So long, Rik

10 Jun

I was very sad to hear of the premature death of Rik Mayall yesterday. He was at the centre of the new wave of British comedy in the eighties but managed to diversify into acting. He first came to my attention as Kevin Turvey, a self-deluded youth who thought himself a great investigative reporter. This was in the series ‘A Kick Up The Eighties’. His big break came as student poetaster and all purpose pillock, Rik in ‘The Young Ones’. He also appeared in several Comic Strip stories and then starred as Tory Backbencher Alan Bastaard in ‘The New Statesman’, which probably was more true to Conservative Party shenanigans than it was ever meant to be. Then there was ‘Bottom’, a gross-out comedy with his comedy partner, Ade Edmonson. They also appeared as a stage double act.

His two appearances in ‘Blackadder’ were both as Lord Flasheart, in series two and four. The character was pure ego in both episodes, and are possibly the greatest cameo performances ever given – Woof!

A serious accident in 1998 while riding a quod bike left him in a coma for five days, and he was never quite the same, though he acted occasionally, appearing in Jonathon Creek among other programmes.

In private life he appears to have been a quiet family man, nothing like the monsters he liked to portray. His influence on comedy, and indirectly, society were large. He was more than just a physical comedian and held a mirror up to all our pretentions. My condolences to his family and friends.



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