It was whilst at university that he met fellow drama student Adrian Edmondson, who was to become closely associated with Rik in the years to come. When they both left university, the two of them formed a theatre company, 20th Century Coyote, which performed improvisational drama at 'The Comedy Store' in London's Soho.
Their brand of loud, 'alternative' comedy quickly got them noticed, and led to them setting up their own comedy club called 'The Comic Strip'. They were joined by Comedy Store compere Alexei Sayle, Nigel Planer, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and others, to perform off-beat and crude comedy that drew criticism from many quarters. Between 1982 and 2005, The Comic Strip Presents ran to 5 TV series (30 episodes), with 9 'Specials' and 2 'Feature Films'. The Wikipedia link below gives all the details.
The Comic Strip Presents began as a series on Channel 4, but the BBC was keen to produce its own anarchic, alternative sitcom, and so they commissioned The Young Ones which was first broadcast in 1982, with a second series following in 1984. The Young Ones follows the antics of four
Mayall plays Rick, a middle-class student trying to be a radical left-winger, annoying everyone in the process. Adrian Edmondson played an obnoxious and violent punk rocker called Vyvyan, Nigel Planer was a depressed, suicidal hippie called Neil, and Christopher Ryan's character was Mike, bossy and serious.
I have always enjoyed Rik Mayall's comedy, so I was delighted to meet him when he was in Bottom at Nottingham's Theatre Royal in 2003. I was amazed at just how much energy he puts into his performances! He signed the cover of my programme for me.
I met Rik again in 2007 when he came to Nottingham with The New Statesman. I was lucky to see him on that occasion because it was his last performance before he had to stand down for a while because he had flu. He signed a photograph for me and then posed for this photo.
Rik Mayall married Barbara Robbin, a Scottish make-up artist, in 1985 and they have three children.
His 'spoof' autobiography Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ (2005) is
In 1998, he nearly lost his life in a quad bike accident that left him in
Drop Dead Fred (1991) was meant to be Mayall's big Hollywood chance but the film was a box office disaster. In an interview for Time Out magazine Mayall remarked, "Mums complained that I had corrupted their sons and taught them to wipe bogeys on the furniture."
Filthy Rich & Cat Flap (with Planer as 'Filthy', Mayall as 'Rich' and Edmondson as 'Catflap') was a not a very succ-
The family moved to Worcestershire in 1961, and Rik later attended the King's School in Worcester. From there, he went to Manchester University where he obtained his degree in drama.
Richard 'Rik' Mayall was born in 1958, near Harlow in Essex. His parents were both drama teachers, so it was inevitable that he would be involved in drama from an early age.
Rik Mayall's work on the big screen has been much less - mostly minor parts in films like the chessplayer in An American Warewolf in London (1981), the literary agent Mathias in Little Noises (1991), and a cameo
In 2006, Rik Mayall revived the character Alan B'Stard to go on tour with the play The New Statesman, after it had a run in London's West End. The show toured theatres all around the country, but during its run in Nottingham, Rik Mayall was forced to withdraw from the show with flu and chronic fatigue.
In 1991, Mayall and Edmondson appeared together in Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot at the Queen's Theatre in the West End. From this came the idea for a similar, but much cruder, TV series called Bottom, for the BBC. Mayall plays Richie Richard whilst Edmondson is Eddie Elizabeth Hitler, and these two unemployed, middle-aged bachelors sharing a flat, indulge in vulgar, toilet humour, with a dose of violence thrown in.
Mayall's later series' for TV have included Tales of Uplift and Moral Improvement (13 episodes in 2001), Believe Nothing (6 episodes in 2002) and All About George (6 episodes in 2005). He has also appeared in the Blackadder series from time to time
students living in a delapidated house in London. Rik
essful TV series dating from 1987, but The New Statesman that appeared the same year was one of Mayall's very best. This 28-episode TV series, which ran till 1992, had Mayalll cast as Alan B'Stard, and satired Tory MPs of the Margaret Thatcher era.
Rik Mayall in an episode of
Jonathan Creek (1998)
Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer &
Rik Mayall in 1988
An American Werewolf in London
& Nigel Planer in The Young Ones
Christopher Ryan, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson
Rik Mayall with Brian Glover in
Rik Mayall in Filthy Rich & Cat Flap
Rik Mayall signing my photo
Rik Mayall and Jennifer Saunders
Rik Mayall aged 17
Rik Mayall in 1981
in The Comic Strip Presents
Phoebe Cates & Rik Mayall in
Drop Dead Fred
Rik Mayall as Robin Hood in
Blackadder Goes Forth
Adrian Edmondson & Rik Mayall in Bottom
Adrian Edmondson & Rik Mayall
Adrian Edmondson & Rik Mayall
Rik Mayall in Bottom Live 2003
Edmondson & Mayall in Bottom Live 2003
My programme signed byRik Mayall
Rik Mayall as The Sultan in
Carry On Columbus
Rik Mayall in Drop Dead Fred
Rik Mayall as Lord Flashheart in
Rik Mayall as Mathias in Little Noises
Rik Mayall as Alan B'Stard in
The New Statesman
The New Statesman
Rik Mayall & Alexandra Gunn in
Rik Mayall in Guest House Paradiso
The New Statesman - programme signed by the cast
Paradiso (1999) which was
Three series of Bottom were produced between 1991 and 1995 and a stage version went on tour nationwide. This was so successful that four more stage shows were written, and toured in
in 1995, 1997, 2001 and 2003. I saw the last one called The Weapons Grade Y-Fronts Tour in Nottingham and it was hilarious. A spin-off from Bottom was Guest House Paradisoo
directed by Adrian Edmondson. Richie (Mayall) & Eddie (Edmondson) run the most squalid hotel in the world, and it is right next door to a nuclear power plant!
time - as Mad Gerald in Blackadder I (1983), as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder II (1986) and as Robin Hood in Blackadder Goes Forth (1999).
Rik Mayall signed this photo for me when I saw him
after the performance of The New Statesman
as the Sultan in Carry On Columbus (1992).
a coma, but he made a remark-able recovery which enabled him to work every bit as hard after the accident as he did before it.
full of the same hilarious vulgarity that is found in Bottom.
Rik Mayall (1958 - 2014)
Click on a name below to take you to that page
Rik Mayall died on 9th June 2014.