Cop That! Rik’s So Arresting

by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog

Source unknown, 1997

Funnyman Rik Mayall was stunned to discover two policemen on his doorstep. They were answering an emergency call — made by his two-year-old daughter — Bonnie. She had managed to dial 999, and the cops had traced the call to Rik’s house.

But the 39-year-old actor wasn’t cross at her bout of mischief. “It proves how quickly they’d respond if we really needed them,” he says. “But I did get a shock when I answered the door to find an out-of-breath policeman while another stood by his panda car, ready for action. “One of them said, ‘Are you all right, Mr Mayall?’ — I replied, ‘Yes, fine — why?’ He added, ‘I think your little daughter must have phoned us again.

Father-of-three Rik is known for his comedy performances in The Young Ones, The New Statesman and Bottom. But this week he appears as a villain and compulsive liar Patrick Massie In ITV’s The Bill. His solvent-addicted son falls to his death from a high building in the second of a three parter called Humpty Dumpty (Tueday, 8pm).

In March 1995, Rik found out what It was like to be banged up a cell when he pulled a replica gun on passers-by in London after a boozing session. “I’d just been told that the play I was in, Cell Mates, was closing. For a joke, I presented cast members with replica guns,” he explains. “On the way home, I pulled a shooter on someone for a gag. He thought it was real — and within seconds police charged down the street from both ends.

“I was a total prat and I was lucky not to be shot. I didn’t put up any resistance and apologised straightaway. But they arrested me — I was handcuffed and whisked off to the cop shop where I was kept in a cell for a couple of hours.” He was eventually allowed home, but ordered to return for a telling off. Then Rik had to make a statement admitting his stupidity.

Rik admits he’s a big fan of The Bill and is excited about his new role. He says of his character Patrick: “He’s a compulsive gambler, selfish and unpleasent. He only stops gambling when he runs out of money — and then he’ll do whatever he can to get more.”

Rik has done straight acting in two series of films for ITV called Rik Mayall Presents. But his roll in The Bill is the grittiest non-comic part he’s ever undertaken. “I’ve spent months writing a comedy screenplay with my pal Ade Edmondson,” he says. “So I was keen to get back into a proper acting role. When The Bill script landed on my doormat it was perfect.

“I have a long interrogation scene with Sergeant Bob Cryer, who’s played by Eric Richard. It really had me salivating because as an actor that’s a real challenge. It was actually one at my ambitions to be up against Sergeant Cryer. “I love the show and watch it whenever I can. But it coincides with my kids’ bathtime so I don’t see it as often as I’d like.”

Rik will be on TV again at Christmas playing an exorcist in the new ITV drama The Canterville Ghost. And next month sees the release of his film Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis, in which he plays the boss of a fading music business.

Despite his wild image, Rik leads a settled home life with his wife Barbara and children Rosie, 11, Sidney, nine, and Bonnie. “I’ve been living a schizoid existence,” he admits. ” I get up, see my children and feed the cats. The I go round to Ade’s house and we write filthy Juvenile jokes for a living!” Rik has no plans to change when he hits 40 in March. “I won’t give up things I enjoy,” he grins. “I’m planning to grow old disgracefully!”