Comedy actor Rik Mayall dies aged 56


Blackleaf
#1
Comedy actor Rik Mayall, famous for his roles in classic comedies such as The Young Ones, Bottom, Blackadder and The New Statesman, has died aged 56.

His body was found by his wife Barbara Robbin at their home in Barnes, south west London, early yesterday afternoon.

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that police officers were called by the London Ambulance Service to the house at around 1.20pm where a man in his fifties was pronounced dead at the scene. They went on to stress that the death was not believed to be suspicious although the cause of death is not yet known.

Clutching a tissue outside their family home yesterday, Barbara said her husband had ‘a strong heart’, adding: ‘I don’t think it was a heart attack but we just don’t know until the coroner’s report.’

The 58-year-old make-up artist went on to say: ‘Maybe he had a fit, maybe it was his heart. We just don’t know.’

It is thought that his sudden death could be related to a quad bike accident he had in 1998 which left him in a coma for several days and left him with epilepsy.

This morning Mr Mayall's friend, Comic Strip founder, Peter Richardson, said his son had been with the comedian half an hour before he died, and added: 'We still don't know quite what happened but it was a seizure of some sort.'

Mr Richardson, 62, told Radio 4's Today programme Mr Mayall had been 'happily chatting away' to his son half an hour before he died, and added: 'It was very quick.'

Referring to Mr Mayall's 1998 quad bike accident, which left him in a coma, Mr Richardson said: 'Well, he had 16 years after the quad bike - at the time I don't think people thought he would survive that.

'But he lived for another 16 years and it was just shocking that he went: he was so happy and seemed very healthy when he did go.

'He's got a very wonderful family, he was a very loving father. All I can say is Rik's had a very happy life.'

Mr Mayall's long-time comedy partner and good friend Adrian Edmondson, 57, who starred alongside Mr Mayall as punk Vyvyan in the Young Ones and as Eddie Hitler in Bottom, said: '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. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish b******.'

Among those paying tribute was David Walliams, who said: 'I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up, Rik Mayall, has died. He made me want to be a comedian.'

Stephen Fry, who also starred in Blackadder, said on Twitter: 'Simply distraught to hear of the death of Rik Mayall. An authentic comedy genius and a prince among men.'

Comedian Rory Bremner wrote: 'Oh no. Awful news about Rik Mayall - a fireball of creative comic energy and inspiration. Such brilliant raw talent.'

Today DJ Jon Morter launched a campaign to get Rik Mayall's 'lost' England World Cup anthem from 2010 to the top of the charts in his honour.

Speaking on the eve of this year's World Cup, Mr Morter urged people to buy Mr Mayall's song, Noble England, which features him reciting the stirring speech from Shakespeare's Henry V over a football chant.

Mr Morter, who organised a successful campaign to get Rage Against The Machine's song, Killing In The Name, to Number One in 2009, said: 'It would be a great thing for Rik's memory.'

He told London's Evening Standard: 'In 2010 the song didn't do so well because there were so many others out there.

'It's now time for everyone to wake up to this fantastic song.'


'We don't know yet what happened... maybe he had a fit, maybe it was his heart': Rik Mayall's wife Barbara says cause of her husband's death is unknown as co-star Ade Edmondson leads tributes to comedian

Star of Bottom and Blackadder died at home in London, agent confirms
56-year-old leaves his make-up artist wife, Barbara, and their three children
She says her husband had a 'strong heart', but could have suffered a fit
She found his body yesterday at their home in Barnes, south west London
Friend Peter Richardson says his son was with mr Mayall 30 minutes before he died
Comic Strip founder says: 'We still don't know what happened - it could have been a seizure'
Police say the cause of Mr Mayall's death is not thought to be suspicious
Star was photographed walking his dog the day before body was found
Adrian Edmondson says he was 'privileged' to have shared his 'most carefree stupid days' with long-term collaborator and friend
Mr Mayall was left in a coma for five days in 1998 after a quad bike accident
Believed to have been filming in Portugal last week for a Dutch movie

By Luke Salked and Sam Creighton and Lucy Crossley and Martin Robinson and Simon Tomlinson and Leon Watson
10 June 2014
Daily Mail


The heartbroken wife of comedian Rik Mayall said last night that she was mystified by the 56-year-old’s sudden death.

Clutching a tissue outside their family home where she found his body yesterday, Barbara Robbin said her husband had ‘a strong heart’, adding: ‘I don’t think it was a heart attack but we just don’t know until the coroner’s report.’

The 58-year-old make-up artist went on to say: ‘Maybe he had a fit, maybe it was his heart. We just don’t know.’

