‘Only Fools And Horses’ star John Challis has died, aged 79

"He will always be loved for being 'Boycie' and leaves a great legacy of work"

Only Fools And Horses star John Challis has died, his family have confirmed. He was 79.

The actor, known for playing Boycie in the long-running BBC comedy, had been suffering from cancer.

His family said in a statement: “Our dear friend and yours, John Challis, has died peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer.”

They added: “It is with heavy hearts that we bring you such sad news.”

They continued: “He will always be loved for being ‘Boycie’ and leaves a great legacy of work that will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come.

“Please respect the privacy of John’s family and friends at this difficult time, and be assured that in the future there will be an occasion to celebrate John’s life – when everyone will be welcome to come along.”

His family said donations in his memory can be made to his chosen animal charities Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

“As Boycie would have said… you know it makes sense!” their statement added.

Challis played second-hand car dealer Terrance Aubrey ‘Boycie’ Boyce in the sitcom from 1981 to 2003 alongside David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

John Challis
John Challis at his home – Credit: Alamy

His character was so popular that he portrayed him once more, for the four series of spin-off show The Green Green Grass, alongside on-screen wife Marlene, played by Sue Holderness.

“Marlene without Boycie – it’s unthinkable,” she said.

“John Challis was my partner on screen and stage for 36 years and my beloved friend. RIP darling John. I will miss you every day.”

Other tributes have poured in on social media – you can see some of these here:

 

Earlier this month, Challis cancelled a speaking tour due to his ill health.
Most recently, he played Monty Staines in ITV show Benidorm.

This is a breaking news story – more to follow 

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