Rik Mayall

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Richard Michael 'Rik' Mayall (7th March 1958 – 9th June 2014) was an English actor, comedian and writer, best known for his roles in the British sitcoms The Young Ones and Bottom, in which he appeared alongside his writing partner, friend and fellow Manchester University alumnus Adrian Edmondson. In both series, he played energetic and anarchic roles, firstly as Cliff Richard superfan and student, Rick, and in the latter as the unlucky, frustrated loser Richie Richard. Mayall also appeared in the political satire The News Statesman as politician Alan B'stard and in the Blackadder series as the sexually-charged Lord Flashheart.[1]

Mayall was a significant figure in the alternative comedy scene of the 1980s, a founding member of the comic group known as The Comic Strip with Edmondson and others such as Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Alexei Sayle. Their television series, The Comic Strip Presents..., was first broadcast in 1982, with reunion shows going out into the 2010s. His collaboration with Edmondson on the slapstick comedy Bottom began with a three-series 1990s sitcom, followed by several stage plays and a 1999 film, Guest House Paradiso.

Mayall suffered a series accident involving a quad bike in 1998, which left him on life-support for five days. The accident subsequently became a source of comedy for the Mayall-Edmondson partnership, and was referred to jokingly in one of their stage plays. Mayall suffered from epilepsy for the rest of his life due to the accident, and died suddenly at his home in June 2014. The year before, he had spoken of his appreciation for living in the years since, saying that "The main difference between now and before my accident is I'm just very glad to be alive. Other people get moody in their 40s and 50s - men get the male menopause. I missed the whole thing. I was just really happy."[2]