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Comedian and actor Rik Mayall dies

Rik Mayall in the New Statesman
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Rik Mayall, who found fame in the cult television comedies The Young Ones and Bottom, has died at the age of 56.

His death this morning was confirmed by his agent, Brunskill Management, but a cause of death was not released.

A leading figure in the alternative comedy scene that emerged in the early 1980s, Mayall first came to attention in a double act with Adrian Edmondson at the Comedy Store. A founder member of The Comic Strip club, he made his television debut as the inept journalist Kevin Turvey and undergrad anarchist poet Rick.

After the success of The Young Ones, his partnership with Edmondson was cemented by Bottom and Filthy Rich & Catflap – both of which spawned live shows.

He also played a Conservative MP with the unfortunate surname B’stard in Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran’s The New Statesman.

His theatre work included Waiting for Godot at the Queen’s Theatre in 1991, where he was reunited with former Young Ones co-stars, and Simon Gray’s ill-fated Cell Mates in 1995 which closed after co-star Stephen Fry abruptly fled to Belgium.

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Stage.