Our Theatre has lost a Great Patron and the World a Great Character Actor

The team at Blackburn Empire Theatre were sad to hear the news that John Challis had passed away this weekend.

John, has been a great supporter of the theatre over the years and he will be missed greatly by everyone who met him and those who enjoyed his film, stage and TV work.

Many will remember him from Z-Cars, Coronation Street, Doctor Who and Benidorm, but he will always be known as “Boycie”, or more formally, Terrance Aubrey Boyce, from the hit TV series Only Fools and Horses.

Famed for his nasal south London twang as “Boycie”, even though he was actually born in Bristol, who could forget his laugh and the ongoing references to his long-suffering screen-wife Marlene.

Michael Berry, Chairman of the Theatre, said:

“We were all sad to hear the news about John. Ever since he performed on the Blackburn Empire stage and agreed to become a patron of the Theatre, he has supported us through thick and thin.

“Only last year, as the COVID pandemic hit theatres hard, he supported our fundraising campaign for the theatre and was always willing to share our news with his own fans. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and we are grateful, not only for his support, but for the great legacy of work he has left behind that we can all enjoy for many years to come.”