‘Dickens’ of television comedy dies at 64

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TRIBUTES have been paid to scriptwriter John Sullivan who has died at the age of 64.

Most famous for creating the favourites Only Fools and Horses, Citizen Smith and Roger Roger, died at a private hospital in Surrey after a battle with viral pneumonia. He had been in intensive care for six weeks.

Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, said: “He had a unique gift for turning everyday life and characters we all know into unforgettable comedy. His work will live on for years to come.

Sullivan was born in 1946 in Balham, south London, and was married to his wife Sharon. He had two sons, one daughter and two grandchildren.

John Challis, who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, said the show appealed to people “from every generation and every walk of life”. Mark Freeland, BBC head of comedy, said: “No one understood what made us laugh and cry better than John Sullivan. He was the Dickens of our generation. Simply the best, most natural, most heartfelt comedy writer of our time.”