John Challis Only Fools and Horses co-star, Sue Holderness, who played John’s character Boycie’s long-suffering wife Marlene, has called his tragic death ‘unthinkable’
John Challis Only Fools and Horses co-star has called his tragic death “unthinkable”.
Sue Holderness, who played John’s character Boycie’s long-suffering wife Marlene, took to Twitter on Sunday to pay tribute to him.
She said she will “miss him every day” and couldn’t ever imagine Marlene and Boycie being apart after knowing her co-star for 36 years.
It comes after John’s devastated family shared the news that he has died. He was 79-years-old.
“Marlene without Boycie- it’s unthinkable,” Sue wrote. “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’s family announced that he has died “peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer”.
They said in a statement: “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.”
The family said that donations in his memory can be made to his chosen animal charities Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
Their statement added: “As Boycie would have said… you know it makes sense!”
John was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.
Earlier this month, it was announced that he had been forced to cancel several of his tour dates due to his ill health.
When she appeared on Loose Women earlier this month, Sue said John had been feeling “low” prior to his death.
“He’s low at the moment,” she added.
“But enough positive thinking and he’ll get home, have some rest and he’ll get back and having us all laugh again very soon.”
“Over the years we have become great friends,” she added.
“We toured together for four years after Only Fools ended and of course, four years doing the spin-off series, Green Green Grass.”
“I know you’re all interested because John’s had the diagnosis that he’s not been well,” she continued.
“And he’s very disappointed that he had to cancel his one-man tour.”