This morning Mr Mayall's friend, Comic Strip founder, Peter Richardson, said his son had been with the comedian half an hour before he died, and added: 'We still don't know quite what happened but it was a seizure of some sort.'


Last picture: Rik Mayall was photographed walking his dog on Sunday, the day before he died


Mystery: Mr Mayall's wife Barbara Robbin said last night she was mystified by the 56-year-old’s sudden death

Mr Richardson, 62, told Radio 4's Today programme Mr Mayall had been 'happily chatting away' to his son half an hour before he died, and added: 'It was very quick.'

Referring to Mr Mayall's 1998 quad bike accident, which left him in a coma, Mr Richardson said: 'Well, he had 16 years after the quad bike - at the time I don't think people thought he would survive that.

'But he lived for another 16 years and it was just shocking that he went: he was so happy and seemed very healthy when he did go.

'He's got a very wonderful family, he was a very loving father. All I can say is Rik's had a very happy life.'

On Sunday, the day before he was discovered dead, Mr Mayall was photographed walking his dog in south west London.

A spokesman for the family said: ‘It is a terrible shock. All we know at this stage is that Rik died at home. We are all deeply saddened by this news, from the enormous number of fans Rik had to those who worked with him and knew him as a man as well as a fine actor. He touched many lives, and always for the better.’

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that police officers were called by the London Ambulance Service to a house in Barnes, south-west London, at around 1.20pm where a man in his fifties was pronounced dead at the scene. They went on to stress that the death was not believed to be suspicious.


Investigation: A post-mortem examination is due to be held to determine the comedian’s cause of death


Shock: A spokesman for Mr Mayall's family described the comedian's death as a 'terrible shock'


Doffing his cap: Mr mayall saluted a photographer, and punched the air while walking close to his family home

A post-mortem examination is due to be held to determine the comedian’s cause of death – and yesterday Mr Mayall’s body was taken away from the house in a private ambulance as his family looked on.

Born to drama teacher parents in Harlow, Essex, the comic began his career in show business as one half of a duo with long-time collaborator and university friend Adrian Edmondson.


Comedy classic: Mayall (right) starred in The Young Ones as Rick, who lived in a student house with Adrian Edmondson as the punk Vyvyan (left), Nigel Planer as hippie Neil (top), Christopher Ryan as wide boy Mike (bottom)

'There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing,' Edmondson, 57, said.

'They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish b******.'

Mr Mayall, best known for his comedy partnership with Edmondson, leaves his wife, Scottish make-up artist Ms Robbin, and three children, Rosie, Sidney and Bonnie.

Considered one of Britain's comedy greats, he played a number of celebrated brash, crude and vulgar characters in sitcoms including The Young Ones, Blackadder, The New Statesman and Bottom.

He also featured on the big screen in films Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso.

DJ LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO GET MAYALL'S 2010 WORLD CUP SONG TO NO. 1

Today DJ Jon Morter launched a campaign to get Rik Mayall's 'lost' England World Cup anthem from 2010 to the top of the charts in his honour.

Speaking on the eve of this year's World Cup, Mr Morter urged people to buy Mr Mayall's song, Noble England, which features him reciting the stirring speech from Shakespeare's Henry V over a football chant.

Mr Morter, who organised a successful campaign to get Rage Against The Machine's song, Killing In The Name, to Christmas Number One in 2009 to prevent yet another X-Factor winner getting there, said: 'It would be a great thing for Rik's memory.'

He told London's Evening Standard: 'In 2010 the song didn't do so well because there were so many others out there.

'It's now time for everyone to wake up to this fantastic song.'

Rik Mayalls Noble England OFFICIAL VIDEO - YouTube




Family man: Mayall, his wife Barbara Robbins and their children photographed together at a screening of Churchill, The Hollywood Years, in 2004


Scene: A police car outside the comedian's London home. Officers were called to the house at around 1.20pm on Monday where 'a man, aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene'


Emergency call: A London Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed they had been called to the house at 12.07 on Monday

Just days before his death, the star had been filming in Portugal for a Dutch movie, in which he had a supporting role as a landlord in a film based on Dutch novel De Ontsnapping, or The Escape, by Heleen van Royen.

The father-of-three was last seen on TV during last year’s Christmas special of the comedy drama series Man Down and he also contributed to a black comedy sketch, which aired in August last year, called Don’t Fear Death.

The film included the line that death is ‘your passport to complete and utter freedom. No pulse, no responsibilities. Carpe mortem – seize death’.


