UK: Tributes for comedian Rik Mayall who dies at 56
17:00 09 June 2014
Comedian and actor Rik Mayall has died, his management firm said.
The Essex-born star, who shot to fame playing Rick in The Young Ones, was 56 and his career included appearances in shows including Blackadder, Bottom and The New Statesman.
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.
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.