John Challis, who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, reveals that he loves Belgrade and hates flying – and that he once encountered a ‘hotel from hell’ in Glasgow that banned actors
John Challis checks into our travel Q&A
This week actor John Challis checks into our travel Q&A.
He talks about his earliest holiday memory, his favourite city, a hotel from hell – and more.
EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?
Going to Weston-super-Mare — I’ll never forget losing my catapult on the beach.
FIRST TRIP ABROAD?
An exchange trip, aged 15, to a holiday camp in Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, France, in the late 1950s. The idea was to get fit, and there was a lot of jumping up and down on the beach. But it had a touch of the PoW camp about it because there was a fence to stop us getting out.
Belgrade, which lies at the junction of two great European rivers and is full of history. Only Fools And Horses is huge there, so wherever I went people were calling out, ‘Hey, Boycie!’
ANY MUST-SEE SIGHTS?
The Serbian Orthodox Temple of Saint Sava, with its beautiful mosaics.
FAVOURITE HOTEL IN BELGRADE?
I stay at the Zepter in the centre of town — everything is close to hand.
HOTEL FROM HELL?
In my early days as an actor I saw a sign in a Glasgow B&B saying, ‘No theatricals’. A lot of guesthouse owners thought actors never paid, were always drunk and would run off with their daughter.
ARE YOU A GOOD FLYER?
No, I’ve always been terrified of flying and sit there rigid in my chair until we touch down.
John hopes to visit the Jurassic Coast this summer. Pictured is Durdle Door in Dorset, which is one of the area’s most eye-catching spots
WOULD BOYCIE MAKE A GOOD TRAVEL BUDDY?
He’d be a nightmare, complaining about the service and always looking for special treatment.
I hope to head to the Devon, Dorset and Jurassic coast this summer — but next year I want to take a train across America.
WOULD BOYCIE’S DREAM BREAK BE ANYTHING LIKE YOURS?
No. It would involve holding court in a fancy hotel restaurant and moaning about ‘foreigners’, whereas I like to explore wherever I visit.