Only Fools and Boycie
My Mum meeting John Challis at the ‘Being Boycie’ book signings (2011 Trafford Centre)
More ramblings from me for Chris’s blog,dedicated to his Mum who met me at a signing at the Trafford Centre! http://t.co/pOFGYlZJgl
— John Challis (@BeingBoycie) September 4, 2014
Now, for an extra special treat this week – we have an interview with Only Fools and Horses legend John Challis, who of course played Boycie in the classic BBC sitcom.
Chris – Before we get onto sport, tell us about your new tour around the UK?
John – This autumn tour of Only Fools and Boycie will be my third tour and we play mostly to smaller venues with 200 or so seats.It works better in a more intimate space, as the evening is like a chat with friends in your own sitting room! My producer Andy Richardson sits on stage with me and asks me questions or prompts me on certain subjects and also shuts me up when I rattle on for too long! It’s nice to get around the country and meet people who love Only Fools and Horses and to hear their stories of how they came to be fans of the show,and also to say thank you to everyone for making it the nation’s favourite comedy.
Chris – I’ve bought a ticket for the City Varieties gig in Leeds, what can we expect during your show?
John – I’m excited to be playing the City Varieties in Leeds as I’ve never been to that famous venue.I’ve played Leeds before,of course,but that was with a touring production of Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor and we were appearing at The Grand,which is much bigger! I’m always being asked how I got into acting and especially how I landed the part of Boycie in Only Fools and Horses;audiences are always fascinated to hear about all the stuff I’ve done before 1981,so I just tell the story with a few anecdotes and funny things that have happened to me.The younger people are surprised that I’ve been in so many iconic TV series like Coronation Street,Z-Cars and Dr.Who ,because obviously they’ve only seen me in OFAH. I’ve been in the business now for over 50 years so my catalogue of work is pretty extensive! There’s a Q and A at the end of the evening so have a think and ask me something I’ve not heard before!
Chris – And there’s a chance to buy some great merchandise at the venues, tell us more about these?
John – I’ve written a two part autobiography and also my debut novel REGGIE ‘A Stag at Bay’, which came about because I had a whole lot of stories about my move to the country that would have been in the fifth series of Green Green Grass IF it hadn’t been cancelled. So I invented a similar but different character to Boycie called Reggie and it’s all about his adventures in the country and the colourful characters he meets.A bit like Blot on The Landscape or Blandings,that sort of thing.The books will be on sale after the show and I will be signing and dedicating copies of Part 1.Being Boycie and Part 2.Boycie and Beyond. There are also some photographs of Boycie if anyone wants one signed and some Boycie masks which are very popular,but that’s all the merchandise I can bring with me. There is a dedicated OFAH merchandise website which has hundreds of items for sale: onlyfools.net/shop and a chance to buy your Christmas presents at the annual OFAH Convention which is in Watford this year.
Chris – Ok, blog related question! What sports do you normally like watching on TV?
John – I don’t have SKY SPORTS at home but I’m an avid fan of football and cricket,so obviously I watch MOTD and also Cricket on Five, but I never watch matches live because I can’t stand the tension!
Chris – Is it correct that Arsenal is your chosen football team, what’s your favourite memory from being a Gunners fan?
John – Correct! I have been an Arsenal supporter all my life.I’ve no idea why because my Dad was a Sheffield Wednesday man and we never lived in London! I suppose I just liked the shirts! My earliest and fondest memory is of standing at the Clock End at Highbury on a crisp day with a mug of steaming Bovril,listening to the Police Band playing songs from the musicals! John Sullivan was also a Gooner so that was a shared passion all through the years of Only Fools and Horses.Roger Lloyd Pack was a Tottenham supporter so you can imagine the friendly banter that went on during filming!
Chris – Is there a sporting event you’ve not had chance to get to, that one day you would like to watch live?
John – I lived in New York for a while and got to love American Football,although I still don’t understand the rules entirely and need to brush up on the time outs! I would love to watch the Super Bowl,the annual championship game of the NFL in USA and also combine a holiday in Hawaii with the Pro Bowl game at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Chris – So where can we find more info on the tour and books?
Thanks to John for the interview – I have read his first autobiography ‘Being Boycie’ – it is superb, and I’m hoping to buy part 2 ‘Boycie and Beyond’ when I go watching him next month! And Mum, as you’re on the picture at the top – this issue can be dedicated to you 🙂 Chris
Only Fools and Boycie. An Evening with John Challis Tour Dates
Banbury: Mill Arts Centre, July 23, 2014
Box Office: 01295 279002
Further info & enquiries: www.themillartscentre.co.uk
Stroud: Cotswold Playhouse, September 6, 2014
Box Office: 0333 6663366
Further info & enquiries: www.cotswoldplayhouse.co.uk
Melton Mowbray: Melton Theatre, September 19, 2014
Box Office: 01664 851111
Further info & enquiries: www.meltontheatre.co.uk
Bishop’s Stortford: Rhodes, October 16, 2014
Box Office: 01253 297297
Further info & enquiries: www.rhodesbishopsstortford.org.uk
Taunton: The Brewhouse, October 17, 2014
Box Office: 01253 297297
Further info & enquiries: www.tauntontheatre.org.uk
Stockport: The Plaza, October 18, 2014
Box Office: 0161 4777779
Further info & enquiries: www.stockportplaza.co.uk
Burnham-on-Sea: Princess Theatre, October 27, 2014
Box Office: 01278 784464
Further info & enquiries: www.princesstheatreandartscentre.co.uk
Leeds: City Varieties Music Hall, October 28, 2014
Box Office: 0113 243 0808
Further info & enquiries: www.cityvarieties.co.uk
Workington: Theatre Royal, October 29, 2014
Box Office: 01900 602122
Further info & enquiries: www.workington-playgoers.org.uk
Wrexham: Grove Park Theatre, November 1, 2014
Box Office: 01978 351091
Further info & enquiries: www.groveparktheatre.co.uk
Stratford-Upon-Avon: The Bear Pit Theatre, November 2, 2014
Box Office: 01789 403416
Further info & enquiries: www.thebearpit.org.uk
Street, Somerset: Strode Theatre, November 8, 2014
Box Office: 01458 442846
Further info & enquiries: www.strodetheatre.org.uk
Lewes: Little Theatre, November 14, 2014
Box Office: 01458 442846
Further info & enquiries: www.lewestheatre.org
Maesteg: Town Hall, November 15, 2014
Box Office: 01656 733269
Further info & enquiries: www.maestegtownhall.com
Shrewsbury: Walker Theatre at Theatre Severn, November 16, 2014
Box Office: 01743 281281
Further info & enquiries: www.theatresevern.co.uk
St Alban’s: Abbey Theatre, November 22, 2014
Box Office: 01727 857861
Further info & enquiries: www.abbeytheatre.org.uk
All tickets between £13 and £16, check individual venues for details
The Trotter Experience, Eastgate Centre, Basildon, August 30 – 31, 10am – 4pm
Only Fools and Horses Convention, Watford, October 26
For details: onlyfools.net
Memorabilia, Birmingham NEC November 22 & November 23
Jack and The Beanstalk, Theatre Royal Plymouth, December 19 2014 – January 17 2015
Further info & enquiries: www.theatreroyal.com