The actor was best known for his role as ‘Boycie’ in BBC One sitcom Only Fools and Horses.
“Such sad news. John was such a lovely man, a fine actor and a friend for over forty years. Hard to think of the world without him. Condolences to his family at this incredibly sad time” – Sir David Jason, Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter in OF&H.
John Challis passed away peacefully in his sleep aged 79 his family earlier today announced. He, of course, is best remembered as Terrance Aubrey “Boycie” Boyce in Only Fools and Horses, running on BBC One from 1981 to 2003 and its spin-off The Green Green Grass that centred around ‘Boycie’ and his family from 2005-2009.
And while there was much fame and success from that comedy character John never forgot the other programmes that had been part of his career from LWT’s war drama Wish Me Luck, ATV’s period daytime soap The Cedar Tree and BBC One police saga Dixon of Dock Green to name only a few. John had a couple of parts in Granada Television’s Coronation Street as well as a stint in 1971 as a ‘dubious photographer’ Jim Wright in Crossroads – a part he was proud to be associated with. In fact, he spoke to us in 2015 with the comment “Can you find some evidence I was in Crossroads, the wife doesn’t believe I was ever in it!”
And while, sadly, all his episodes have been wiped, we were able – to much delight of John – share with him his debut script from the soap. He was a great friend to the Crossroads Fan Club, and we will miss his social media memories very much.
In a statement the Challis family said:
“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 brings pleasure and smiles for many years to come.
“…be assured that in the future there will be an occasion to celebrate John’s life – when everyone will be welcome to come along.”
The family have asked rather than flowers, that any donations in his memory should be made to his chosen animal charities: