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John Challis, the actor best known for his performance as 'Boycie' in the much-loved sitcom Only Fools and Horses has died 'peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with cancer', according to his family.
As well as starring alongside David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst in Only Fools, Challis also starred in the sequel spin-off show The Green Green Grass, and more recently in Benidorm from 2015 to 2018.
He was 79 at the time of his death.
It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that John Challis, known to millions as Boycie, has passed away. Our thoughts are with his wife Carol and his family and friends. John died peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with cancer. pic.twitter.com/eDHJbRrJaG
- Only Fools & Horses (@OnlyFoolsHQ) September 19, 2021
The full statement from his family reads: "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."
Challis had been forced to cancel a 30-date speaking tour after just one date recently because of his health.
The tour was called off 'with immediate effect' by his promoter A Way With Media.
At the time, they said: "Due to ill health, John's tour is cancelled with immediate effect.
"He completed the first show of his present tour, intending to continue. However, he has been advised to cancel further engagements."
Challis starred in the UK's best loved sitcom for more than two decades between 1981 and 2003.
His character, Terrance Aubrey 'Boycie' Boyce, was portrayed as a locally successful car dealer in the Trotter's home patch of Lewisham.
He was also recently made an honorary citizen of the country of Serbia, where the show is also hugely popular.
After that accolade he travelled to the country for a documentary entitled Boycie in Belgrade, in which he looked into exactly why Only Fools and Horses had found such a devoted audience there.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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