My Celebrity Life

Paul Whitehouse reveals Only Fools and Horses musical will dedicate show to late John Challis

Only Fools and Horses the musical is set to return to London’s West End from Friday evening, with the first performance dedicated to the late John Challis.

Paul Whitehouse, 63, who plays Grandad in the stage show, paid tribute to John who died in mid-September following a battle with cancer, during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.

He told Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard: ‘There’s John Challis who very sadly passed away recently. We’re going to dedicate tonight’s performance to John.

‘He was a great supporter of the show, he has been fantastic and what a sad loss. I know everybody says this but he was genuinely a lovely guy and we all miss him.’

Paul added: ‘We hope that we can pay him a fitting tribute.’

The actor also shared his honour at being able to carry on the work of Only Fools and Horses creator John Sullivan, who died in 2011 at the age of 64.

He explained: ‘The musical came about because John Sullivan, who obviously wrote the TV show, he sadly died and was taken from us very young, and his last project was to start – I don’t think he’d actually written anything other than a few notes – was to start work on a musical version of Only Fools.

‘So in a way it’s a privilege to be able to take that on and play all those characters and write for those characters and develop them.’

Paul revealed that the musical would allude to current events, with Trigger looking to the future of Peckham in a crystal ball, much to the bemusement of the other characters.

John (right) starred as car dealer Boycie in the hit series (Picture: BBC)

A statement was released by John’s family on September 19 revealing the star, who played car dealer Boycie in the hit series, had died.

They said: ‘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.

‘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.’

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.

Credit: Original article published here.

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