John Challis, best known for his role as Boycie in the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, has died aged 79.

His family said he “died peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with cancer“. Actor Sir David Jason praised Challis as an “actor” and “master of the true meaning of the word”.His character – that of Terrance Aubrey Boyce – is one of the most ridiculous. Challis starred in the series with Sir David and Nicholas Lyndhurst from its broadcast in 1981 until the last show in 2003. The character – a former co-star and an easy competitor to Sir David Del Boy’s character – was supposed to be featured in the event, but the action became pivotal to the series’ progression.

• How John Challis played one of the most important aspects of humor

He was much loved by viewers when The Fools and Horses just ended its long career, the BBC developed after the long travels of Boycie and his patient wife Marlene. Four groups passed. Süle Holderness, played by Marlene, praises Challis as a “friendly friend”. “Marlene without Boycie – it’s impossible,” he said. “John Challis has been my partner on screen and stage and my best friend for 36 years. Dear John RIP. I miss you every day.” Steven Woodcock, who starred in Jevon in the comedy series, said Challis is a good actor and a good person to work in a great way. Del Boy wouldn’t have survived without the boys. Feed my friend Peckham. “

His family said in a statement: “He was always loved for being ‘Boycied’ and left an amazing legacy to keep bringing joy and smiles for years to come. “You can guarantee it’s a good time to celebrate John’s future when everyone is happy.” Challis has enjoyed Boycie for years and has embraced the style at other fun shows, fan gatherings, and even this year’s cover email. In public places against Covid disease. But he also showed his versatility as an actor for Shakespeare when he starred in Richard III and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at open-air performances at London’s Regents Park in 1995. He was simply the pinnacle of Fools and Horses fame. Today he plays Monty Staines on ITV Benidorm.

Crissy Rock, who appeared on the show with Challis, said she was devastated. She tweeted: “John you are a true genius and you love and support me. Thinking of your family and friends during these difficult times. Rest well. Crissy xx.” Earlier this month, Challis ended a speech tour due to health concerns. He planned to work on the scheduled 30 days, specifically “a private night with John Challis”, but ended the trip later in the day.

Some praised Three Degree singer Sheila Ferguson and musician and wife Ice T SA, who wrote, “She’s a friend on Twitter…Excuse me. Be close.” Challis became a prominent citizen of Serbia, where fools and horses were in demand. He traveled to the Balkans as part of the movie Boycie In Belgrade, which explained why the show was so popular there. Although Boycie was known to have a nose in South London, he was born in Bristol and didn’t move to London until as a baby. As a result, most of his best career in London was in Bristol, where fools and horses were most often seen.