Boycie is back!

John Challis
John Challis

One of the nation’s best-loved comedy characters comes to Worthing this autumn as John Challis looks back on his years as Boycie in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses.

John will be at the Connaught Studio on Thursday, September 28 as part of his latest show Only Fools and Boycie.

In an evening of anecdotes, he will reveal what went on behind the scenes on the sitcom which ran from 1981 to 2003.

Along the way, the series won numerous awards including recognition from BAFTA, the National Television Awards and the Royal Television Society. It was also voted Britain’s Best Sitcom in a BBC poll.

John will be chatting about his Only Fools co-stars David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

He will also be discussing his work in other iconic TV shows including Doctor Who, Coronation Street, Are You Being Served? and Benidorm. John will also be revealing how he turned down The Beatles during the swinging 60 after they asked him to appear in The Magical Mystery Tour.

But inevitably, Only Fools will take centre stage.

“I was in the first series in 1981, and I think I was in about the second episode of that first series. I knew it was funny, but I didn’t really think any more of it. I was in lots of episodes of lots of things at the time. I was completely surprised a year later when I was asked back for the second series.”

In that second series, he was probably in two episodes, but the character of Boycie was born and grew and grew.

“By the end, I was in nearly every episode. It was a bit of a mystery to me. I thought he was such an awful character. I could understand people liking Delboy and Trigger, but I thought Boycie was awful. But quickly I started getting lots of letters from people saying how much they loved the character, so I thought maybe I was getting it wrong!”

The point is that Boycie had become an integral part of the whole thing: “He was the entrepreneurial character that Delboy wanted to be. He had money. He had big cars and flash clothes, and he had that rather superior attitude. That’s what Delboy wanted.

“He was part of it. You had to have all the other characters for the characters to bounce off. People say ‘Why the hell would someone like Boycie go into the Nag’s Head in the first place?’ but the point is that he needed people to feel superior to.”

John added: “All of us in the show recognise that whatever else impressive stuff we do, the most famous thing we will ever have done will be that show. It has reached so many people.”

The stage show, Only Fools and Boycie, comes on the back of John’s autobiography, Being Boycie: “It took a couple of years to write, and then somebody said I should be doing a little show based on it, taking it on the cruise ships. I thought I couldn’t do that, and then I realised I liked the idea of going around on a free cruise.

“I did it, and it seemed to go well, and so it evolved into a stage show.”

Tickets on 01903 206206 and online at worthingtheatres.co.uk.

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