Meeting: Mayall met fan Esther Kay last week, and posed for a picture with her. She wrote on Twitter: 'Absolutely gutted met him last week and had a joke about'


Last performance? Rik Mayall pictured a few days ago on the set of his latest project in Portugal, has died


Privileged: Mayall's Bottom co-star and friend Adrian Edmondson, right, led the tributes to the comedian saying: 'There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing'

His death comes 16 years after Mayall, best known for his role in 1980s comedy The Young Ones, nearly lost his life and suffered serious head injuries in a quad-bike accident in 1998.

The crash at his farm in south Devon left him in a coma for days, and the father to Rosie, 27, Sidney, 25, and Bonnie, 18, was left suffering from epilepsy.

Yesterday Laurence Marks, the co-writer of The New Statesman in which Mayall played Alan B’Stard, said the accident had a lasting impact on the actor’s health and that his death was ‘not wholly unsurprising’.

He told Radio 4: ‘After Rik had his tragic collision with a tree on his quad bike, I suspect his health started to deteriorate.’


Star: The 56-year-old, who was married with three children, is considered one of Britain's greatest comedy actors and writers for his work in Bottom, The Young Ones and Blackadder


Rik Mayall in 2000 with his wife, the Scottish make-up artist, Barbara Robbin arriving at the Odeon Leicester Square in London for the premiere of his friend Ben Elton's film Maybe Baby. The couple had three children, Rosie, Sidney and Bonnie


Double act: Rik Mayall and his wife Barbara with Jennifer Saunders and Ade Edmondson at Leicester Square in London in May 2000


Close: Rik Mayall with his wife Barbara and one of his three children, eldest daughter Rosie, at a film screening at The Soho Hotel in London


Like father like son: Mayall pulling funny faces with his son Sid, who is now 25, in 1999

Mayall had told the Mail last year: 'The main difference between now and before my accident is I’m just very glad to be alive.

'Other people get moody in their forties and fifties - men get the male menopause. I missed the whole thing. I was just really happy.'

Ben Elton, another university contemporary of Mayall and co-writer of The Young Ones described the star as an 'inspiration'.

























'I met Rik when I was 18 and his friendship and extraordinary comic talent have been an inspiration to me ever since,' he said.

'I owe him so much, he changed my life utterly when he asked me to co-write The Young Ones with him and he was with me on the day I met my wife. He always made me cry with laughter, now he's just made me cry.'

Mayall's Young Ones co-star, Nigel Planer, told the BBC he was 'very, very sad and upset that we've lost Rik, who was inspirational, bonkers, and a great life force'.

He described Mayall as 'a brilliant comedian and someone who made everyone else's lives more fun. He will be really, really missed'.

Mayall's character in the comedy was a Cliff Richard loving student and in 1986 the pop star recorded a charity version of his hit single Living Doll with the show's lead actors for Comic Relief.

Sir Cliff said: 'I became a fan of his when he was in The Young Ones show and was always thrilled when he used my name during his series.

'I am so sad at his parting.'

Other stars joined the tributes to Mayall, taking to Twitter to express their sadness at news of his death.


Among those paying tribute was David Walliams, who said: 'I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up, Rik Mayall, has died. He made me want to be a comedian.'

Stephen Fry, who also starred in Blackadder, said on Twitter: 'Simply distraught to hear of the death of Rik Mayall. An authentic comedy genius and a prince among men.'

Comedian Rory Bremner wrote: 'Oh no. Awful news about Rik Mayall - a fireball of creative comic energy and inspiration. Such brilliant raw talent.'

British novelist Tony Parsons tweeted: 'Rotten news about the death of Rik Mayall - decades too soon.'



Social media joke: Mayall briefly took to Twitter in April 2010 - this is his only tweet - sent because he wanted to stop someone else getting his Twitter handle

'He taught a generation to laugh at the world - and ourselves. Rik Mayall, RIP.'

BBC director of television Danny Cohen said: 'Rik Mayall was a truly brilliant comedian.

'His comic timing was outstanding and his screen presence unique. For a generation of viewers he was a true comedy hero'.

Actress Helen Lederer, who appeared in The Young Ones, tweeted: 'Rik Mayall, I loved you. Gutted. The man who taught me not to crash laughs, has crashed. Real love to wife, children. Massive loss.'


Sudden death: Comedian Rik Mayall has died at the age of 56, his management company said

Comedy star Noel Fielding wrote: 'Growing up there was no-one funnier! We will really miss you Rik Mayall you genius.'

Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh wrote: 'Rik Mayall spread a lot of fun and laughter. Very sad to see him taken before his time.'

Monty Python star Eric Idle said: 'Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall. Far too young. A very funny and talented man.'

