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Boycie switches roles

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 18 November

THOUSANDS enjoyed seeing Huddersfield get all lit up last night.

And they did so in a style that stretched all the way from Peckham!

Dodgy car dealer Boycie - from Only Fools and Horses - left behind Del Boy and Rodney to make the journey north.

For actor John Challis, it was a first-ever visit to Huddersfield - even though his grandparents lived in Sheffield and he paid many visits to Yorkshire in his youth.

Last night, as he faced his fans, he admitted: "They want Boycie, rather than John Challis. They wonder who I am until I start shouting for Marlene!"

Challis was joined for the switch on by Huddersfield Giants superstar Robbie Paul.

Challis starred in a spin-off from Only Fools this summer, appearing in The Green Green Grass, again written by John Sullivan.

Challis said: "The reviewers slated it at first but then the viewers backed us and we got a whole set of new reviews.

"It was a big gamble, switching the characters from Peckham to the countryside, but it worked.

"I'm delighted we have got a Christmas special and have been commissioned for a new series.

"Boycie has been a big part of my life. Only Fools was such a memorable series; it was good to be part of such a great team.

"It is one of those TV shows that everyone remembers. Everyone has a favourite scene and there are so many lines that have come from it into everyday use."

He and Paul were introduced to the crowd during a Home 107.9 roadshow and then performed the switch on to signal the start of Christmas and the late-night shopping in Huddersfield.