Rik Mayall – more than the people’s poet.

My first real exposure to alternative comedy was The Young Ones, I was about 13 and it was brilliant. This was comedy that my parents did not get, it was loud, a little sweary and very, very funny. This was probably the first thing that I saw as mine and as I was a few years too late for the Clash and the Sex Pistols, this was my counter culture moment.

I met Rik Mayall once, briefly in 1993 (I think it was in Barcelona) and it was not much more than a brief handshake, but by then we’d seen the wonderful Lord Flashheart, Comic Strip Presents, Filthy Rich and Catflap, Alan B’Stard, Colin the bassman and my personal favorite Bottom.

Which spawned the brilliant, brilliant Bottom Live. I saw two of the Bottom Live tours, not sure how much was improvised and what was in the script, but Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson brought an incredible, almost feral energy to the stage. It was anarchy and it was wonderful. The commitment to the characters was total and the audience were given something that could never be shown on BBC2, even after the watershed.

The Young Ones started it all, Rick was the self styled “Peoples Poet” and believed he spoke for a generation. His work left a lasting legacy and how can he be dead when we have his poetry?

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