‘He’s low at the moment’ John Challis health update from Only Fools and Horses co-star

Loose Women: Sue Holderness on John Challis' health

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On Friday’s Loose Women, the ITV panel spoke with Only Fools and Horses star Sue Holderness about the sitcom, which is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Sue is famous for playing Marlene Boyce, the wife of Boycie (played by John Challis) in the hit comedy. During the segment, the actress gave an update on her onscreen husband, who is currently suffering from “ill health”.

Speaking about their friendship on and off-screen, Sue began: “Over the years we have become great friends.

“We toured together for four years after Only Fools ended and of course, four years doing the spin-off series, Green Green Grass.”

Discussing John’s health, Sue continued: “I know you’re all interested because John’s had the diagnosis that he’s not been well.

“And he’s very disappointed that he had to cancel his one-man tour.”

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“Incidentally I have to tell you that John sends his love to Jane (Moore),” Sue added.

“He is very fond of Jane,” the actress said as Jane chipped in: “I was going to say that was going to be my next thing.

“I also wanted to send my love. Also, all of us because we absolutely love John and the next time you speak to him or if he’s watching now.

“We just wanted to send him some big hugs.”

“Let’s all have positive thinking,” the actress replied. “But don’t be too upset, we had lunch in the pub three weeks ago.

“And two weeks ago, exactly I spent all day with him filming a little documentary about Only Fools.”

“He’s low at the moment,” the star admitted.

 “But enough positive thinking and he’ll get home, have some rest and he’ll get back and having us all laugh again very soon.”

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It comes after it was reported John was forced to cancel his 30-day tour due to the star’s “ill health.”

The statement from tour promoter A Way With Media said: “Due to ill health, John’s tour is cancelled with immediate effect.

“He completed the first show of his present tour, intending to continue. However, he has been advised to cancel further engagements.”

In another statement, the venue Komedia Bath revealed some more information concerning the actor’s health condition.


The statement on their website read: “John received a cancer diagnosis two years hence and is not fit to perform.”

Despite his diagnosis, John has still been able to work previously. 

Last year he made the documentary Boycie In Belgrade explaining why Only Fools was such a hit with the Serbian people.

In response to the documentary, John was formally offered honorary Serbian citizenship to which he responded: “I was just flabbergasted. It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me really.”

However, despite not publicly addressing his illness, it is understood John’s health has declined over the past year.

Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.

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