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Tributes paid to ‘true gentleman’ and ‘beloved friend’ John Challis

·2-min read
Sue Holderness and John Challis starred as a married couple in Only Fools And Horses (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)
Sue Holderness and John Challis starred as a married couple in Only Fools And Horses (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)

The actress who played Boycie’s wife Marlene in Only Fools And Horses has paid tribute to her “beloved friend” John Challis.

Tributes poured in on Sunday after it was announced that Challis had died from cancer at the age of 79.

Among them was Sue Holderness who played the on-screen partner of second-hand car dealer Boycie in the hit sitcom.

She said in a 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.”

The Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson posted a picture of herself with Challis on Twitter as she described herself as “heartbroken”.

She said: “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, S.”

‘Allo ‘Allo! actress Vicki Michelle said on Twitter: “Shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Wonderful John Challis such a fabulous man. Loved by the Nation. Condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Actress Crissy Rock, who appeared in Benidorm with Challis, tweeted: “I am heartbroken to hear the news that the legendary actor @BeingBoycie has sadly passed away.

“John you were a true gentleman and always so loving and supportive towards me. I am thinking of your family and close friends at this hard time. Rest well. Crissy xx.”

In tribute to their long-term fan, Somerset County Cricket Club shared a video filmed with Challis earlier this year in which he comically announced the extension of a player’s contract.

The club tweeted: “Somerset County Cricket Club are extremely saddened to hear about the passing of long term supporter John Challis.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

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