Gainsborough: Only Fools and Horses man John Challis has a lifetime of stories to share with Boycie’s fans

John Challis - aka Boycie from Only Fools and Horses - is at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough next month
John Challis - aka Boycie from Only Fools and Horses - is at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough next month

John Challis is promising Gainsborough audiences plenty of laughter and some great stories when he comes to town next month.

The actor, best known for playing Boycie in Only Foools and Horses and the spin-off series The Green, Green Grass, is coming to the Trinity Arts Centre on 21st February and he’s looking forward to coming.

“Laughter is what Boycie is best known for,” he said.

“Boycie is still popular because people had sympathy for him.”

“They realised he was wheeling and dealing to try and make something better.”

“I think people identified with that.”

“Of course, he found himself in hilarious situations and they made people laugh.”

“John Sullivan was one of the best writers of all time and he created extraordinary characters.”

“But John always used to tell us actors that we’d brought them to life.”

It’s the fans’ love of Boycie and all the Fools and Horses characters that makes events like his upcoming Gainsborough appearance so enjoyable for John.

“I love meeting fans when I’m out on the road and Only Fools and Horses remains one of the most popular shows of all time.”

“I’ll be taking people behind the scenes and talking through some of the most famous episodes.”

“I’ll also reveal a few surprises from my 50 years in show business, like the time I turned down The Beatles after they’d asked me to appear in one of their films.”

“And do you know, I still regret that to this day.”

“I’ve got a lifetime’s worth of material to choose from.”

“So many things have happened in my life that it’s never difficult to pick up a funny anecdote.”

“I shared Marlon Brando’s dressing room when I was touring a play in America, I drank with George Best and I watched in horror as Oliver Reed smashed up a hotel room.”

“And that’s before we even get to Only Fools and Horses.”

“I’ve lived a remarkable life and it’s a real thrill to be able to share some of my stories with fans.”

Stories like one that happened in Lincolnshire itself when he ensured a bride would have an extra reason to remember her wedding day.

“ I was playing the county on one occasion when I met a bride and groom who had just celebrated their wedding,” he recalled.

“The groom asked me to go up to the bride and surprise her with a ‘real life’ Boycie impression, at their reception.”

“I did - and she fainted!”

Despite the continued popularity of Fools and Horses, John doesn’t think Boycie, Del Boy and Rodney will be meeting up to discuss another hare-brained money-making plan in the Nags Head any time soon.

“We see one another quite often, we were a huge gang and we all got along,” he said.

“Of course, quite a few of the cast are no longer with us.”

“Our writer, John Sullivan, has also passed away and last year, we lost Roger Lloyd Pack, who played Trigger.”

“We continue to see one another at conventions and so on, but I don’t think there’ll be another series.”

“You never say never, but I don’t think it’s likely.”

Not that keeping busy is a problem for John.

As well as his current tour, he has been in pantomime, has just finished a novel and has more series of the ITV comedy Benidorm to film this summer as well as taking a film to the world-famous Cannes festival.

But before then, he is looking forward to meeting the fans in Gainsborough.

The evening at Trinity Arts Centre starts at at 7.30pm.

Tickets priced £15 are available now from the box office on 01427 676655 or online at www.microsites.lincolnshire.gov/tac