Richard Michael “Rik” Mayall was an English comedian, writer and actor. Mayall was best known for his comedy partnership with Adrian “Ade” Edmondson, for his energetic “post-punk” style of acting and as a pioneer of alternative comedy in the early 1980s. He appeared in numerous cult classic sitcoms, including The Young Ones, Blackadder, The New Statesman and Bottom, and in the comedy films Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso. Mayall was described by Danny Cohen, Director of BBC television, at the time of his death as a “truly brilliant” comedian with a unique stage presence, whose “fireball creativity” inspired a generation of comedy stars. Mayall died at his home in Barnes, London, on 9th June 2014, aged 56. After being called to the house with a report of a sudden death at 13:19, the Metropolitan Police said that the death was not believed to be suspicious.
His death was announced by his management team. “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 bastard.” —Ade Edmondson