I am so very sad at the passing of Rik Mayall earlier today, aged just 56.
Rik was perhaps the greatest comedian of his generation, from a rich vintage that included Rowan Atkinson, Ade Edmonson and Ben Elton. There aren’t many people who have ever stolen the show when appearing on screen with Rowan Atkinson, but in Blackadder with Lord Flashheart, Rik did so effortlessly.
He first came to my attention with the character of Kevin Turvey in A Kick Up The Eighties:
In 1982 The Young Ones exploded onto our screens, including this memorable scene with Motorhead.
Then came Bad News from The Comic Strip Presents….
I nearly saw Bad News play Donington in 1986, but in the event only heard them, as the coach I was on was delayed in traffic and they left the stage just as I entered the field. However, a few years later I saw them play Reading Festival, when Brian May joined them onstage for perhaps the most shambolic cover of Bohemian Rhapsody it is possible to imagine….
There’s so many more memories. Bottom, Comic Strip Presents, Alan B’Stard in The New Statesman, and that scene stealing role as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder II amongst many others:
Everything he did was funny, he never did anything that wasn’t funny, and it all had the most amazing effect on me as I grew up. He was one of us, and he will be greatly missed.