TWO celebrities who live in Herefordshire have had their first dose of the coronavirus vaccination.

John Challis, best known for his roles as Boycie in the BBC classic Only Fools and Horses and as Monty Staines in ITV's Benidorm, shared a picture on Twitter of him getting the jab.

Sharing the picture on Twitter, he said: "You can keep your hat on. The deed is done."

BBC Gardener's World host Monty Don has also had his first jab.

Mr Challis, 78, lives in the picturesque village of Adforton on the Herefordshire-Shropshire border.

He and his wife live at Wigmore Abbey, which he commonly refers to on Twitter as Wigmore Towers.

John Challis is happy to accept he’ll always be best known for playing Only Fools And Horses’ cigar–chomping wide boy Boycie.

The iconic BBC sitcom, which ran from 1981-1999, with a string of one-off specials until 2003, catapulted him to fame – and who could forget Herman Terrance Aubrey ‘Boycie’ Boyce, with his cackling laugh and signature cry of ‘Marleeeene!’


When previously he was asked what one of the turning points in his life was, he said: “Meeting my fourth wife, Carol.

"I’d pretty well resigned myself to being single because I was convinced I was hopeless at relationships after having three failed marriages behind me. She believed in me, grounded me, and was such a steadying influence and we’ve been married 25 years.

"Our passion is restoring and preserving our home, Wigmore Abbey in Herefordshire, which dates from the 12th century. Some of the scenes in The Green Green Grass were filmed here.”

Mr Challis had previously acknowledged Herefordshire's impressive start to the coronavirus vaccination programme, with official figures from the NHS showing, along with Worcestershire, the county had given jabs to one of the highest percentages of over-80s in England.

In reply to the tweet, Matthew Saunders referenced the iconic Only Fools and Horses joking: "I hear Del Boy's been selling dodgy vaccines down the Nag's Head."

He has also praised The Stagg Inn at Titley, a local pub and restaurant, for their takeaway service during the coronavirus lockdown.

BBC Gardener's World star Monty Don, who also lives in north Herefordshire, also confirmed on Twitter that he had the first jab.

"I had my first Oxford/Zeneca vaccination this afternoon and hugely impressed and grateful for the professionalism, cheerfulness and efficiency of everyone involved," he said.


Monty Don's Longmeadow Garden is tucked away in the countryside near Ivington, Leominster, with the TV show filmed there.

Mr Don, now 65, married Sarah Erskine in 1983 and together they have sons Adam and Tom and daughter Freya.

In 1989, they moved to The Hanburies, a country house in Herefordshire, but lost the house when their jewellery business crashed. It was then in 1991 the Dons bought the house in Ivington where Longmeadow was created.

Born in Germany and raised in England, Don's dog Nigel became the unlikely star of Gardeners' World, with tributes flooding in when his death was announced last year.