Only Fools and Horses' Boycie comes to Bishop's Stortford
PUBLISHED: 09:30 02 October 2014
Britain’s beloved ‘Boycie’ comes to Bishop’s Stortford next month as part of a one-off nationwide tour, to regale Rhodes with behind-the-scene tales of Del Boy, Rodney, Marlene - and a historic brush with the Beatles.
John Challis, who brings out the second volume of his two-part autobiography this autumn, found fame as the pretentious car salesman with a booming laugh and shifty look in the hugely popular BBC sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’.
“I never knew how long it would be for,” said the actor, who initially joined for just one day of filming as Terrance Aubrey ‘Boycie’ Boyce in 1981.
One series led to another, however, and before long ‘Boycie’ became an integral part of the Peckham-based series, which chronicles the lives of Derek “Del Boy” Trotter (Sir David Jason), younger brother Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and their daily efforts to become more successful car traders – with mixed results.
“It’s an amazing thing to have been part of something that made so many people happy,” said John.
“The series was all about Del Boy, Rodney, Granddad, but then the sideline characters became quite important too. People seemed to really relate to Boyce, want to get to know him. To me Boycie was such an unattractive character, it was amazing to me,” he said.
Since the long-running ‘Only Fools and Horses’ came to an end, John has starred in ‘The Green Green Grass’ with his on-screen wife Marlene (Sue Holderness).
“We loved doing the spin-off,” said John.
“In ‘Only Fools and Horses’ Marlene was sort of a running joke, all the guys “knew” Marlene. Our bickering husband-wife relationship was great fun – it provided a lot of opportunities for the Nag’s Head scenes.
“We’ve been friends ever since, done all the series. We’ve even been on holiday together. And recently we broke the record for the longest running couple on TV,” he added.
‘Boycie’ may be off our screens for the moment, but can be found at Rhodes, Rhodes Avenue, for an intimate evening on stage on Thursday, October 16. Tickets cost £15 for ‘Only Fools and Boycie. An Evening with John Challis’, which lasts 90 minutes with a 20 minute interval.
John will be signing his book ‘Boycie and Beyond’ after the show. Those who can’t be there can buy a copy here: wigmorebooks.com/boycie-beyond.php.