Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Suffolk: Stars turn out for funeral of Only Fools and Horses producer Ray Butt

14:20 29 July 2013

Ray Butt, left, directing David Jason and Buster Merryfield in the Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special in Seymour Road, Ipswich, in November 1987.


Picture: Jerry Turner

Ray Butt, left, directing David Jason and Buster Merryfield in the Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special in Seymour Road, Ipswich, in November 1987. Picture: Jerry Turner

Celebrities, former leading BBC executives, family and friends today paid tribute to Ray Butt, the original producer of BBC Television sitcom Only Fools and Horses, during a moving funeral at a Suffolk church.

shares

Mr Butt, who lived at Hemingstone and who died earlier this month aged 78, played a key role in the award-winning comedy series which at its peak it attracted 15 million viewers a week.

Today, Mr Butt’s funeral was held at All Saints, Ashbocking, near Ipswich, and was attended by TV stars, leading lights from the BBC, family and friends.

In a kind and personal handwritten letter to Mr Butt’s partner of 35 years Jo Blyth, Sir David Jason, who was unable to attend because of tight work deadlines, credited Mr Butt with helping him gain the role of Derek Trotter in the hit series which was regularly voted the nation’s favourite sitcom.

Sir David said: “What a sad blow it was to read of Ray’s passing, he was such a great character and one I shall never forget, for it was he who helped me attain the part of Derek Trotter in Only Fools. My thoughts will be with you all.”

During the service tributes included those by John Challis (Boycie in Only Fools and Horses), Gareth Gwenlan, head of comedy for the BBC 1982-1990, and Ray’s daughter Jenny McBean.

Rev Catherine Beaumont, priest at Ashbocking, who led the service and knew Ray, said: “He was an East End boy made good and as Sir David Jason has said in a letter to his partner for 35 years Jo, “we have lost a real Cockney sparrow”.

“Ray once told me rather grumpily that he did not believe in God, but God clearly believed in Ray. Ray made full use of all the, to me anyway, God given talents he had.”

shares

0 comments

Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow.

When Ipswich Town fan Ralph Crich left Portman Road 11 days ago, he was, in his own words, nearly dead.

Malcolm Metcalf at the Old Cattle Market bus station in Ipswich.

An 82-year-old man who set himself the challenge of travelling around England on his bus pass has made his stop in Ipswich.

Match Centre

Live match updates from Ipswich Town’s final home game of the season, against Milton Keynes Dons.

Neighbours objecting to the original proposed demolition of Woodbridge police station for housing

Plans to turn an empty police station into housing have been knocked back at the second time of asking.

EADT food review, Berridges restaurant, Ipswich. French-style chicken.

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis uncovers ‘hidden’ eatery Berridges restaurant in the centre of Ipswich

Trains between the region and Liverpool Street were delayed.

Rail passengers in the region suffered delays on Saturday morning after a freight train broke down on the main line between Needham Market and Stowmarket.

Firefighters were called to a caravan blaze at Heybridge.

A woman and a child were treated for smoke inhalation after a static caravan was destroyed by fire in Essex.

Fishing at Waldegraves.

Read some of our top picks for a relaxing spot of fishing in East Anglia.

Two appliances were called to a fire in Barrow near Bury St Edmunds.

Two fire appliances from Bury St Edmunds were called to extinguish a fire in an oven on Saturday morning.

The Queen and Prince Harry look at the Invictus Games brochure during the spoof video.

The Queen has dismissed an Invictus Games challenge from President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle - in a video which features a fleeting appearance by a Suffolk athlete.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24