Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°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

Drink driver in court

Two drink-drivers have been banned from the road after appearing before Ipswich magistrates.

Crash closes lane of A12 at Capel St Mary

A woman was taken to hospital with head injuries following a crash which closed a lane of the A12 this morning.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

A 21-year-old Ipswich man has admitted entering garages with intent to steal in a act of stupidity.

Mark Millar, chief executive of St Elizabeth Hospice, with Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society.

Ipswich Building Society has been named as the community engagement partner for one of Suffolk’s biggest ever mass participation and public art events.

Drivers who refuse to put down their mobiles are targeted

Traffic police in Suffolk and Norfolk stopped 36,000 drivers in a year on suspicion of what are termed the ‘Fatal Four’ motoring offences.

Woman on bail for more than two years

The length of time suspects are bailed in Suffolk has been questioned after it emerged three people were kept on police bail for more than two years after their first arrest.

Sizewell C groundwork

Disappointment was voiced last night over renewed uncertainty for Suffolk residents waiting for a decision on Sizewell’s new nuclear reactors.

Despite wet weather, people head to Felixstowe for ice cream or just a walk in the rain.

Scarcely a few weeks have passed since talk of hot and humid temperatures interrupted by heavy rain and flash thunderstorms.

Firefighters tackle a hedge fire in Stowmarket

A shed used to house birds was involved in a fire that started in a hedge during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Last year' Stowmarket Beach Party and Golden Mile at The Recreation ground, Stowmarket. 
Emily and Daisy Cox with Heather Foster

The seaside is coming to a Suffolk town today.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages