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.”
MEDIA STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF JOHN CHALLIS
Sunday September 19, 2021
“It is with heavy hearts that we bring you such sad news. Our dear friend and yours, John Challis, has died peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer.
Full Media piece below pic.twitter.com/oeIDrkAa4T
— Only Fools and Horses News (@onlyfoolsnews) September 19, 2021
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.
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:
It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that John Challis, known to millions as Boycie, has passed away. Our thoughts are with his wife Carol and his family and friends. John died peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with cancer. pic.twitter.com/eDHJbRrJaG
— Only Fools & Horses (@OnlyFoolsHQ) September 19, 2021
I’ve been waiting for this for a few days now. It is with great sadness that I tell you that my dear friend, John Challis (Boycie from OFAH) has just passed. I’ve been in touch with his wife, Carol, who is obviously heartbroken, as am I. Much love,
Sxx ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/nOmxCj35eK
— Sheila Ferguson 3° (@SheilaDFerguson) September 19, 2021
— Paul Chuckle 💙 #Keepsafe 😷 (@PaulChuckle2) September 19, 2021
Another sad passing. John Challis, who played Boycie in Only Fools And Horses, has lost his battle with cancer. Great actor and funny man, RIP.
— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) September 19, 2021
— Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) September 19, 2021
RIP John Challis, a fine actor and thanks for one of the most unlikely and wholesome Twitter friendships. Beautiful pic.twitter.com/6bM2dAwAUT
— Bruce Gorrie (@bsgorrie) September 19, 2021
This is a breaking news story – more to follow