Photo of John Sullivan

John Sullivan

Writer of classic TV comedy Only Fools and Horses.

Main details

Occupation Comedy writer

Having left school at 15, John Sullivan got his break whilst working as a scenery mover at the BBC, when he approached a producer and asked him to look at a script he’d been working on. This script formed the basis of the popular series Citizen Smith, which featured Robert Lindsay as working-class would-be revolutionary Wolfie Smith.

His subsequent work, Only Fools and Horses, focused on the tumultuous lives of South London market trader Del Boy and his brother Rodney, and became one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. Famed for its artful coupling of comedy and poignancy, it achieved a record 24.35 million viewers for its 1996 Christmas special, and in 2004 was voted the public’s favourite sitcom ever in a BBC poll.

John has also written television shows Just Good Friends, Dear John and The Green Green Grass, won numerous accolades including the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain comedy award, and in 2005 was given an OBE for services to drama. His honorary degree was awarded at Goldsmiths in 2008. He died in 2011.