Belfast Telegraph

Only Fools and Horses star John Challis visits festival

By Allan Preston

Only Fools and Horses favourite John "Boycie" Challis was among the special guests at Stormont yesterday as part of the Belfast Book Festival.

Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir hosted the star at the estate's Glasshouse conference centre along with local actor Paddy Scully, who appeared in the 1999 film Angela's Ashes.

Yesterday had special literary significance around the world because it was Bloomsday, a celebration of Irish writer James Joyce's seminal novel Ulysses.

The Stormont event included live readings by Mr Scully, who reflected on a day in the life of the fictional character Leopold Bloom, as imagined by Joyce in his 1922 novel.

Last night, Mr Challis also discussed his long life in showbusiness at an event in the Crescent Arts Centre with actress Nuala McKeever.

As well as being one of the best loved comedy actors in the UK, Mr Challis is also the author of the books Being Boycie and Reggie: A Stag at Bay.

Finance Minister Mr O Muilleoir said: "The arts should be at the heart of every facet of our lives.

"I was delighted to host this salute to the pre-eminent writer of the 20th century and celebrate his epic work Ulysses - the greatest book ever written in the English language."

Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland added: "The Arts Council is committed to placing art at the heart of social, economic and creative life."

The Belfast Book Festival continues until Sunday June 19. For more information, visit www.belfastbook

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