Only Fools and Horses legend Sir David Jason pays tribute to the late John Challis

20 September 2021, 09:43

Sir David Jason has shared a message of remembrance for his co-star and friend John Challis
Sir David Jason has shared a message of remembrance for his co-star and friend John Challis. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Only Fools and Horses legend Sir David Jason has spoken publicly following the death of his former co-star and friend John Challis.

Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis, who played second-hand car salesman Boycie, passed away over the weekend.

The actor was 79-years-old and died peacefully in his sleep following a long battle with cancer.

Since his death was announced, tributes have been pouring in, including a message from TV legend Sir David Jason.

Sir David, who played Del Boy in the hit comedic series alongside Challis, shared a tribute to his friend shortly after his death was announced.

John Challis played Boycie in the hit TV comedy Only Fools and Horses
John Challis played Boycie in the hit TV comedy Only Fools and Horses. Picture: Getty
John Challis sadly passed away over the weekend following a long battle with cancer
John Challis sadly passed away over the weekend following a long battle with cancer. Picture: Getty

He wrote in a statement: "It is with much sadness to hear that John Challis, a dear friend, has passed away.

"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.

"A character so well loved by the many fans of that show so I am pleased that he witnessed the outpouring of admiration recently shown for the 40th Anniversary of the first episode in 1981. I send my love and condolences to his wife, Carol."

Sir David Jason said that John Challis was a 'true gentleman'
Sir David Jason said that John Challis was a 'true gentleman'. Picture: Getty

This tribute was followed by another from actress Sue Holderness, who played John's on-screen wife, Marlene, in the TV series.

She said in an emotional statement: "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."

Sir David Jason revealed that he had known John for 40 years before he appeared in his first episode of Only Fools and Horses
Sir David Jason revealed that he had known John for 40 years before he appeared in his first episode of Only Fools and Horses. Picture: Getty

The tragic news of Challis' death was announced on Sunday by his family, in a statement which read: "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."