Writing on Twitter, Bob Mortimer said: 'Last time I saw him he grabbed my crotch and said 'Not eaten yet then?' So sad.. Funniest man of his generation.'

The comedian would probably have struggled with the Twitter tributes, having been scornful about the social network in his one and only tweet.

He wrote in April 2010: 'Opening my very own Twitter to stop another b****** from doing it. So f*** off and don't expect to hear from me anytime soon. Love Rik x'.

He never tweeted again.

Mayall had a lower profile in recent years but recently had said he wanted to do another series of Bottom with comedy partner Adrian Edmondson, but the pair fell out.

'I thought it would be fun and Ade thought it would be fun but then he had a change of heart. It’s a shame,' he said.

'Of course, I f****** tried to persuade him to change his mind. But if he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t want to.'

Mayall married Scottish make-up artist Barbara Robbin in 1985 while he was still with his long-term girlfriend and writing partner Lise Meyer.

The pair met when they were both working at the BBC in Glasgow, where he claims she fell for his Midlands accent.

Mayall once described how he ‘jumped in a cab, packed a case and my passport and got on a train to Glasgow’ when he found out the then Miss Robbin was pregnant. They got married in Barbados.


Comedy gold: The New Statesman was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran at the request of, and as a starring vehicle for, its principal actor, Rik Mayall (pictured here)


Comedy partners: Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson perform on Saturday Live in 1985


Swashbuckling: Mayall as Lord Flashheart in BBC comedy series Blackadder


The New Statesman starred Rik Mayall as Conservative MP Alan B'Stard. Here is Mayall in the first series which aired in 1987


Rik Mayall as Alan Beresford B'Stard in the sitcom late 1980s and early 1990s The New Statesman, satirising the Conservative government of the time


He recently starred in a series of TV adverts for Bombardier beer


Read more: Rik Mayall dead at the age of 56 but wife Barbara says cause of husband's death is unknown | Mail Online
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Last edited by Blackleaf; Jun 10th, 2014 at 05:34 AM..
 
DaSleeper
#2
The longest winded post so far......


You just beat your own record for a post that nobody will read..........................
 
captain morgan
#3
I was kinda hoping that Blackie would post a couple of hundred more pictures so people can really get the flavour of this man and his roles.

Maybe a slew of youtube videos of every episode of every show he had a role in to really eat-up the bandwidth would be helpful too
 
Blackleaf
#4
Rik Mayall: A goodbye to Lord Flashheart




By Jem Roberts, author of The True History of The Black Adder.
Magazine Monitor: A collection of cultural artefacts
BBC News


Rik Mayall as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder II


After the news of Rik Mayall's death, one of the most fondly recalled moments has been his cameo as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder. None of his characters left a stronger impression than that epitome of boorish, bawdy brilliance, writes Jem Roberts.



It's too often forgotten that Mayall's first appearance in Blackadder was as easily amused prisoner Mad Gerald (credited as "Himself", as part of Rik's early campaign to totally disappear into his roles). But if Gerald was any kind of Flashheart ancestor, surely oceans of sexy genes were added to the family DNA.

Blackadder's endlessly superior childhood friend Flash was originally inspired by a similarly-monikered friend of John Lloyd and Richard Curtis, but once Ben Elton brought in his real-life best man to fill that golden codpiece, the script became immaterial - the swaggering, lusty Flashheart was Mayall's creation.

Director Mandie Fletcher recalled Mayall being quietly obedient through the week's rehearsal for the wedding scene on Blackadder II's "Bells" episode, as Flash arrived and carried away Edmund's beloved Bob. It wasn't until the shells were threaded into Flash's golden mane, the moustache was just about stuck to his upper lip, and above all, the audience - the beloved punters Mayall gleefully fed and fed off throughout his whole life - were in place, that that ball-bouncingly bravura performance, now indelibly glued into the national psyche, was allowed to burst forth.

There were further flashes of Flash - the unforgettable Squadron Leader of Blackadder Goes Forth, Robin Hood, and even the 18th Century beer-swilling persona of the Bombardier - but it was in Mayall himself that the erotically charged charmer really lived on, just one aspect of a magical character we all felt we knew, or certainly wanted to.

Mayall once told the Guardian that his interaction with his audience was "very sexual - you mass them together and sense what they want and give it to them just before they ask for it". Just like Flashheart, "woof"-ing off into the history books with a final unforgettable explosion, now Rik has left us all eternally wanting more.

