Saturday, 23 April 2011

Cwwwwying with Laughter - A Tribute to John Sullivan (1946-2011)

I've been shocked tonight to hear of the death of John Sullivan, the comic creator of Only Fools and Horses.

John was only 64 and has died after spending six weeks in intensive care battling viral pneumonia.

John wrote many stand-out sitcoms over the years including Citizen Smith and Just Good Friends but it will be his creation of that wonderful, loveable rogue Del Boy and his Trotter family for which he will quite rightly be fondly remembered the most.

Only Fools & Horses
I'm a big OFAH fan. Indeed, apart from the last 3 installments, I have every single episode on VHS up to when they became millionnaires in 1996.

It was the warmth of the writing and of the characters that made me and millions alongside, love this sitcom so much.

John Sullivan
Indeed, ironically, only last night in the Lib Dem office in Aberystwyth after a day of campaigning, I ended up showing a number of those there with me a clip of a wonderful episode from this giant of British comedy. 

There had been a mention of K.D.Lang during the evening and that got me thinking about Roy Orbison. So I found on my laptop a youtube clip of their 'Crying' duet together from the 1980s which I adore. Our agent Mike Woods then reminded me of the episode of OFAH when John Sullivan found a comic twist to this song of the day. I couldn't but resist finding it and watching it for the first time in many years as it always went down as one of the funniest moments in this comedy's long and proud history. I watched it last night with Mike and with others who had not seen it before.

Little was I to know that the comic genius who had written that wonderful moment and many others with the Trotters, was seeing his life draw prematurely to a close.

Sir David Jason said today on the sad news: "We have lost our country's greatest comedy writer but he leaves us a great legacy, the gift of laughter.

So, my tribute to John Sullivan must be that clip from episode 3 (Stage Fright) of series 7 that I watched only last night. It literally left me Cwwwwying with laughter and for that wonderful immortal gift, I give John my sincere thanks.

RIP John Sullivan

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