Actor John Challis who was best known for playing Terrance 'Boycie' Boyce in sitcom Only Fools and Horses has died after a "long battle with cancer ".

The 79-year-old passed away peacefully in his sleep following a cancer diagnosis in 2019.

The sad news was confirmed by his family, who remembered him for bringing joy to peoples lives through his "great legacy of work"

As well as starring in the hit TV show, John also had roles in Only Fools spin-off The Green Green Grass and Benidorm.

As reported in the Mirror, he began his TV career in 1967, starring in the likes of The Newcomers and Z-Cars.

Over the years, he also appeared in Coronation Street, The Sweeney, Doctor Who, Open All Hours and countless other shows.

He starred in a few movies in his time too, most recently in Dream and Subterrain in 2001.

John's 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.

John played Boycie in the sitcom

"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."

They also said that donations in his memory can be made to his chosen animal charities Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Their statement added: "As Boycie would have said… you know it makes sense!"

Earlier this month, it was announced that John had been forced to cancel several of his tour dates due to his ill health.

He had been diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

After the sad news of his death broke, tributes began pouring in.

The Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson tweeted: "I’ve been waiting for this for a few days now.

"It is with great sadness that I tell you that my dear friend, John Challis (Boycie from OFAH) has just passed.

"I’ve been in touch with his wife, Carol, who is obviously heartbroken, as am I. Much love, S."

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