Rik Mayall dies aged 56

Daily Echo: Rik Mayall in Southampton as Alan B'Stard in 2007 Rik Mayall in Southampton as Alan B'Stard in 2007

Comedian and actor Rik Mayall died this morning, a spokesman for Brunskill Management said today.

Daily Echo: Rik with long time comedy partner Adrian Edmondson

The 56-year-old was best known for his roles in TV shows The Young Ones, Bottom, Blackadder and The New Statesman.

In 2007, he last performed in Southampton as Alan B'Stard at the Mayflower Theatre.

More recently he has been appearing in television adverts for Bombardier, as a character similar to Flashheart, whom he played in the Blackadder shows.

Mayall started on stage in a duo, The Dangerous Brothers, with long-time collaborator Adrian Edmondson after they met at Manchester University.

The pair, who appeared together in The Young Ones, reprised their original act in the anarchic comedy, Bottom.

The circumstances around his death are not yet known.

He was left seriously ill after a quad bike accident in 1998 which left him in a coma for several days, but was working until recently.

Speaking about the accident last year, Mayall said doctors had kept him alive on a life-support machine for five days and were about to turn it off when he began to show signs of life.

He used to mark the occasion by exchanging presents with his wife and children and said the near-death experience changed his life.

He said: ''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.''

Among those paying tribute to Mayall 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.''

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

Blackadder producer John Lloyd said Mayall was ''just extraordinary''.

Speaking to BBC News, he said: ''It's really a dreadful piece of news.

''I remember going to the very first night of the Comedy Store and thinking 'Where does this come from?'.

''It was the most extraordinary thing, him and Ade Edmondson doing the Dangerous Brothers, they were called, and you just felt you were in the presence of something, a whole revolutionary thing.''

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.''

Mayall's spokeswoman confirmed that the actor, who was married with three children, died at home in London.

Mayall, who was born in Harlow, Essex, to drama teacher parents, also appeared in shows including Filthy, Rich and Catflap.

Other notable characters included the conniving Conservative MP Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman and the feckless investigative journalist Kevin Turvey.

Comments (22)

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4:05pm Mon 9 Jun 14

RomseyKeith says...

RIP Lord Flasheart, Alan B'stard, Rick and Richard Richard. Great characters brought to life by Rick Mayall. My old uni lecturer wrote the 2nd series of The New Statesman and always spoke highly of him. Such a shame at 56.
RIP Lord Flasheart, Alan B'stard, Rick and Richard Richard. Great characters brought to life by Rick Mayall. My old uni lecturer wrote the 2nd series of The New Statesman and always spoke highly of him. Such a shame at 56. RomseyKeith
  • Score: 25

4:09pm Mon 9 Jun 14

aldermoorboy says...

Very sad news, RIP
Very sad news, RIP aldermoorboy
  • Score: 20

4:11pm Mon 9 Jun 14

itsnotjustice says...

grew up watching rick on tv and just been getting back into watching him on gold.... seeing this has left me absolutelly gutted, as gutted as when sir markus died... such a tragic shame. rest in peace rik... so young. so talented. so loved
grew up watching rick on tv and just been getting back into watching him on gold.... seeing this has left me absolutelly gutted, as gutted as when sir markus died... such a tragic shame. rest in peace rik... so young. so talented. so loved itsnotjustice
  • Score: 20

4:15pm Mon 9 Jun 14

elvisimo says...

taught a whole generation to laugh - principally at themselves. - very sad and huge loss.
taught a whole generation to laugh - principally at themselves. - very sad and huge loss. elvisimo
  • Score: 21

4:19pm Mon 9 Jun 14

WoolstonSean says...

This is so sad to hear he was a true legend in British comedy who will be sadly missed.

RIP Rik
This is so sad to hear he was a true legend in British comedy who will be sadly missed. RIP Rik WoolstonSean
  • Score: 17

4:33pm Mon 9 Jun 14

bobby the crane says...

So very sad only 56 years old such a same one of the worlds Greatest s
Will be Sadly Missed
RIP Rick
So very sad only 56 years old such a same one of the worlds Greatest s Will be Sadly Missed RIP Rick bobby the crane
  • Score: 13

4:40pm Mon 9 Jun 14

sparkster says...

RIP Rik you made us laugh, you will be missed, you got through the quad bike accident too
RIP Rik you made us laugh, you will be missed, you got through the quad bike accident too sparkster
  • Score: 10

4:59pm Mon 9 Jun 14

camerajuan says...

Devastating News!

One of the originals of British Comedy. Will be sadly missed. My housemate has all the Bottom videos in his collection & he is the only one who gets all the quotes!

Rest easy Snotface, your work here is done!
Devastating News! One of the originals of British Comedy. Will be sadly missed. My housemate has all the Bottom videos in his collection & he is the only one who gets all the quotes! Rest easy Snotface, your work here is done! camerajuan
  • Score: 12

5:42pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Crazysexycute says...

