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Thursday, 29 July, 1999, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Fools creator joins ITV
New deal: Sullivan created Only Fools And Horses for the BBC
Only Fools And Horses creator John Sullivan has signed up with ITV, weeks after falling out with the BBC over his adaptation of David Copperfield.

Sullivan was originally lined up to work on the Charles Dickens novel two years ago, but last month it emerged he had left the project after delivering a script.

Now the writer has signed up with Yorkshire Television to develop a four-part series based on the Micawber charcter, who is central to the Copperfield story.

It is the first time he has written for anyone other than the BBC, for whom he has also written show like Citizen Smith and Just Good Friends. His agent blamed the split with the corporation on "creative differences".

David Jason had originally been cast as Micawber in the BBC production, but was replaced by Bob Hoskins.

'Absolutely thrilled'

Now it is possible he could rejoin Sullivan to take the Micawber role at Yorkshire - the company behind his other ITV hits, A Touch of Frost and The Darling Buds of May.

Yorkshire comedy and drama controller David Reynolds said: "We are absolutely thrilled that John chose to join YTV in his first venture away from the BBC.

"We have tried to persuade John to join us for years and it is fantastic that he has at last agreed."

Sullivan said: "This is a wonderful opportunity. I am really looking forward to working with David Reynolds, whose work I have admired for many years."

ITV director of programmes David Liddiment said: "John Sullivan is the finest comedy writer on television and I'm delighted his next work will be on ITV."

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