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|John Challis: The Prince of Mirth|
Challis pictured in Shrewsbury, November 2007.
n 16 August 1942
Bristol, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Jean Challis (1964–1966) (divorced)
Debbie Arnold (1980–1982) (divorced)
Sabina Franklyn (1983–1985) (divorced)
Carol Challis (1990–present)
John Spurley Challis (born 16 August 1942) is an English actor. He played Terrance Aubrey "Boycie" Boyce in the long running BBC television comedy series Only Fools and Horses, and its spin-off The Green Green Grass.
Challis, an only child, was born in Bristol, though brought up in South East London. His father was a Civil Servant. Challis attended the state boarding Ottershaw School near Woking, Surrey. Upon leaving school in 1960 at the age of 18 he worked as a trainee estate agent before becoming a professional actor. An early television role, in 1969, was in the controversial gangster drama Big Breadwinner Hog and between 1971 and 1975 he made regular appearances in Z Cars as Sergeant Culshaw.
His other television appearances include Dixon of Dock Green, The Sweeney, Doctor Who (The Seeds of Doom), Beau Geste, Juliet Bravo, Coronation Street, Bloomers, Citizen Smith, Ever Decreasing Circles, Doctor Snuggles, Chance in a Million, The Bill, One Foot in the Grave, Open All Hours, The New Statesman, Don't Wait Up, Soldier Soldier, Brass Eye, My Family In Sickness and in Health (As A policeman) and Heartbeat.
The outdoor scenes of the Green Green Grass were filmed at his home, surrounding fields and local villages. Four series were broadcast by BBC 1 from 2005–2009. In the 2008 series of Last of the Summer Wine he guest-starred as a fake jewel thief, trying to impress the ladies.
He appeared on the Channel 4 mockumentary television programme Brass Eye, where he was tricked into believing Clive Anderson had been shot by Noel Edmonds. On BBC radio, John played an interrogator in the play Rules of Asylum by James Follett, broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 1973. He also played Dibden Purlew in Getting Nowhere Fast from 2001–04.
Challis has had a number of stage roles. He starred in pantomime at the Plaza Theatre in Stockport where he played the part of Captain Hook in Peter Pan. In 2006 he took a cameo role in BBC's The Impressionists as Station Master, Garre Saint Lézasr. He appeared in Channel 4 documentary King Of Christmas Lights featuring which aired on 19 December 2011, switching on the Christmas lights on at Manning Close in Wells, Somerset on 30 November. John also flicked the switch in Weston Super Mare on 1 December 2011. He appeared in pantomime at Weston playhouse between 13 December 2011 and 8 January 2012 playing Ebenezer in Aladdin.
From April 2012 Challis embarked on a book tour to promote Being Boycie, starting at Waterstones in Uxbridge and the same year became the narrator of the National Geographic Channel series Strippers: Cars For Cash. In 2013 Challis occasionally contributed to the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Live Tour as the narrator. He appeared as King Rat, in Dick Whittington at the Plaza Theatre in Stockport until 5 January 2014.
- Jean Challis (1964–66) (divorced)
- Debbie Arnold (1980–82) (divorced)
- Sabina Franklyn (1983–85) (divorced)
- Carol Challis (1990–present)