'Only Fools and Horses' star John Challis cancels tour amid cancer battle

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  John Challis attends the National Television Awards held at the O2 Arena on January 22, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
John Challis has cancelled his tour due to ill health. (Getty Images)

Only Fools and Horses star John Challis has cancelled his tour revealing he has secretly been battling cancer for two years.

The 79-year-old actor – best known for playing Boycie in the long-running BBC sitcom – was booked to perform a 30 date speaking tour followed by meet-and-greets with fans called One Man And Boycie.

A statement from his tour promoter said: "Due to ill health, John Challis’s tour is cancelled with immediate effect. John received a cancer diagnosis two years hence and is not fit to perform.

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"He completed the first show of his present tour, intending to continue. However, he has been advised to cancel further engagements.”

LONDON, -, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/02/19: John Challis seen during the Only Fools and Horses Press night at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Only Fools And Horses star John Challis was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. (Getty Images)

Challis - who played second-hand car dealer Boycie alongside Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst in Only Fools And Horses - was due share anecdotes and stories from his career on stage before signing autographs after the show.

The estate-agent-turned-actor played Terrance Aubrey Boyce in Only Fools And Horses from 1981 to 2003, before starring in his own spin-off show The Green Green Grass, had made regular appearances at fan events.

Last year Challis presented the documentary Boycie in Belgrade, exploring why the British sitcom is such a hit in Serbia – where he has been made an honorary citizen.

He said: "It’s just as popular out there as it is here. A local DJ said it was the only thing that made them smile during their terrible wars.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13:  (L-R) John Challis, Sir David Jason and Sue Holderness attends the funeral of actor Roger Lloyd-Pack at St Paul's Church on February 13, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
Only Fools And Horses stars John Challis, Sir David Jason and Sue Holderness. (Getty Images)

“I think people identify with those characters and the stories. They love Boycie, Trigger, Del Boy, Rodney… they have murals of them all over the place.”

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The actor is also known for playing Monty Staines in ITV sitcom Benidorm.

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