John Challis close bond with Only Fools co-star wife Sue Holderness explored

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Only Fools and Horses star John Challis has passed away aged 79, his family confirmed on Sunday afternoon.

The actor famously played Terrance Aubrey "Boycie" Boyce in the BBC sitcom alongside Sue Holderness, who portrayed the role of his wife Marleen.

Actress Sue led tributes to the late actor following the tragic news about his death and remembered him in an emotional message.

In a statement, she said: "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."

John and Sue remained close friends over the decades and she recently appeared on Loose Women to give an update on her pal's health condition.

Speaking about their friendship on and off-screen, Sue said: "Over the years we have become great friends.

"We toured together for four years after Only Fools ended and of course, four years doing the spin-off series, Green Green Grass.”

Discussing John’s health, Sue said: “I know you’re all interested because John’s had the diagnosis that he’s not been well.

"And he’s very disappointed that he had to cancel his one-man tour.”

“Incidentally I have to tell you that John sends his love to [Loose Women panelist] Jane (Moore) He is very fond of Jane."

Jane added: “I also wanted to send my love. Also, all of us because we absolutely love John and the next time you speak to him or if he’s watching now.

“We just wanted to send him some big hugs.”

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Sue also reflected on her enduring friendship with John, saying: "We're so lucky, as soon as we met, we liked each other and over the years of course we've become very great friends."

Challis played Terrance Aubrey Boyce in Only Fools And Horses from 1981 to 2003, as well as in the Boycie-focused spin-off show The Green Green Grass.

The spin-off ran for four years from 2005 to 2009. A fish out of water tale, it saw Boycie and Marlene forced to flee Peckham and settle in Shropshire.

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Throughout the run of Only Fools, it was implied that Marlene had been with a number of Boycie's friends, and she was particularly close to Del Boy.

Boycie and Marlene were always arguing and insulting each other, however they were madly in love and eventually had a child together, Tyler – although there were jokes that Del Boy could've been the dad.

John Challis' family have requested that instead of flowers, donations were made to his favoured animal charities: Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

  • Only Fools and Horses

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