear his voice is just pretty haunting.
"He was a funny man in his own right and he loved his jokes."