Tributes paid to 'comedy idol' Rik Mayall

Monday 09 June 2014 23.34
Rik Mayall was an inspiration for a generation of comedians
Rik Mayall was an inspiration for a generation of comedians

Tributes have been paid to actor and comedian Rik Mayall, who has died at the age of 56.

His long-time collaborator and friend Adrian Edmondson said: 

"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 b*****d."

Among those paying tribute 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.