Only Fools and Horses star John Challis has died at the age of 79.
John became a beloved household name in the 80s for his portrayal of Boycie in the iconic sitcom alongside Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst.
In a statement to the media this lunchtime, his family wrote: “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.
“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.”
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
Only Fools and Horses stars lead tributes
Del Boy star Sir David Jason, 81, has shared his condolences: “He was a wonderful actor, a gentleman in the true sense of the word and I know he will be missed by so many.
“We had known each other for well over 40 years when he appeared in the second episode of Only Fools and Horses as Boycie.”
Sue Holderness, who played his onscreen wife said: “Marlene without Boycie – it’s unthinkable. John Challis was my partner on screen and stage for 36 years and my beloved friend. R.I.P. darling John. I will miss you every day.”
Tributes to John Challis from fans
The announcement was shared on Twitter, with tributes immediately pouring in.
— Richard Coles (@RevRichardColes) September 19, 2021
— #ME5Records 🎹 (@8oyc3y) September 19, 2021
— 80s Kidz (@80s_Kidz) September 19, 2021
This is such awful news. The world is a much sadder place without our dear chum & supporter John Challis. Rest in peace dear John you will be so missed but never , ever forgotten. pic.twitter.com/yS1UqxfT9u
— Talking Pictures TV (@TalkingPicsTV) September 19, 2021
Earlier this month John was forced to cancel his show Only Fools and Boycie after just one performance due to ill health.
In a statement, A Way With Media said the tour had been cancelled “with immediate effect”.
The show was set to “reveal secrets from the set with stories and anecdotes from his dazzling career,” with John slated to meet fans after the show to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
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