Sunday, June 12, 2011

John Sullivan: A Legend

There's an interesting interview with John Sullivan, the creator of Only Fools and Horses, in July's edition of Writing Magazine. He had no formal training yet, he was able to tell a great yarn. Upon hearing of the scriptwriter's death in April, David Jason said:

"We’ve lost our ­country’s greatest comedy writer, but he leaves a great legacy – the gift of laughter."

What I loved about him was that he mixed comedy with tragedy. He had the ability to make you laugh one moment and almost cry the next. Like the episode where Rodney gets married and Del is left alone at the reception as the song, 'Holding Back the Years' plays. Gives me a lump in my throat every time I watch that.

He came from humble beginnings, leaving school at 15 and after a series of jobs, worked as a scene shifter. It was from there he became inspired to write for TV. He did his training on the job as it were. He purchased an ancient typewriter for £2.00 and spent the next two months with his friend working on a sitcom.

They received a rejection from the BBC, which put his friend off but Sullivan carried on writing and submitting and the rest is history.

Makes me wonder how many writers have been put off by rejection when if they'd had the motivation and passion John Sullivan had, the drive to push forward, they could have been writing legends!

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