Corby movie maker bringing Boycie premiere to home town

The documentary film was made by a Corby-born entrepreneur
Lazar and JohnLazar and John
Lazar and John

A lovely jubbly documentary film that was dreamt up by a Corby entrepreneur will premiere at the Savoy Cinema in his home town later this month.

Corby-born businessman Lazar Vuković worked with actor John Challis, who played used-car salesman Boycie in BBC TV's Only Fools and Horses, on a travelogue with a difference.

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‘Boycie in Belgrade’ documents Mr Challis' tour of the Serbian capital, meeting Only Fools fans in Belgrade where the show is just as popular as in the UK.

He had first learned of Only Fools and Horses' popularity in the Balkans when a Serbian TV crew interviewed him in the UK - an incident mentioned in his one-man show 'Only Fools and Boycies', which Mr Vuković went to see at the Masque Theatre in Barton Seagrave.

Mr Challis, speaking to the Northants Telegraph from his Herefordshire home, said: "When the TV crew came to interview me I kept looking around expecting Noel Edmonds or Ant and Dec to jump out and say 'gotcha'.

"I kept thinking this can't be happening, then I realised the amount of affection and love there was for it [Only Fools and Horses] in different places in the world, especially Serbia."

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Mr Vuković said: "I went to see John Challis’s one-man show with my sister and he mentioned that he'd been to Belgrade on a chat show. That's when I got the idea. I said do you fancy doing a documentary and he said yes."

Three months later the pair travelled to Belgrade with a camera crew visiting St Sava’s Cathedral, the British Ambassador's official residence for a tea party and a kick about at Red Star Belgrade FC.

Mr Challis said: "I even did a cameo on Serbia's most popular TV show - although there wasn't much rehearsal.

"I think Only Fools and Horses was so popular because everyone knows a Del Boy, everyone knows a Rodney, everyone knows a Boycie.

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"During the war I think that they huddled around their TVs watching Only Fools and Horses and it was the only thing that would make them smile.

John on set in SerbiaJohn on set in Serbia
John on set in Serbia

"Lots of people said to me 'will you do the laugh' or they would do the laugh for me."

The Savoy in George Street will show Boycie in Belgrade for two nights on Friday, October 16 at 7.45pm and Thursday, October 22 at 7.45pm.

At the moment neither Mr Vuković nor Mr Challis will be able to attend the premiere - Mr Vuković will be attending the Serbian premiere and Mr Challis is currently shielding at home.

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Mr Challis said: "I would love to be there but I'm self-isolating. I hope to bring my one-man show to Corby next year.

You can watch the film at the SavoyYou can watch the film at the Savoy
You can watch the film at the Savoy

"I hope everyone enjoys it. I really enjoyed doing it and would love to do more in the future."

Boycie in Belgrade will show for two night on Friday, October 16 and Thursday, October 22, with 40 to 50 tickets available each evening.

Deputy manager Rhys Fry said: "It's great for Corby I'm looking foward to it. It's good to see a local entrepreneur to show a film at our local cinema."

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Mr Vuković added: "John is going to be doing a special video message to the people in the cinema. Unfortunately, the date of the Serbian premiere clashes but who knows I might still be in Corby - they might lock down.

"My family will be attending - my wife, children, sisters, uncles, and cousins. It's quite a thing to have a film premiere in your hometown. It just goes to show what you can do if you put your mind to it."

The duo hope to continue their travelogue after Covid restrictions are lifted with a follow-up planned for Montenegro and Croatia.

To order a copy of the DVD click here. From Corby to Peckham to Belgrade and back with Only Fools' BoycieMessage from the editor: Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

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