He was responsible for some of the most memorable moments in the history of British television comedy.
And stars of John Sullivan’s best-loved show, Only Fools and Horses, have ensured his achievements will be remembered by generations to come.
Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, who played brothers Del Boy and Rodney Trotter in the BBC series, yesterday unveiled a blue plaque in the late comedy writer’s honour.
Stars: Only Fools and Horses actors Sir David Jason (centre) and Nicholas Lyndhurst (far right) attend the unveiling of the plaque in honour of the show’s creator, John Sullivan
They were joined by other members of the cast, including John Challis, who played Del Boy’s flashy friend Boycie.
The blue Heritage Foundation plaque has been placed at Teddington Studios, in south-west London, where the show was filmed.
It joins other plaques at the studios erected in honour of other comedy heroes including Tommy Cooper, Kenny Everett and Tony Hancock.
Sullivan died in April last year aged 64 after a battle with viral pneumonia.
Genius: Comedy writer John Sullivan was also created shows Just Good Friends and Citizen Smith
Only Fools and Horses was his most famous work and it brought catchphrases such as ‘lovely jubbly’, ‘cushty’, ‘plonker’ and ‘this time next year we’ll be millionaires’ into living rooms across the country.
It was first broadcast in 1981 and aired in seven series until 1991, with sporadic Christmas specials in later years.
One festive episode in 1996 – in which Del Boy and Rodney became wealthy following the discovery and sale of a valuable watch – attracted 24.3million viewers, the highest UK audience for a sitcom.
Sullivan, who was awarded the OBE in 2005, also created The Green Green Grass, Just Good Friends, Citizen Smith and Rock and Chips.
He grew up in Balham, South London, born to a plumber father and mother who occasionally worked as a charlady.
He failed his eleven-plus and left school at 15 with no qualifications. His first job was as a messenger boy for Reuters.
Sullivan then got a job at BBC Television Centre as a scenehand at the age of 16.
Always fascinated by literature and the English language, the would-be writer tried to work on as many comedy programmes as he could, in order to gain experience in the genre.
During his spare time he wrote sketches.
His break came when submitted one of his scripts to Dennis Main Wilson, the renowned BBC comedy producer.
It met Wilson’s approval and he was immediately commissioned to write more episodes.
He was given three months’ paid leave to work on the series, which turned out to be Citizen Smith.
In December last year it emerged that Mr Sullivan left almost £8.5million in his will.
Tribute: Sir David Jason (left) and Nicholas Lyndhurst speak at the plaque’s unveiling at Teddington Studios in south-west London. Other comedy greats to be honoured at the studios include Tommy Cooper, Kenny Everett and Tony Hancock
Hit: Cast members (left to right) David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst and Lennard Pearce, from a 1985 episode of the popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses