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28 October 2014

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The Green Green Grass

Cast of The Green Green Grass

It's tough to make a comic spin-off succeed and even tougher when it's spun-off from a success as massive as Only Fools and Horses.

John Challis as Boycie

This makes writer John Sullivan either very brave or very foolish to decide to take one of the show's more minor characters, Peckham's most successful second-hand-car-salesman Boycie, and build a series around him.

The Green, Green Grass follows the time-honoured fish-out-of-water format, our hero having been forced to flee Peckham, with wife Marlene and son Tyler in tow, after grassing-up infamous local villains the Driscoll Brothers.

Jed and Bryan

Now he is stuck in Shropshire, desperately trying to become a gentleman farmer as his staff – cunning farm manager Elgin Sparrowhawk, serially-lovestruck herdsman Bryan and dim ploughman Jed – try desperately to separate him from all that car-dealing cash he's amassed and neighbour, Llewellyn, just desperately dislikes him.

Meanwhile, Boycie's family are less than enamoured by their new surroundings.

Sue Holderness as Marlene Boyce

Marlene in particular has a hard time adjusting to the lack of health farms, boozy lunches and shopping trips up west, not to mention dealing with shy, alternative-therapy-obsessed housekeeper Mrs Cakeworthy.

Tyler's horror at being stuck in the sticks, on the other hand, might not be as great as he claims, especially after he manages to hook up with local girl Beth.

While never reaching the heights of Only Fools and Horses, The Green, Green Grass has succeeded in extending the franchise, rounding out Boycie's dimensions and making him into a real human being, while subtly toning down his tempestuous relationship with Marlene.

It is unfortunate that, compared to the Boyces, the other characters can feel like the stereotypical rural dimwits already seen in programmes like The Vicar of Dibley and Wild West.


John Challis
Sue Holderness
Marlene Boyce
Jack Doolan
Tyler Boyce
David Ross
Elgin Sparrowhawk
Ivan Kaye
Peter Heppelthwaite
Ella Kenion
Mrs Cakeworthy
Alan David
Karen Paullada


John Sullivan
Tony Dow
Gareth Gwenlan

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