Entertainment

Only Fools and Horses star John Challis and Ice T had an unlikely friendship

Ice T and John Challis had an unlikely friendship (Picture: Getty)

Tributes have poured in for John Challis, best known for playing Boycie on Only Fools and Horses, who has died at 79 after a battle with cancer.

His Only Fools and Horses co-stars Sir David Jason and Sue Holderness and other names from the acting world shared their memories and condolences on Sunday after the news broke.

One unexpected name among the tributes was American rapper Ice T, who had become friendly with Challis on Twitter over the years. The pair never actually met.

Paying tribute the musician said: ‘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.’

The comedy actor regularly wished Ice T and his family a Merry Christmas on social media, with the New Jack Hustler star replying.

The British actor also appreciated the US star’s racier tweets. This April, in response to a fan who tweeted: ‘You used to be hard, what happened?’ Ice T replied: ‘I came…Just give me a few mins…’. Challis responded with an image of Boycie laughing.

In a particularly poignant tweet from earlier this year the TV star – who was a big fan of Ice T’s heavy metal group Body Count – expressed how he hoped he would be able to meet up with the rapper in New York.

A statement from Challis’ family said: ‘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.

Challis as Boycie in Only Fools and Horses with Nicholas Lyndhurst and Sue Holderness (Picture: Getty)

‘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.’

Challis starred in Only Fools And Horses alongside Sir David and Nicholas Lyndhurst for 22 years before going on to star in the spin-off The Green Green Grass.

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