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Iceni Magazine | August 14, 2022

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Iceni Magazine Interviews John Challis (aka Boycie)

John, Challis, Boycie, interview, alex, wiseman

Interview By Alex Wiseman

It’s an absolute honour to be interviewing you for the second time, John!

Since we last spoke you have been extremely busy haven’t you?
JC – I have indeed been very busy! I went out to Spain in March to film all nine episodes of series 10 of Benidorm!

Now you have just come back from Benidorm filing for ITVs Benidorm which incredibly is now going into it’s 10th season! Are we going to see a return of ‘chips and rice’?

JC – Amazing that the show has reached its 10th Anniversary and we will be celebrating that! I’m very proud to be part of the Benidorm family and Monty is back with more ‘chips and rice’. Look out for the new series on ITV early in 2018.

I must just say how much I enjoyed ‘Are You Being Served?’ It was an absolute joy to see such a wonderful cast and hilarious scripts come together.

JC – The one off special episode of ‘Are You Being Served?’ was also written by Derren Litten who I think is a worthy successor to John Sullivan. He is a great fan of John’s work and he writes in a similar way. The words flow easily and this makes it much easier to learn your lines!There are some very funny scenes between Monty and Joyce in Benidorm and of course Sherrie HEWSON played Mrs.Slocombe to my Captain Peacock! The casting for ‘AYBS?’ Was pretty much perfect and we all loved being part of it. Of course we would jump at the chance to do more but even though the viewing figures were good we were not chosen to go to a series.

John, Challis, Boycie, interview, alex, wiseman

I must just ask this as I know everyone will want to know the answer… are we ever going to see anymore ‘Only Fools and Horses’ or ‘The Green Green Grass’?

JC – I’m afraid I don’t think there can be any more OFAH (Only Fools And Horses), not without John Sullivan’s words.I know we’d all be up for a reunion but I don’t think anyone else could come up with the magic! Sullivan’s sons are both writers but I know they are determined to protect their father’s legacy so it’s pretty certain that there won’t be any more.As for Green Green Grass we all so much enjoyed making this that we’d be very happy to be asked for more! It was delightfully silly and we went for four seasons,but then came the credit crunch and it was deemed too expensive to make on location.Also a new Head of Comedy came along and she just didn’t like us!

Now we must move onto your summer of touring selected events for book signing as you set to appear at this weeks Sandringham Flower Show! What can fans of yours expect?

JC – I’m appearing at a number of festivals,fairs and rallies over the next few months,showcasing my books-six titles from my own publishing company Wigmore Books.I’ll be there to sign copies of my autobiography,Reggie novels that inspired Green Green Grass and my latest book about my house and garden,Wigmore Abbey,a beautiful coffee table book with stunning photos of the garden taken by renowned photographer Alex Ramsay through the course of a year,hence the Sandringham Flower show!I’ve never visited Sandringham so I’m looking forward to it very much,come rain or shine!

I look forward to catching up with you at the show but in the meantime thank you for speaking with Iceni Magazine, as always you are one of the nicest guys in the industry!

John Challis will be at the Sandringham Flower Show on Wednesday 26th July 2017, for more information about the show please follow the link below:

If you we unable to attend the show but are interesting in reading any of the books mentioned please go to the Wigmore Books website – where John Challis will also personally sign copies of the book too. I can also recommend attending one of the one man shows as they give a really great insight into Only Fools and the bits before and after!! All details are on the website.


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