Only Fools and Horses producer dies

Brad TomLast Update : Monday 9 May 2016 - 1:23 PM
Only Fools and Horses producer dies

Only Fools and Horses producer Gareth Gwenlan dies

Gareth Gwenlan and Nicholas LyndhurstImage copyright Bafta Cymru

Former producer of Only Fools and Horses Gareth Gwenlan has died at the age of 79.

Mr Gwenlan, who was born in Brecon, Powys, was previously the head of comedy at BBC TV and BBC Wales and was awarded an OBE in 2013.

He was responsible for commissioning a string of hit series including Yes Prime Minister, Black Adder, ‘Allo ‘Allo and One Foot In The Grave.

He was producer on The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin and To The Manor Born.

Mr Gwenlan also produced and directed High Hopes for BBC Wales.

As head of comedy for BBC TV from 1983 until 1990, he was responsible for commissioning a number of classic comedy series including Yes Prime Minister, Bread, Black Adder, ‘Allo ‘Allo, One Foot In The Grave, Birds of a Feather and Keeping Up Appearances.

During his tenure, the department won the Best Comedy at the Bafta awards every year and counted three Emmys among its other awards.

He admitted he could make mistakes – including trying to persuade the producer of One Foot In The Grave that Richard Wilson was not the right choice for the role of Victor Meldrew.

Image caption On the set of a 25th anniversary special for To The Manor Born with Peter Bowles in 2007
Image caption He was producer of Only Fools and Horses

Image copyright Getty Images

Image caption Picking up his OBE at Buckingham Palace in 2014

As a producer/director, he has collected 12 Bafta nominations and two Academy Awards.

He was awarded a Royal Television Society Fellowship in 1997 as well as winning six other industry awards that year.

In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the Welsh College of Music and Drama.

When he produced the final trilogy of Only Fools and Horses, it attracted more than 20 million viewers.


Image caption ‘Allo ‘Allo
Image caption One Foot In The Grave
Image caption Black Adder

Mr Gwenlan trained as an actor and teacher at drama school after national service and initially started out as a theatre director.

At the BBC’s comedy department he was responsible for The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, To The Manor Born and Butterflies in 1976, which all became hits.

High Hopes actor Robert Blyth paid tribute, saying: “The team of Boyd Clack writing and Gareth directing High Hopes produced some very special work.

“Gareth was hugely successful, and rightly so, in the field of situation comedy. He was the man who knew more about it than anyone else alive. He will be sadly missed.”

Source: BBC Entertainment

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