Today, admired British actor Rik Mayall, famous for his acting roles in such British sitcoms 'The Young Ones', 'Blackadder', 'The New Statesman', and 'Bottom', sadly died today, aged just 56.
Even though most of Rik's acting was before I was born, I admired his style and ability to easily satirise within British sitcoms. It is his role as uber-Thatcherite Conservative MP Alan Beresford B'Stard in 'The New Statesman', which I will remember best personally. Rik was able to satirise the worst of the Thatcherite-era intake of Conservative MPs rather effortlessly and fluently in this role. Here are some of my favourite quotes from 'The New Statesman':
(phone rings, Alan B'Stard answers): Hello, Alan B'Stard, biggest majority in the House of Commons!
Constituent (angry about the fact Alan B'Stard is asking for a £500 fee): But you're my MP!
Alan B'Stard: So what? You would pay me if I was a doctor, or a solicitor, or Cynthia Payne!
Alan B'Stard (explaining about the raiding of charity boxes): It's quite simple Piers. The more money we can find in these charity boxes, the less the government has to spend on the poor and the old.
Piers Fletcher-Dervish: That's awfully callous.
Alan B'Stard: Of course it is,Piers. That's why it's Conservative Party policy.
Rik Mayall also had a starring role as a creepy, imaginary friend to Lizzie in 'Drop Dead Fred' back in 1991, and in the lesser-known film 'Guest House Paradiso' as a bad guest house co-owner, in which his long time friend and fellow actor Adrian Edmondson also starred. Adrian more famously starred as punk Vivian in the same 'Young Ones' series in which Rik played self-styled anarchist and spolit brat Rick.
Whilst Rik ended up in a coma in 1998 as a result of a quad bike accident, his passion allowed him to continue his acting career up until his death earlier today at his house in Barnes, Richmond-upon-Thames.
So, I give my farewell to Rik Mayall, taken from us so unexpectedly and tragically.
In memory of Richard Michael Mayall, British actor and comedian, born 7 March 1958, who departed this life on 9 June 2014, aged 56 years.