‘Got to be so careful’ Only Fools and Horses star John Challis’ cancel culture warning

John Challis: Only Fools And Horses star dies aged 79

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Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis died on Sunday, his family have confirmed. The sitcom star, who was famed for playing Boycie in the hit BBC comedy series, passed away aged 79. Just weeks before he passed away John hit out at cancel culture and issued a warning about the future of comedy.

John died on Sunday after a battle with cancer, but before his tragic death the star left some words of wisdom for the comedy world.

The actor recently criticised BBC bosses for being too cautious about what they are commissioning.

He also hit out at cancel culture, noting almost every joke and opinion has the potential to offend someone.

John commented at the time: “You’ve got to be so careful – the BBC are being so careful about what they’re putting out and I think the world has changed.

“I think it’s just gone too far. I’m just one of those people who’s never done what all these people are being accused of anyway.”

The actor also suggested it’s not just the future of comedy that’s being put at risk by cancel culture.

He raised several concerns: “What does worry me is the impact on free speech.

“If you’ve had an opinion about something, someone’s going to find that somewhere.

“With the internet it’s become much more difficult,” John added.

The Only Fools and Horses star insisted he had a clean slate as far as controversial comments go, however still felt strongly about the subject.

The actor went on to speak about Only Fools and Horses, which originally was partly intended as a satire on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s “greed is good” capitalist agenda.

John suggested a mainstream show reflecting current brutal economic realities wouldn’t get commissioned today.

The sit-com star remarked: “The whole yuppie, Thatcher thing was very aspirational.

“She was encouraging people to get out there and be a bit selfish, I suppose; take care of your own life, with everybody else second.

“That attitude was fashionable at the time. But it’s a very different world now,” John told the Daily Star.

John’s death was announced on Sunday and his loved ones said in a statement that he died “peacefully in his sleep, after a long battle with cancer”.

The statement read: “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.”

Only Fools and Horses is available to stream now on BritBox.

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