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

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.

After hearing the sad news of his death, Sue Holderness, an actress, paid tributes to him and sent 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.



Actors John Challis and Sue Holderness aka Boycie and Marlene from Only fools and horses.
Boycie and Marlene’s marriage was a key part of Only Fools and Horses and the stars remained close friends off-camera

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.”



Sue Holderness and John Challis (R) attend the Gold Nelson Mandela House launch, celebrating Only Fools at 30 on Gold on August 23, 2011
Sue has paid a touching tribute to John following news of his tragic deaths

“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.”



John Challis
John has passed away aged 79, his family confirmed on Sunday

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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 lasted four years, from 2005 to 2009. This was a tale of a fish out the water. Boycie and Marlene were forced to flee Peckham in order to settle in Shropshire.

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It was implied that Marlene was with Boycie’s friends throughout the series of Only Fools. She was especially 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 asked that instead of flowers, they donate to his favorite animal charities: Cuan Wildlife Rescue (Tusk), and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

John Challis' close bond with Only Fools and Horses co-star wife Sue Holderness explored
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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