Adrian Edmondson

Adrian Edmondson

Date of birth: 24-01-1957
The son of an armed forces teacher, Edmondson attended Yorkshire’s Pocklington School, before going on to study drama at Manchester University, where he met Rik Mayall and formed the partnership that was to become Twentieth Century Coyote. The pair took a show to the Edinburgh Festival in 1977 and on to London’s fledgling alternative comedy scene at the Comedy Store Comic Strip.

The comedians from that latter venue went on to make The Comic Strip Presents shows for the new Channel 4, and Edmondson starred in their 1985 feature film Supergrass.

That year, he also married fellow Comic Strip performer Jennifer Saunders and the couple now have three children: Eleanor, Beatrice and Freya.

His most famous role is of Vyvyan in The Young Ones, written by co-star Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer. And in 1983, Adrian toured with Mayall in Kevin Turvey and The Bastard Squad, and their double act The Dangerous Brothers was also a regular strand of Saturday Night Live.

Other credits with Mayall 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.

And solo he appeared in Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran's Snakes and Ladders, Doctors and Nurses and Jonathan Creek. In 2005, he joined the cast of hospital drama Holby City.

In 1996, he wrote his first – and so far only – novel The Gobbler. And he has directed pop videos for The Pogues’s Fiesta, Zodiac Mindwarp’s Prime Mover and 10,000 Maniacs’ Like The Weather.

He has more latterly been touring the UK with his band The Bad Shepherds; and in 2014 appeared in the West End play Neville's Island.

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The Young Ones was overrated... but The Good Life, now that's funny

So says Adrian Edmondson

comedyIt was a groundbreaking sitcom that defined a generation of comedy – but its star Adrian Edmondson reckons The Young Ones hasn't aged well.

And in a new interview, he also was keen to underplay the importance of the groundbreaking 1980s show, which also starred Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Christopher Ryan and Alexei Sayle.

Confessing that he has only seen it 'occasionally' since it aired between 1982 and 1984, Edmondson told The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine: ‘It looks tired and slow. If you watch The Good Life now though, you think: yeah that still looks relevant. You think: that’s funny.’

Which may be an ironic comment to make given his character Vyvyan Basterd railed against the Richard Briers sitcom on the alternative comedy classic, raging: 'They're nothing but a couple of reactionary stereotypes, confirming the myth that everyone in Britain is a lovable middle-class eccentric. And I hate them!'

And reacting to the suggestion that the show – written by Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer – revolutionised comedy, Edmondson said: '‘I think you might be overstating what effect we had.

 ‘We were always a cult. Which is a nice way of saying we delivered very low audience figures.’

The actor, now 63, was speaking about his role in the Sky Atlantic series Save Me Too, about a man searching for his missing teenage daughter, which airs from Wednesday.

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Published: 29 Mar 2020

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