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John Sullivan 1946-2011

April 23rd, 2011 (01:09 pm)

The brief news reports are celebrating Only Fools and Horses; but I was always more of a Citizen Smith man, or rather boy. As a child I took Citizen Smith largely straight, attracted by the idea of a bedroom revolutionary (not surprising, really); though part of the success of the series is that the audience is gradually drawn into Wolfie Smith's world, to the extent that by the time he, Ken and Speed (and Tucker too?) storm the House of Commons with a stolen tank only to find an empty chamber (a CSO slide, of course) it's still difficult not to feel utterly disappointed for them. The post-prison series disappointed me when it was first broadcast - when I was nine or so - but I think I'd warm to it now, as Wolfie matures and finds more realistic targets and is forced to go on the run when he actually makes steps to making Tooting a better place to live (though being found in the bedroom of the local gangster's wife also had something to do with it).

Just Good Friends wasn't all that bad either, though the sexual dynamic has badly dated at least in the first two series; I've not seen the third, but remember it as more self-consciously fantastical, with a subplot involving Paul Nicholas's Vince (who under the Nicholas performance is not very far removed from David Jason's Del Trotter in Only Fools...) illegally selling arms to African dictators.