Only Fools and Horses

Only Fools and Horses fans may never see John Challis’ final appearance as Boycie filmed weeks before actor’s death

EXCLUSIVE A Marriage Made in Peckham was filmed only weeks before actor John Challis passed away following a battle with cancer

Only Fools and Horses fans may miss out on ever seeing John Challis’s final television appearance – in which he appeared in character as Boycie. A Marriage Made in Peckham was shot only three weeks before the icon sadly passed away in September 2021 and see’s the legend take on his role as second-hand car salesman Boycie.

The spin-off features John alongside actress, and close friend, Sue Holderness as his on-screen wife Marlene. Filmed in a similar way to Gogglebox, the iconic duo re-live some of their favourite Only Fools moments, and also step into their legendary characters.

Boycie and Marlene take a seat in ‘The Nag’s Head’ and enjoy a tipple together in scenes that would surely delight fans of the famous BBC sitcom. We all know Boycie loved ‘a large Cognac, please Mike!’

A Marriage Made in Peckham creator Lazar Vukovic with John Challis and Sue Holderness (Image: Lazar Vukovic)

However, the two-hour show may never see the light of day as its creator has yet to agree on a deal with a UK broadcaster to screen it. Filmed on August 26, 2021, it was intended to be released last Christmas as a DVD, signed by the pair, for fans looking for collectible Only Fools And Horses merchandise.

But now A Marriage Made in Peckham creator Lazar Vukovic has no idea what to do with it as the show is yet to be commissioned by a broadcaster. Speaking to MyLondon on Tuesday (June 21), he said: “John and myself had a lot of plans in the pipeline after creating Boycie in Belgrade, John was great to work with, he and Carol were full of ideas, we even created a poker set during lockdown called Boycie’s Four King Poker Set.

“I think everybody that loved watching Boycie and Marlene would love to view the show. Little did we know it would be Boycie and Marlene’s last drink at The Nags Head. I’m in no rush to release it, it has to be shown in the best light possible and I’m hopeful that a broadcaster/commissioner will give it the platform to be shown to many loved ones and fans.”

He added: “We had plans to film a series called ‘Great British Houses with John Challis’, his love for history was the catalyst for the project, but we decided to postpone filming to 2022.”

John Challis died on September 19, 2021, aged 79 following a battle with cancer. He first appeared as Boycie in the second episode of the first series of Only Fools and Horses which aired on September 15, 1981.

Only Fools and Horses
The Only Fools and Horses cast including John Challis as Boycie and Marlene actress sue Holderness (Image: BBC)

Boycie is the self-certified ‘yuppie’ of the Peckham gang who has a keen eye for a dodgy motor and wisdom for making cash on it. He had a dry sense of humour and the most infectious laugh in British comedy history.

John portrayed Boycie up until the final Only Fools episode which aired on Christmas Day 2003. However, alongside Sue Holderness, the pair starred in the Boycie and Marlene spin-off The Green Green Grass which aired on BBC One between 2005 and 2009.

The show saw the thrifty used-car salesman, his brassy wife and their son Tyler adjust to life in the country after being forced to flee the city to escape the notorious gangsters the Driscoll brothers. In 2020, John Challis and Lazar headed to Serbia where Only Fools and Horses is apparently the most-watched show! Visiting Belgrade, they set to find out why the show was so popular there.

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