Wife of Only Fools and Horses legend John Challis shares funeral snaps

Bye, bye Boycie: Widow of Only Fools and Horses legend John Challis shares funeral snaps of his wicker coffin lined with a red sash for his beloved Arsenal and favourite flat cap resting on top

  • Only Fools And Horses star John Challis died ‘in his sleep’ aged 79 last month
  • Carol Challis married the late star in June 1995 at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton
  • She shared pictures on Twitter of the wicker coffin and flower arrangements 
  • Deborah Meaden paid tribute to the actor’s wicker casket being a ‘lovely touch’

The wife of Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis has shared pictures of the late actor’s funeral send off, which included a wicker coffin and his beloved cap that he ‘wore all the time’. 

Carol Challis, who was married to the star for 26 years, shared the touching details of his ‘rainy’ send off on Twitter Sunday afternoon. 

Mr Challis, who died ‘peacefully in his sleep’ after a long battle with cancer, was best-known for his portrayal of second-hand car dealer Boycie – a cigar-smoking businessman with a mocking laugh who butted heads with Del Boy – in the beloved British sitcom, starring alongside Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst. 

Posting on Twitter, Carol wrote: ‘We gave my lovely man a good send off yesterday, in the pouring rain, so I’m sharing these pics with you, if you don’t mind. 

John Challis (pictured) died ‘peacefully in his sleep’ in September following a long battle with cancer

The late actor’s wife shared pictures on Twitter of Challis’s wicker coffin (above) that featured his favourite flat cap 

The coffin featured a red trim all the way around the edge. which paid homage to his favourite football team, Arsenal (Pictured) 

Carol Challis (Left) pictured with the late Only Fools and Horses actor, John Challis (Right)

‘The red flash on the wicker is for the lifelong Arsenal fan and the cap was something he wore all the time!’ 

She continued: ‘I’d like to thank each and every one of you who has posted such lovely thoughts and words of support, and for all the love shown for John. 

It has been overwhelming and it’s a great comfort to know he will never be forgotten.’

In response to the touching tweet, Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden replied: ‘Thank you for sharing… the willow casket and flash of red a lovely touch for a man who loved nature and his team passionately.    

‘Wishes to you all. We will think of him often x’ 

Deborah Meaden (above) tweeted a touching tribute to Carol Challis about how the casket was a ‘lovely touch’

The TV star recently became an honorary citizen of Serbia, where the BBC sitcom remains hugely popular. Challis made the documentary Boycie In Belgrade, exploring 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 one, the family moved to south-east London. He attended the state boarding Ottershaw School near Woking, Surrey – and upon leaving school he worked as a trainee estate agent before becoming an actor. 

Sir David Jason (L) as Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and John Challis (R) as Boycie on set of Only Fools and Horses 

The unlikely friendship between Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis and American rapper Ice T was revealed following the actor’s death

Following the actor’s death, Challis’ family said in a statement: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we bring you such sad news. Our dear friend and yours, John Challis, has died peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer. 

‘He will always be loved for being ‘Boycie’ and leaves a great legacy of work that will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come. Please respect the privacy of John’s family and friends at this difficult time, and be assured that in the future there will be an occasion to celebrate John’s life – when everyone will be welcome to come along.’     

‘He will always be loved for being ‘Boycie’ and leaves a great legacy of work that will continue to bring pleasure and smiles for many years to come. Please respect the privacy of John’s family and friends at this difficult time, and be assured that in the future there will be an occasion to celebrate John’s life – when everyone will be welcome to come along.’ 

As tributes flooded in for the beloved actor, who died at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer, Ice T joined in to voice his appreciation for his ‘internet friend’.

 

 

John Challis and Ice T regularly chatted on Twitter and the comedy actor, who played Boycie on the famous show, would wish the musician a Merry Christmas

An unlikely friendship between Challis and American rapper Ice T was revealed following the actor’s death.   

Taking to Twitter, Ice T wrote: ‘I just heard John passed away.. He somehow became a Twitter friend.

‘I’m very sad. Although I never met him in person… Internet friends can become close.. RIP.’ 

Sir David Jason, who played Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter on the hit show, called Challis a ‘dear friend’ and ‘wonderful actor’ and said he was pleased the star had witnessed the outpouring of admiration recently shown for the 40th anniversary of the first episode of the sitcom.   

In a statement Sir David said: ‘It is with much sadness to hear that John Challis, a dear friend, has passed away.

‘He was a wonderful actor, a gentleman in the true sense of the word and I know he will be missed by so many.’

He added: ‘A character so well loved by the many fans of that show so I am pleased that he witnessed the outpouring of admiration recently shown for the 40th Anniversary of the first episode in 1981. I send my love and condolences to his wife, Carol.’ 

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