Lazar & Boycie in Belgrade

Entrepreneur Lazar Vuković let loose a media stampede in Serbia when he brought over Boycie from popular sit-com Only Fools and Horses.

What one thing did Serbs in Britain and the entire population of Yugoslavia had in common during the 80s?

It’s an answer which will bring a smile to all our faces – an enduring love for the BBC’s Only Fools and Horses.

A few months ago Lazar Vuković met with John Challis who plays one of the show’s best loved characters, used car salesman Boycie. He shared his idea. What if they make a documentary about Serbia’s love for Only Fools and Horses ? And what if Boycie ‘discovers’ Belgrade?

John Challis with fans in Belgrade with Lazar (left)

Lazar told us:

John’s an avid historian, he loves to learn and discover. So I thought why don’t we create a documentary ‘Boycie in Belgrade’? He agreed and the rest is history.

So if you’ve seen a Bojsi / Mućki story in the past two weeks, it’s all down to the making of Boycie in Belgrade. In fact, you’ll find headlines in Blic, N1, 021, Telegraf, RTS, Informer, Vesti, Alo, Naslovi, Hello, Srbija Danas, BBC, B92, Time, Pink, Mondo, Espreso, Kurir …you get the picture.

Boycie makes a cameo appearance in the latest episode of Državni posao (The State Job) one of the most popular comedy programmes on Serbian TV.  In this episode, Đorđe Čvarkov is on the hunt for a motor and hears of one going cheap whose only fault is that the steering is on the wrong side… I’ll leave you to guess the motor and the salesman.

Whilst in Belgrade, Challis had special access to sites not normally accessible to others.

Challis tours the ongoing works at St Sava’s Cathedral with Father Dragan Sovljanski

John also attended a private reception at the British residence hosted by HMA Sian MacLeod plus a guided tour of Red Star Belgrade FC.

Lazar and John share a cognac, Boycie’s favourite drink.

In Belgrade, he would also attend a very special brandy tasting session (Sokolova Rakija). Fans might remember Del Boy doing a deal on 24 litres of Yugoslav Riesling in his garage.

Lazar said that wherever John went, people were warm and welcoming. “They really embraced him”, he said.

I asked Lazar why would a British programme about chancers, scammers and dreamers in Peckham resonate so strongly in Serbia. He has his own theory:

As the sanctions hit Yugoslavia a lot of people were almost forced to become ‘entrepreneurs/traders’. There’s always something going on, a deal to be done, money to be made in Only Fools and Horses. Which was the case in the 90s…

Lazar says he is proud the documentary shows Serbia in a positive light and deals with topics such as humour as a universal language. It should be ready for release by September.

Source: Stan Smiljanić | britic.co.uk

 

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