Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall

Date of birth: 07-03-1958
Rik Mayall went to Manchester University where he read drama. While there, he formed a theatre company called 20th Century Coyote, which soon reduced down to himself and Adrian Edmondson. They took a show to the Edinburgh Festival in 1977 and on to London’s fledgling alternative comedy scene at the Comedy Store and Comic Strip.

The comedians from that latter venue went on to make The Comic Strip Presents shows for the new Channel 4. Mayall then went on to co-star in The Young Ones, which he co-wrote with Ben Elton and Lise Mayer.

In 1983, Mayall toured as Kevin Turvey and The Bastard Squad, in the guise of a naïve and useless left-wing poet that became famous via the TV show A Kick Up the Eighties. And his double act with Edmondson, The Dangerous Brothers, was also a regular strand on Saturday Night Live.

Other credits with Edmondson include Filthy, Rich and Catflap, three series of Bottom and the subsequent live tour and in 1991 appeared in the West End production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot.

He also starred as Alan B’Stard in four series of The New Statesman, which was updated for New Labour and a theatre tour in 2006, and Rik Mayall Presents, which earned him best comedy actor at the British Comedy Awards in 1993.

Other credits include Flashheart in Blackadder, two series of Grim Tales, Saturday Night Live. His theatre work included Cell Mates and The Government Inspector at the National Theatre.

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ITV are 'scared' to air Son Of B'stard

Writers claim broadcaster fears a flop

ITV are ‘too scared’ to air the comeback of immoral MP Alan B’Stard, his creators have claimed.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are working on a sequel to their political comedy The New Statesman, but this time based around the illegitimate son of Rik Mayall’s larger-than-life character.

They have pitched the comedy to ITV, which aired the original between 1987 and 1992, but say the broadcaster considered it too much of a risk.

Speaking at a Writers Guild Of Great Britain event last night, Marks alleged: ‘They are frightened of it, they've said that. It's too risky, too scary for them.’

His suggestion seemed to be that ITV were scared of it being a flop, rather than fearing any political ramifications. However, he said he is continuing to pitch the idea.

‘I don't know where it will go. I don't know if it will go,’ he said. ‘But I think it will. We have a much greater selection of places to take it these days.

‘But it is going to be dangerous. It's going to be risky. And people might love it, as they loved Alan B’Stard.’ 

Revealing that the show may now be called The Son Of B'Stard, or The B'Stard Legacy, Mark’s co-writer said they were now trying to find an actor to play the part who would appeal to broadcasters.

He said: ‘What we are going to do with this show now  is to attach casting to it; that's something else you're going to have to try to do - get some desirable casting.’

And he joked: ‘George Osbourne's interested…’

The new show  will revolve around Alan's long-lost son Arron B'Stard, who was adopted by two Green Party activists in Welwyn Garden City and who has built up an international business and media empire.

It is being developed three months after the death of Mayall – on June 9, 2014 –  at the age of 56.

ITV declined to comment.

Marks and Gran’s comment came at an event discussing the future of sitcom – read their thoughts on the topic here.

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Published: 23 May 2017

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