Young One? I Was Nearly a Young Farmer.

by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog

By Angela Hagan for Daily Mirror, 27th November 1997

10 Facts Give you Bottom Line on Mayall

It’ll be hard to escape former Young One Rik Mayall on Boxing Day. He’s starring in ITV’s glossy drama The Canterville Ghost.

And you’ll also see the 39-year-old fulfilling one of his TV ambitions playing the villain in a special edition of The Bill.

Here are ten other fascinating facts about the man from Bottom.

HIS days as a grotty student in the Young Ones are long gone. He is married to former make-up artist Barbara, has three children, is going grey and turns 40 next year.

HE teamed up with comedy partner Ade Edmondson when they met as students at Manchester University 22 years ago.

Rik thought Ade, was the hippest guy on campus. He says: “Ade had long hair, John Lennon glasses and ripped jeans.

“I thought he was cool and wanted to be his pal.”

Rik reckons he could have ended up as a farmer or teacher if it hadn’t been for Ade.

He says: “If Ade hadn’t been there, there wouldn’t have been any Young Ones or Bottom. I probably wouldn’t even have gone into showbiz.”

He is set to star in a new film opposite Mia Farrow set in Ireland called Banjaxed in which he plays the obnoxious husband of a fallen soap star.

In 1995 Rik admitted he was a “total prat” for waving a fake gun in a London street. He was arrested by two policemen and later given a formal warning for the practical joke.

Rik admits he was lucky not to have been “blown away” by police marksmen.

He was slammed for appearing in a controversial video called Out Of My Head playing a loser who turns to drugs.

The one-hour film, which included descriptions of the pleasures of using cocaine and heroin, also featured tales from real-life users.

Rik reckons he earned peanuts from his Hollywood debut in Drop Dead Fred.

“The film grossed 60 million dollars but I’ll be lucky to get pounds 60,” he once said. Nowadays he insists on getting paid up-front. “Just like Chuck Berry, I want cash in my back pocket.”

Alan B’Stard, the fictitious amoral Tory, may return for a new television series as a Labour politician.

“He’d be delighted to switch because he would not have to cross the floor of the House to stay on the backbenches,” says Rik.

Rik says he’s nothing like his anarchic TV characters.

“I’ve been living a schizoid existence, pretending to be a wild man when I am really Mr Mortgage,” he says.

“I get up, see my children, make the sandwiches and feed the cats, and then I go round to Ade’s house and we write filthy juvenile jokes for a living.”

Now He’s nearly 40, Rik takes care of his health and recently gave up drinking while touring with Ade Edmondson.

He said: “We chose hotels with gyms. One morning I went down and Ade was on the step and I got on the rowing machine.

“I thought: ‘What happened to us? We used to be the guerrilla warriors of British comedy’.”