John Challis’ official autobiography
John Challis knew he wanted to be an actor from the moment he saw Peter Pan live on stage, aged eight. By the time he was nineteen, he was on the road with a troupe of travelling actors, taking plays to schools all over the country. His father wasn’t impressed, but John was determined to follow his instincts, never losing his interest in sport, Rock’n’Roll or frankly, the opposite sex. His career and colourful private life seemed permanently poised between crises and highs, until by 1984, in his forties and with two marriages behind him, he emerged as a leading character in Britain’s most successful ever TV comedy series, Only Fools & Horses.
Being Boycie is the story of a born actor who embraced the idea of role-play as a child and matured into a character actor of great originality and distinctiveness. John Challis has worked in a huge variety of roles, from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, to touring Tom Stoppard’s plays in America, while in television he’s appeared in Z-Cars, Coronation Street and Doctor Who and a host of other popular series.
In Being Boycie, John tells us frankly and affectionately how he lived and thrived as a young man on the ups and downs of provincial repertory theatre, the mad hustle of early television drama in the ’60s and ’70s, and the stages of London’s West End. He describes the pressures, the longing for his father’s approval, his own massive zest for life and his chronic inability to settle down to a stable married existence. It’s a story that’s above all honest, touching and very funny.
Large paperback: 215 pages
ISBN: 978 0 9569061 0 6