Ice T pays tribute to his “close internet friend” ‘Only Fools & Horses’ star John Challis

Ice-T has paid tribute to Only Fools And Horses star John Challis who died yesterday (September 19) after suffering with cancer.

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The actor, known for playing second-hand car dealer Terrance Aubrey ‘Boycie’ Boyce in the BBC sitcom from 1981 to 2003 alongside David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst, was 79.

Following his death Ice-T paid tribute to Challis, revealing that he “somehow became a Twitter friend” with the late actor.

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Posting on Twitter alongside Challis drumming to Motörhead‘s classic hit ‘Ace Of Spades’ the rapper wrote: “I just heard John passed away.. He somehow became a Twitter friend.. I’m very sad. Although I never met him in person.. Internet friends can become close.. RIP.”

In recent times, the pair often chatted on Twitter and Challis would regularly wish Ice-T a Merry Christmas.

Challis’ family released a statement following his death yesterday, saying: “Our dear friend and yours, John Challis, has died peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer.”

They added: “It is with heavy hearts that we bring you such sad news.”

“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.

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“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.”

His family said donations in his memory can be made to his chosen animal charities Cuan Wildlife Rescue, Tusk or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

“As Boycie would have said… you know it makes sense!” their statement added.

Challis’ character in Only Fools And Horses became so popular that he portrayed him once more, for the four series of spin-off show The Green Green Grass, alongside on-screen wife Marlene, played by Sue Holderness.