Only Fools And Horses star John Challis has died from cancer aged 79

Only Fools And Horses star John Challis has died from cancer at the age of 79 (Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Only Fools And Horses star John Challis has died from cancer at the age of 79, his family has said.

The actor was best-known for his portrayal of second-hand car dealer Boycie in the much-loved sitcom, starring alongside Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

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Businessman Boycie was married to the feisty Marlene – played by Sue Holderness – and regularly butted heads with Sir David’s character of Del Boy.

A statement from his family to the PA news agency 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 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 have requested that instead of flowers, donations are made to his favoured animal charities – Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

What did John Challis star in?

Challis played Terrance Aubrey Boyce, known as Boycie, in Only Fools And Horses from 1981 to 2003.

He also played the character in a Boycie-focused spin-off show The Green Green Grass.

Challis also made the 2020 documentary Boycie In Belgrade, exploring why Only Fools and Horses was - and still is - so beloved in Serbia. He also recently became an honorary citizen of the country.

The actor was also known for playing Monty Staines in ITV sitcom Benidorm.