‘He was such a kind and loveable sort of chap:’ Sir David Jason says his Only Fools and Horses co-star John Challis ‘went downhill fast’ in the last months  

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  • Only Fools and Horses star John Challis has died ‘peacefully sleeping’ after a battle with cancer at the age of 79
  • Challis was best known for his portrayal of Boycey, a second-hand car dealer in the beloved British sitcom
  • He canceled a 30-date tour earlier this month after only one appearance due to poor health
  • Born in Bristol but raised in London, Challis was also known for playing Monty Staines in ITV’s Benidorm.

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Sir David Jason has described how his Only Fools & Horses co-star John Challis ‘swivels off’ in the final months of his cancer battle as he paid tribute to the legend following his death at the age of 79.

The 81-year-old actor, speaking live with Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield on Monday morning, seemed emotional as he described how John was ‘such a kind and loving kind of man’.

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Challis, who died ‘sleeping peacefully’, was best known for his portrayal as secondhand car dealer Boycey – a cigar-smoking businessman with a witty laugh, who heads to Del Boye. Used to bow down – in the beloved British sitcom, starring alongside Sir David and Nicholas Lindhurst.

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Friend: Sir David Jason (pictured) has described how his sole Fool and Horse co-star John Chalice ‘walked steeply down the slope’ in the last months of his cancer battle as he died at the age of 79 The latter paid tribute to the legend

Opening the interview Holly said: ‘We are very sorry, you have lost a colleague and dear friend.’

Sir David, who played Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter on the hit show, replied: ‘It wasn’t a complete surprise because poor old John hadn’t been well for about a month or two, he was so fast, so fast. went downstairs.

‘One minute he was recovering but sadly it took him fast enough.’

He said: ‘One of the things that I measure an actor in is how they are on a show and what that person actually is. John was such a kind and simply lovely kind of man.

‘He was very different from the character he played. People thought he was John, but it was not, which showed his skills as an actor.

it comes after sunday sir david described john He paid tribute to the actor as ‘a gentleman in the true sense of the word’.

Tragically: Challis, who died 'sleeping peacefully' after a long battle with cancer, was best known for his portrayal of secondhand car dealer Boycey - a cigar-smoking businessman who laughs at the joke and bowed heads with Del Boy - in the beloved British sitcom, starring alongside Sir David and Nicholas Lindhurst

Tragically: Challis, who died ‘sleeping peacefully’ after a long battle with cancer, was best known for his portrayal of secondhand car dealer Boycey – a cigar-smoking businessman who laughs at the joke and bowed heads with Del Boy – in the beloved British sitcom, starring alongside Sir David and Nicholas Lindhurst

Sir David called Chalis a “dear friend” and a “wonderful actor” and said he was delighted that the star had recently shown praise for the 40th anniversary of the sitcom’s first episode.

In a statement Sir David said: ‘It is deeply saddened to hear that a dear friend John Challis has passed away.

‘He was a wonderful actor, a true gentleman and I know he will be missed by many.’

He continued: ‘A character who was well-liked by many of the fans of that show, so I’m glad he saw the praise he showed recently for the 40th anniversary of the first episode in 1981. I send my love and condolences to his wife, Carol.’

Chalis canceled a 30-date tour earlier this month after only one appearance due to illness.

Kind: This comes after Sunday when Sir David described John as 'a gentleman in the true sense of the word' as he paid tribute to the actor.  Pictured: John Chalice (centre) with Sir David Jason, Roger Lloyd Pack, Nicholas Lindhurst, Buster Merrifield and Sue Holderness

Kind: This comes after Sunday when Sir David described John as ‘a gentleman in the true sense of the word’ as he paid tribute to the actor. Pictured: John Chalice (centre) with Sir David Jason, Roger Lloyd Pack, Nicholas Lindhurst, Buster Merrifield and Sue Holderness

The TV star recently became an honorary citizen of Serbia, where the BBC sitcom is extremely popular. Challis made the documentary Boysy in Belgrade, which explored why the show was so beloved in the Balkan country. He was also known for playing Monty Staines in ITV’s Benidorm.

Challis was born in Bristol, but when he was a year old, the family moved to south-east London. He attended State Boarding Ottershaw School near Woking, Surrey – and after leaving school he worked as an apprentice estate…

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