BBC News - Rik Mayall: A goodbye to Lord Flashheart

[video]https://

BBC News - Rik Mayall A goodbye to Lord Flashheart

 
Blackleaf
#5
The funeral of one of the world's best-loved comedy actors, Rik Mayall, who died on 9th June, has taken place today.

Comedy partners Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, who is the wife of Mayall's comedy partner Ade Edmondson, who starred alongside Mayall as punk Vyvyan in The Young Ones and as Eddie Hitler in Bottom and appeared in an episode of Blackadder with him as the Red Baron, and other friends of Rik Mayall have joined his family to mourn the comedian and actor at a private funeral in Devon.

Ben Elton - who co-wrote The Young Ones (with Mayall) and Blackadder - Ruby Wax and Mayall's Young Ones co-star Nigel Planer were among other guests at the service, held in the picturesque village of Dittisham.

Edmondson was among the pall-bearers as the coffin was led from the church.

Guests filed out to the sounds of the Van Morrison hit Brown Eyed Girl.

A vintage Rolls-Royce, which carried Mayall's family to the service, struggled to cope with the incline which led to the church holding up the vehicles taking guests away from the service.

Mayall's family have asked fans for their "thoughts and prayers" ahead of his burial this afternoon.

An England football song recorded by the patriotic Mayall four years ago has gone into the UK top 10 after a campaign by fans to pay tribute to the late comedian.

Fans began buying Noble England after his death and it has landed at number seven in last week's official UK singles chart.

Mayall was 56 when he died after having what his wife described as "an acute cardiac event" following a morning run.

Rik Mayall mourned at private funeral in Devon

19 June 2014
BBC News


Dawn French (l) and Ruby Wax were among the celebrity guests at Rik Mayall's funeral

Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and other friends of Rik Mayall have joined his family to mourn the comedian and actor at a private funeral in Devon.

Ben Elton, Ruby Wax and Mayall's Young Ones co-star Nigel Planer were among other guests at the service, held in the picturesque village of Dittisham.

Mayall's family have asked fans for their "thoughts and prayers" ahead of his burial this afternoon.

A memorial service is expected to take place in September.

Around 140 mourners gathered at St George's Church to celebrate the life of the star, who died last week aged 56 at his home in south west London.


Comedian Jennifer Saunders, the wife of Mayall's comedy partner and friend Ade Edmondson, arrives at the Devon service. Edmondson was amongst the pall-bearers


Author Ben Elton, who co-wrote The Young Ones with Mayall and also co-wrote Blackadder, also attended

The comedian, who collapsed following what his widow Barbara Robbins called an "acute cardiac event" after a morning run, was carried into the church in a wicker coffin adorned with red flowers.

Ade Edmondson was among the pall-bearers as the coffin was led from the church.

In a statement, Ms Robbins said she had wanted to let fans know about the ceremony "knowing the swell of love you all share with us".

"We would like to let you, the fans, know that we will be having a private family funeral for Rik, as I am sure you will understand," she said.


The Young Ones, which ran from 1982 to 1984, was set in a dilapidated student house. L-R: Rick Mayall as Rick ("with a silent P"); Ade Edmondson as Vyvyan Basterd; Nigel Planer as Neil Wheedon Watkins Pye; and Chrisropher Ryan as Mike "The-Cool-Person"

"We will be burying him at 2pm on Thursday June 19 if you would like to join us in thoughts and prayer at this time.

"Thank you again for all your love and support to all our family, it brings great strength."

Campaign

Mayall's best-loved roles included poetry-writing anarchist Rick in The Young Ones alongside comedy partner Adrian Edmondson. The pair later created the slapstick sitcom Bottom.

Mayall also played conniving Conservative MP Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman and made a big impression in the comparatively small role of Lord Flashheart in Blackadder.


Mayall also starred in Bottom, Blackadder and The New Statesman

A social media campaign, started in Mayall's memory, saw his 2010 World Cup song Noble England make the Top 10 of the UK singles chart on Sunday.

Other guests at his funeral included Harry Potter star Alan Rickman and the actor and director Peter Richardson, with whom Mayall worked repeatedly on the Comic Strip Presents films.

Appropriately, with the World Cup upon us, an England football song recorded by the patriotic Mayall for the 2010 World Cup has gone into the UK top 10 after a campaign by fans to pay tribute to the late comedian.

Fans began buying Noble England, which features him reciting the stirring speech from Shakespeare's Henry V over a football chant, after his death and it landed at number seven in last week's official UK singles chart.

Rik Mayalls Noble England OFFICIAL VIDEO - YouTube




BBC News - Rik Mayall mourned at private funeral in Devon
Last edited by Blackleaf; Jun 19th, 2014 at 09:21 AM..
 

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