The Green Green Grass cast now – tragic death, hidden role and ‘other husband’

The Green Green Grass cast now – tragic death, hidden role and ‘other husband’

May 16, 2023
  • Bookmark
  • Sign up for the Daily Star TV newsletter for the biggest TV news

    We have more newsletters

    The late Only Fools and Horses icon John Challis landed his own spin-off in 2005, when he played Boycie in the hit comedy series The Green Green Grass.

    Boycie, wife Marlene and son Tyler moved to the countryside after having to flee the city due to notorious gangsters – and encountered a number of amusing characters at their new home.

    The Green Green Grass aired between 2005 to 2009 and still continues to air on comedy channels including Gold, with new generations discovering the antics of the Boyce family.

    READ MORE: David Jason's life – Del Boy Only Fools return, heartbreaking losses and marriage

    Here, Daily Star takes a closer look at where the cast of The Green Green Grass are now.

    John Challis (Terence Aubrey "Boycie" Boyce)

    John Challis became a TV legend when he took on the role of Terence Aubrey "Boycie" Boyce in Only Fools and Horses – with the star landing his own spin-off series The Green Green Grass in 2005.

    He led a long and successful acting career before Only Fools, appearing in Citizen Kane, Coronation Street, Z-Cars and The Newcomers before landing comedy fame.

    From there he appeared in numerous theatre productions and TV series such as Doctor Who, Open All Hours, My Family, Benidorm, Heartbeat and Last of the Summer Wine.

    He also became an honorary citizen of Serbia, where Only Fools and Horses is hugely popular, with the actor making a documentary called Boycie in Belgrade in 2020.

    Away from the limelight, John had no children and was married four times – first to Jean Robertson in 1966 and then to Debbie Arnold between 1981 to 1985.

    He was later married to Sabina Franklyn for one year from 1988, before meeting wife Carol Davies, who he married in 1995.

    However, fans were devastated following John's death in 2021.

    The actor died aged 79 after being diagnosed with cancer, shortly after the 40th anniversary of the programme, with fans and stars from the world of entertainment paying tribute.

    Although Del Boy and Boycie often landed themselves in trouble with schemes, or shared sarcastic words with one another, both John and Only Fools and Horses co-star David Jason were close in real life.

    Speaking on This Morning following the announcement, David reflected on his friendship with John, saying: "John Challis was such a kind and such an ordinary loveable sort of chap. Totally different to the character Boycie he played."

    He added: "A lot of people tend to think that was John but it wasn't, it just shows the skills that he had an actor to portray Boycie the way that he did because it was totally against his natural nature."

    Sue Holderness (Marlene Boyce)

    Sue Holderness was already a huge TV star before she joined Only Fools and Horses as Boycie's wife Marlene – a role she reprised in The Green Green Grass.

    The actress began her career on the stage in productions such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Catch My Soul, before appearing in TV series such as The New Avengers, Bless This House, Minder and Canned Laughter.

    She also played Shirley in 1973 David Essex film That'll Be The Day.

    After her Green Green Grass and Only Fools Fame, Sue has not left our screens, appearing in Casualty, Doctors, Still Open All Hours and EastEnders as Estelle Jones – along with currently playing Judith in The Madame Blanc Mysteries.

    Away from our screens, Sue is married to Mark Piper, a former executive director of the Theatre Royal, Windsor, with who she has two children called Harriet and Freddie.

    She has also appeared on TV talk shows including Lorraine, where she paid tribute to her co-star John Challis, who she called her "other husband."

    "How lucky was I that John Challis came to be the other husband in my life. We were friends from the word go. Just five weeks ago we were having lunch together.

    "In fact, less than four weeks before he died, John and I were filming together all day and he was fine. He was as much fun as usual, got a bit tired towards the end of the day. So the end came very quickly.

    She continued: "I can honestly say, I don’t believe he’s gone. I think he’s watching us now and I think we must talk about our loved ones who are no longer with us."

    Jack Doolan (Tyler Boyce)

    Marlene and Boycie were joined by their son Tyler in The Green Green Grass, played by Jack Doolan.

    Jack had previously starred in Spooks, EastEnders and The Bill before landing his comedy role and has since appeared in TV series and films such as Cockneys Vs Zombies, Marcella, Call The Midwife and The Nan Movie.

    He most recently appeared as the voice of Tommy the Horse in Prime Video series The Boys.

    However, the actor tends to keep his personal life away from the public eye and it is not known if he is single or in a relationship.

    David Ross (Elgin Sparrowhawk)

    David Ross played Elgin Sparrowhawk in The Green Green Grass – but fans may recognise him from another huge comedy series.

    The star originally played Kryten in Red Dwarf, as well as the second Talkie Toaster and betting shop owner Basil in Goodnight Sweetheart – opposite Only Fools alumni Nicholas Lyndhurst.

    Speaking about his role as Kryten in Red Dwarf during a documentary Red Dwarf: The First Three Million Years, Coronation Street actor Craig Charles said: "The first Kryten, he was very good wasn’t he? There was something Brando about him."

    Robert Llewellyn, who took over the role for nearly three decades, then joked: "31 years I’ve been hearing this. I’m still the new boy, 31 years later."

    David's lengthy career spans back to 1974, with the actor appearing in films and TV series such as Boys from the Blackstuff, Scully, Juliet Bravo, Doc Martin, Last of the Summer Wine and three separate roles in Coronation Street.

    The actor's most recent credited roles were in 2013's The Job and as Talkie Toaster in a 2017 episode of Red Dwarf, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

    Away from the limelight, The Guardian reported that David previously lived in Blackburn with his first wife and two daughters.

    Ivan Kaye (Bryan)

    One of Ivan Kaye's most famous roles was as Bryan in The Green Green Grass, with the star going on to international fame since then.

    Ivan first landed leading roles in Sam Saturday during the nineties, before going on to star in Layer Cake, The Paradise Club and BBC soap EastEnders as Dr Jonathan Leroy.

    From there he hit international fame, starring as Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton's 2012 film Dark Shadows and Aelle of Northumbria in hit period drama Vikings between 2013 to 2017.

    That's not all, as has appeared in theatre productions including The Rocky Horror Show, View from the Bridge and Cinderella.

    He most recently appeared in Wedding Season and the Sister Boniface Mysteries, as well as being listed as appearing in a number of films and TV series currently in post-production.

    It's no surprise then that Ivan is estimated to have a net worth of $2m (£1.5m) according to Idol Net Worth.

    In his personal life, Ivan has two children.

    Ella Kenion (Imelda Cakeworthy)

    Ella Kenion became another comedy icon when she played Imelda Cakeworthy in The Green Green Grass – and has starred in plenty of other comedy series since then.

    Following a career in shows including Black Books, Doc Martin, The Catherine Tate Show, Secret Smile and Benidorm, she starred in The Green Green Grass between 2005 to 2009.

    She has since appeared in Comedy Showcase, Doctor Who, Swashbuckle, Midsummer Murders, Stan and Ollie, The Knight Before Christmas, The Outlaws and most recently, Beyond Paradise.

    Like her Green Green Grass co-stars, Ella tends to keep her personal life private, but it is known that she is married to husband Andrew Appleyard.


    • Paul Nicholas says surprise coincidence led him to taking Just Good Friends role
    • Where Just Good Friends stars are now – tragic deaths, career U-turn and EastEnders
    • Forgotten TV icon transformations – Lovejoy actor, The Good Life star and Bread hunk

    For more of the latest showbiz news from Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

    • Only Fools and Horses
    • BBC

    Source: Read Full Article