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I think it was Kevin Turvey first. Later it was the Dangerous Brothers, The Comic Strip Presents, then the Young Ones….a side order of Filthy, Rich and Catflap…..and then Bottom. There were more, not least The New Statesman, but it was the anarchic side of Rik Mayall that enticed me in and kept me there for many a year. And they were contributing factors to my being so gutted when he utterly selfishly died not so long ago.

No other celebrity death could affect me as much as the passing of Rik. He’d been there through my teenage years and I’m still quoting from his repertoire all these years later. When The Young Ones came out we didn’t even have video recorders yet, instead we’d recite the previous night’s episode on the bus to college the next day. Then all day. And again on the way home. It’s no wonder I still quote from it all these years later!

The quotes are damned useful too, particularly if you meet someone called Neil….or someone with a name similar to Neil….or someone with any name to be honest….and if there’s some orange peel around as well….now that’s a special day! And if you see a gasman….Gasman, GASMAN!!! I think you get the point.

No, hang on…what about ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ that transmogrifies into the magical game ‘put a piece of Sellotape on the fridge’ or having a game of how much custard you can fit in your underpants…. Come on, we’ve all done it.

I’d better stop, we’ll be here all night! And I haven’t even begun on Drop Dead Fred…

So many memories and so many laughs which supported me through my adolescence and beyond. Rik was always there sort of saying it was okay to be different, okay to be anarchic and okay to laugh at things that my parents (and probably the majority of ‘adults’ at the time), quite frankly, just didn’t get. If anyone was misunderstood it was Rik in the Young Ones and it made us all feel better even if we did write poetry. At least it couldn’t be as bad as Rik’s ode to Cliff Richard!

I was distraught when that bus drove off the cliff and devastated when it blew up. The Young Ones were no more. Even if you were concerned that a third series would lose it and just not be the same…you still wanted it to happen. Killing off all the characters ensured the quality would never have time to sink but how we would still have loved there to have been just a slight chance.

I saw Rik live three times. The first time was in Waiting For Godot in London where Ade Admonson and Christopher Ryan (Mike in The Young Ones also featured). It’s a bloody awful play but put those three in it and it saves it somewhat although purists no doubt baulked at the constant repetition of the word bollocks throughout! Next up was The New Statesman in an almost empty theatre at a weekday matinee which was still hilarious. And then there was Bottom Live….front row….glorious. You could see that the blows didn’t connect by a country mile but that’s RIK MAYALL right there in front of me!! This was after he’d been in a coma after his quad bike accident so the missing by a country mile was probably a good idea!

If you haven’t watched Man Down yet, do so. He plays the Dad of Greg Davies who is often described as an extremely tall Rik Mayall so getting Rik to play his Dad was inspired (despite there being only 10 years age difference between them). There are still moments of anarchic, comedic genius from Rik but it’s sad that he never got to make the second series

I don’t believe in heaven but if I did I’d like to think that St Paul would welcome Rik and he’d retort with ‘hello snotface’ and Paul would double up with laughter and have installed a farting noise that emitted every time the pearly gates swung open.

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About the author

Fresh from failing to be an actor, a singer and retaining a full head of hair Glyn is now attempting to be a photographer and a novelist. He has taken more pictures today than he has written words of his novel in the last six months. Some of them he regards as okay..

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