Celebrate the brilliant John Challis through his finest Only Fools And Horses performances – and watch them all this month on GOLD
By Simon Ward, Content Editor
It was announced this week that John Challis, the much-beloved actor who famously played Only Fools And Horses legend Terrance Aubrey “Boycie” Boyce, had died at the age of 79. His family said he passed away “peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer.”
Challis played Boycie on the long-running BBC sitcom from 1981 to 2003, as well as in his own spin-off series The Green Green Grass from 2005 to 2009. The dodgy second-hand car dealer and Del Boy’s ultimate frenemy is rightly considered one of the most-loved sitcom characters in British TV history.
With GOLD HD (CH 124) celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Only Fools And Horses by showing every episode of the classic comedy (as well as Boycie’s spin-off) throughout September, there are plenty of chances to see his incredible performances – and, of course, hear that laugh.
GOLD HD will also be showing a weekend of programming dedicated to the brilliance of Boycie on Saturday 25 September and Sunday 26 September. Check out the full schedule below.
We’ve pulled together just some of Boycie’s best moments from over the years.
1. Boycie loses at cards
Seen in: Series 2, episode 3: “A Losing Streak”
When his gambling starts to get out of hand, Del (David Jason) takes up Boycie’s challenge of a winner-takes-all poker game. It looks like Del’s going to lose it all, until he pulls out four aces, revealing he knew Boycie had been cheating all along because he’d rigged the cards he had dealt him in the first place.
2. Boycie’s dog-sitting has a Great surprise
Seen in: Series 4, episode 5: “Sleeping Dogs Lie”
Del thinks he’s conned Boycie out of £60 by allowing him to look after their puppy for a week. Easy money, right? Little does he know that it’s Boycie who will have the last laugh as Marlene brings out a Great Dane. Cue: that Boycie laugh.
3. Dr Boycie, at your service
Seen in: Series 6, Episode 3: “Chain Gang”
Del and Boycie get involved in a deal as part of a consortium to buy 250 gold chains for £12,500 to sell for double the price. But when their contact has an apparent heart attack during the sale, and with their money and the gold potentially up the Swanny, Boycie pretends to be a doctor to retrieve them, with hilarious results.
4. Boycie’s ticket mix up
Seen in: Series 7, episode 5: “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Uncle”
During a chat in The Nag’s Head, Boycie reminisces with Del about his reliability. He says: “I remember a few years back when I had that important client coming over from Belgium and I was trying to get tickets to Wimbledon to impress him. You said “Leave it to me Boycie, I gotta contact at Wimbledon”.” Del replies: “I got you two tickets!” Boycie shoots back: “That's right! They drew nil-nil with Ipswich!”
5. Boycie’s plays The Joker
Seen in: The Christmas Trilogy (1996): “Heroes and Villains”
The legendary scene as Del and Rodney run to a fancy dress party as Batman and Robin, interrupting a robbery along the way, is given an incredible punchline. They turn up to see Boycie in a black suit, and they rib him that he’s come as the Penguin. Unbeknown to them, the fancy dress party was cancelled and is now a wake due to the host passing away – something Boycie could have mentioned before they burst into the room, singing the Batman theme song. And so he remarks: “Oh no, Del Boy. Not the Penguin. More like the Joker.”
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Image credits: Only Fools And Horses © BBC