Comedian and actor Rik Mayall died this morning, at the age of 56.

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.

Mayall was best known for his roles in Bottom, the Young Ones and The New Statesman.

He also starred in Drop Dead Fred and appeared in Blackadder several times.

Mayall also played Alistair Itchdaddy in Damo and Ivor. 

Speaking about the accident, Mayall last year said doctors had kept him alive on a life-support machine for five days and were about to turn it off when he began to show signs of life.

He used to mark the occasion by exchanging presents with his wife and children and said the near-death experience changed his life.

He said: "The main difference between now and before my accident is I'm just very glad to be alive.

"Other people get moody in their 40s and 50s - men get the male menopause. I missed the whole thing. I was just really happy."

Mayall started on stage in a duo, The Dangerous Brothers, with long-time friend and collaborator Adrian Edmondson, after they met at Manchester University.

The pair, who appeared together in The Young Ones, reprised their original act in the anarchic comedy Bottom.

Edmondson tonight 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."

Read more tributes here