Split was news to me

How Rik learned double act was over

Rik Mayall has revealed that he only learned his 30-year partnership with Adrian Edmondson was over when he read it in a newspaper interview.

Edmondson decided to call an end to the grueling Bottom tour, feeling that, in their mid-40s, the pair were too old for the violent physicality.

Today Mayall confesses: "It took me by surprise when Ade said in a newspaper interview, 'That's enough',"

“But we shook hands at the end of the last tour and said, 'We've done it now.'"

The duo, who have worked together since meeting while students  at Manchester university, are now working on their own projects. Edmondon is currently a contestant on Celebrity Fame Academy while Mayall fronts a new series called Violent Britain on the Discovery Channel from March 6.

In doing so, he follows an increasing line of comedians – including Eddie Izzard, Al Murray and Vic Reeves – to present serious documentaries on the channel.

Speaking to the Independent today, he says: “When Discovery first asked me, I initially said, 'No, I'll look like an intellectual or a has-been or, worse still, both at the same time,' Then they said, 'Go on - it's about violence', and I replied, 'OK, you know my penchant!’

“The idea of not having to be funny really attracted me. This shows another side to me. It sounds a horrible thing to say, but it gives me the freedom to be more grown-up. It's important to emphasise this is not a comedy show. I just like telling stories."


Published: 28 Feb 2005

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