I really thought it was some kind of joke when I first saw Rik had died on fb.
Can't believe this is true, what a legend he will be sadly missed :( xx
I really thought it was some kind of joke when I first saw Rik had died on fb. Can't believe this is true, what a legend he will be sadly missed :( xx Crazysexycute
  • Score: 10

5:54pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Dready84 says...

Gutted, utterly gutted. RIP Rik. I'll watch my Bottom live at The Mayflower video tonight in your honour.
Gutted, utterly gutted. RIP Rik. I'll watch my Bottom live at The Mayflower video tonight in your honour. Dready84
  • Score: 13

6:53pm Mon 9 Jun 14

userds5050 says...

From the Bottom live video filmed at The Mayflower: "Actually, I'm from Southampton." "Oh, why did you leave?" "I found the train station." RIP
From the Bottom live video filmed at The Mayflower: "Actually, I'm from Southampton." "Oh, why did you leave?" "I found the train station." RIP userds5050
  • Score: 13

7:55pm Mon 9 Jun 14

03alpe01 says...

RIP
RIP 03alpe01
  • Score: 6

8:01pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Kirsty666 says...

Rest in peace Rik sad loss to the comedy world.
Rest in peace Rik sad loss to the comedy world. Kirsty666
  • Score: 9

8:12pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Kirsty666 says...

Rik Mayall a true genius of comedy awesome man all work amazing weather serious or funny my all time favourite has to be Drop dead Fred.

The Americans wrote for a headline Rik Mayall star of Drop Dead Fred Dead!
Rik Mayall a true genius of comedy awesome man all work amazing weather serious or funny my all time favourite has to be Drop dead Fred. The Americans wrote for a headline Rik Mayall star of Drop Dead Fred Dead! Kirsty666
  • Score: 7

8:21pm Mon 9 Jun 14

sue1956 says...

So young
So young sue1956
  • Score: 4

9:05pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Positively4thStreet says...

Just goes to show that any human being's grip on life is tenuous,and we should all live for the moment,and take nothing for granted.
A very funny comedian who will be much missed,but has left a great legacy of work.
RIP.
Just goes to show that any human being's grip on life is tenuous,and we should all live for the moment,and take nothing for granted. A very funny comedian who will be much missed,but has left a great legacy of work. RIP. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 6

12:55am Tue 10 Jun 14

michaelwhite says...

As Blackadder would've said, "Bugger".
RIP Rik - thanks for the side-splitting laughs.
As Blackadder would've said, "Bugger". RIP Rik - thanks for the side-splitting laughs. michaelwhite
  • Score: 4

1:22am Tue 10 Jun 14

Halo Saint says...

RIP Sir Rick..you and ade brought me so many tears of laughter since i was shown the young ones as a child.You put everything into your performances & were adored by millions.Such a sad loss.
RIP Sir Rick..you and ade brought me so many tears of laughter since i was shown the young ones as a child.You put everything into your performances & were adored by millions.Such a sad loss. Halo Saint
  • Score: 3

9:07am Tue 10 Jun 14

skeptik says...

Spike, Marty Feldman - Rik and many more - we are at our best when laughing - at ourselves. Many nations never quite grasped that.
Spike, Marty Feldman - Rik and many more - we are at our best when laughing - at ourselves. Many nations never quite grasped that. skeptik
  • Score: 4

9:23am Tue 10 Jun 14

excusemoi says...

I can't believe Rik has died. He was so funny and he was great in straight roles as well. I recently watched him in an Agatha Christie, brilliant.
I'm still in shock actually...
I can't believe Rik has died. He was so funny and he was great in straight roles as well. I recently watched him in an Agatha Christie, brilliant. I'm still in shock actually... excusemoi
  • Score: 4

12:50pm Tue 10 Jun 14

RomseyKeith says...

This house will become a shrine, and punks and skins and rastas will all gather round and hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader. And all the grown-ups will say, "But why are the kids crying?" And the kids will say, "Haven't you heard? Rick is dead! The People's Poet is dead!"

And then one particularly sensitive and articulate teenager will say, "Other kids, do you understand nothing? How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?"

(From The Young Ones)
This house will become a shrine, and punks and skins and rastas will all gather round and hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader. And all the grown-ups will say, "But why are the kids crying?" And the kids will say, "Haven't you heard? Rick is dead! The People's Poet is dead!" And then one particularly sensitive and articulate teenager will say, "Other kids, do you understand nothing? How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?" (From The Young Ones) RomseyKeith
  • Score: 3

6:19pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Saint Botley says...

Impossible to think of anyone more of an influence on myself and my friends when growing up. Really sad loss. RIP Rik, you big bottom burp.
Impossible to think of anyone more of an influence on myself and my friends when growing up. Really sad loss. RIP Rik, you big bottom burp. Saint Botley
  • Score: 3

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