John Sullivan OBE
Along with John Sullivan’s OBE from only fools and horses…
…were Rock star Roger Daltrey, comedian Eric Sykes are some of those recognised in the New Years Honours.
Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan was awarded an OBE today for his services to drama.
The adventures of Del Boy and Rodney Trotter have kept viewers entertained for more than 20 years.
And it is not the only hit show Sullivan has written for the BBC.
He also came up with the classics Citizen Smith, Dear John and Just Good Friends.
Sullivan, born in Balham, south London, left school at 15 with no qualifications. He worked as a messenger, carpet-fitter and second-hand car dealer, the latter providing his inspiration for wheeler dealer Del Boy.
While working at a brewery he began writing TV scripts but they were repeatedly rejected.
In desperation he begged the BBC for any job to get a foot in the door and was taken on as a scenery shifter.
Spotting a producer in the BBC bar, he showed him a script for Citizen Smith.
The producer was so impressed he snapped it up and the programme, starring Robert Lindsay as the Tooting revolutionary, was a hit when it aired in 1977.
Sullivan used his own experiences as inspiration, the episode in which Rodney is too ashamed to show new girlfriend Cassandra where he lives was based on the writer`s first dates with his wife, and the famous scene with the falling chandeliers came from a story told by his dad.
The last episode went out over Christmas 2003 and pulled in more than 15 million viewers.
Sullivan, 48, also had success with Eighties shows Just Good Friends, starring Paul Nicholas and Jan Francis, and Dear John, with the late Ralph Bates.
The writer is currently working on ideas for two Only Fools and Horses spin-offs.
Daltrey, who is a patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust, was given a CBE for his services to music and charity.
The 60-year-old star of The Who said: “It is really great to be honoured by my country.”
Sykes, best known for his TV comedy Sykes, which ran between 1960 and 1979, was also made a CBE. The 81-year-old was made OBE in 1986 and has recently appeared opposite Nicole Kidman in The Others.
Actress Anna Massey, a screen and stage favourite since the 1950s, was also made a CBE. Her films have included 1960’s Peeping Tom, The Tall Guy in 1989 and 2002’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
“I am absolutely thrilled to receive this,” she said. “It was a lovely surprise to have my name put forward.
Broadcaster Alan Whicker and playwright Alan Plater were both made CBEs while John Sullivan, the creator of Only Fools and Horses, and author Leslie Thomas were made OBEs.
Quentin Blake, the artist best know for his illustrations in Roald Dahl books, was made a CBE, as was classical pianist John Lill.
In the world of music, Pete Waterman was given an OBE for his work on more than 200 hit singles, including those for Kylie, during the last 25 years.