I don't have moments of weakness. I'm Rik Mayall
Rik Mayall was one of the biggest British comedy names to come out of the Eighties. The son of two Essex drama teachers, he met Adrian Edmondson at Manchester University and they became one of TV’s best loved character-based double acts.
Rik first made an impact performing at the Comedy Store in London. Two of the characters he appeared as would soon become familiar on TV; Redditch-bound 'investigative journalist' Kevin Turvey, and Cliff Richard obsessed sociology student Rik. As Rik, he became iconic in the anarchic sitcom The Young Ones, while Kevin Turvey featured on sketch show A Kick Up The Eighties.
Mayall fizzed with the kind of energy that meant it was not always possible to tell where the characters ended and real-life began. In his flamboyant cameo as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder he clearly relished delivering some of the series’ most outrageous and unforgettable lines: “Woof! – she’s got a tongue like an electric eel and likes the taste of a man’s tonsils.”
He also played other famous characters, including Phoebe Cates’ imaginary friend Drop Dead Fred, in the movie of the same name, evil MP Alan B’Stard in The New Statesman, and co-starring again alongside his frequent collaborator Ade Edmondson in Bottom.
Rick’s health suffered following a serious quad biking accident in 1998.
Speaking after Rik’s sudden death from a heart attack in 2014, Ade Edmondson had fond memories: "There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree, stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him.”