Only Fools and Horses’ Sue Holderness reveals what people shout at her in supermarkets

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
4 Min Read

One British TV star can’t escape the echoes of her iconic past. Sue Holderness, renowned for her role as Marlene Boyce in the timeless sitcom “Only Fools and Horses,” recently shared her delight in still being recognised for the character that became a household name.

The 74-year-old actress, who played the long-suffering wife of the infamous Boycie, portrayed by the late John Challis, reflected on the enduring popularity of the show that aired from 1981 to 2003. Despite two decades passing since the series wrapped up, Sue remains a familiar face to fans. She even reveals she still gets noticed in the Supermarket.

Sue, who reprised her role on the spin-off show “The Green Green Grass,” revealed, “I hear ‘Marlene’ said to me in many a supermarket aisle – I love it. Occasionally I see re-run episodes I had forgotten, and they’re brilliantly constructed.”

Holderness Embraces New Generation Of Fans

But it’s not just nostalgic adults stopping Sue in her tracks. A new generation of comedy fans, introduced to the classic sitcom by their parents, approach her during her weekly shop. Sue shared her joy, saying, “I have young kids come up to me and say they were watching the show last night because their dad told them to. When it stopped in 1996 the BBC was bombarded with letters asking where the show was at Christmas. That’s what families would do.”

Marlene and Boycie Only Fools and Horses

Her love for being recognised in public extends beyond the supermarket shelves. Despite a career that spans various TV roles, including appearances on “EastEnders,” “Still Open All Hours,” and “Cold Feet,” Sue cherishes the moments when fans shout “Marlene” at her. She expressed her gratitude, stating, “I’m lucky because ‘Only Fools’ goes on playing.”

In the world of showbiz, Sue’s co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst is also making waves. His role in the revived American sitcom “Frasier” has garnered praise, with Kelsey Grammer noting Nicholas’s extraordinary talent. The 62-year-old actor plays Alan Cornwall, a fellow professor alongside Frasier Crane in the new series.

Sue’s on-screen partner, the legendary Del Boy Trotter, played by Sir David Jason, recently faced a setback due to a hip operation. The 83-year-old actor, updating fans on ITV’s Lorraine, regretted missing a recent “Only Fools and Horses” convention. Despite this, the show’s enduring legacy continues to captivate audiences.

A Life In TV

Sue Holderness, born on 28th May 1949 in Hampstead, London, boasts a rich career beyond her iconic Marlene role. From stage to screen, she has graced productions like “Bless This House,” “The New Avengers,” and “The Cleopatras.” However, her portrayal of Marlene Boyce remains a standout, defining her career from 1985 to 2003.

In her personal life, Sue is happily married to Mark Piper, the former executive director of the Theatre Royal, Windsor. With two adult children, Harriet and Freddie, Sue embraces her role as a strong supporter and ambassador for Thames Hospice.

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