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Biography #2

Rik Mayall is a British comedian and actor. He is well known for his comedy partnership with Adrian Edmondson and was one of members of the alternative comedy scene in the early 1980s.

When he was three, Mayall and his parents moved to Redditch, Worcestershire, where he spent the rest of his childhood. He studied drama at the University of Manchester and gained fame by appearing at The Comedy Store in the Eighties with Edmondson. They starred as The Dangerous Brothers, supposedly a couple of naive but anarchic daredevils, and would perform comedy stunts on stage, often involving the likes of setting each other on fire. They effectively brought slapstick to the alternative comedy scene, albeit in a typically extreme fashion.

Mayall first broke into television with the character Kevin Turvey on the series A Kick Up the Eighties. A role as Rik in The Young Ones sitcom, also in the 'Eighties, ensured wide public acclaim. The series was written by Mayall with long-standing friend Ben Elton and Lise Mayer. Additional material was provided by comedian and actor Alexei Sayle. Mayall has also starred in Filthy, Rich and Catflap with Edmonson and Nigel Planer, Bottom, again with Adrian Edmondson (in which the two of them played similar roles to those they played in The Young Ones), although he also did solo work such as several series playing Conservative MP Alan Beresford B'stard in the sitcom The New Statesman. He has also appeared in films, notably Drop Dead Fred. He appeared in six individual comedy dramas under the umbrella title Rik Mayall Presents in 1993. He also appeared in Blackadder series 1 as Mad Gerald, series 2 and 4 as Lord Flashheart, and on the series Jackanory. He also made a little known film appearance in An American Werewolf in London as 2nd chess player alongside chess player Brian Glover.

In 1998 he was seriously injured when he crashed a quad bike near his home in Devon, although he later made a full recovery. Both he and Edmondson have subsequently joked about this event in the various stage versions of Bottom.

Mayall has also played the role of Professor Adonis Cnut in the sitcom Believe Nothing.

In a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.

Mayall released an 'in-character' semi-fictionalised autobiography in September 2005 entitled Bigger than Hitler, Better than Christ (ISBN 0007207271).

Article text released under CC-BY-SA. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rik Mayall" (23-Oct-2005)