Tortured by Cardigans – and Terrible in the Mornings

by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog

By Desmond Sampson for News Of The World Sunday Magazine, 28th November 1999

In their new movie Guest House Paradiso, out next month, RikMayall andAdrianEdmondson play the owners of the worst hotel in the world. Desmond Sampson went to meet them.

What’s your worst fashion mistake?

Rik:
I once walked to school in my underpants and a soggy shoe because my shoe flew off into the river when I tried kicking a ball. My brother retrieved it, but then demanded my trousers, because his were soaked.

Adrian:
In the Eighties I wore those horrible skinny pants with monkey boots. It seemed like a good idea at the time! And I spent my youth in an army coat and round sunglasses pretending to be John Lennon.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Rik:
My dad caught me with my girlfriend when I was 15. He looked absolutely pole-axed. turned around and walked out. Even more embarrassing was that half an hour later we both went downstairs and had supper with my parents!

Adrian:
I once had lunch with Steve Martin and was so overawed that I said ‘You’re a wild and crazy guy” to his face. He let it pass, but that was truly embarrassing. I shouldn’t have said that.

Have you ever been bullied or been a bully?

Rik:
Luckily, I was spared bullying, although one kid at school, Dobson, always used to tease me about my surname. He’d say: “Look, it’s Fe-Mayall!” One time he wouldn’t stop and I thought “I’m going to have to hit him”. So I belted him and he lost his two front teeth, broke his nose and ended up in hospital. I was never picked on again after that!

Adrian:
I was both bullied and a bully myself. I think that’s true of most people.

What’s your poison?

Rik:
A pint of lager followed by a large Scotch. But since I bashed my head (in a quad bike accident last year), I’ve had to take pills for epilepsy and if I drink they don’t work. So although it’s great having the drink, the bit where I fall over, bang my head and swallow my tongue isn’t so great.

Adrian:
I’m a red wine lover. On a recent tour, instead of drinking I spent the days teaching myself about wine.

What’s the best hangover cure?

Rik:
Don’t drink the night before

Adrian:
Eat loads of mashed potatoes after you’ve been out. The carbohydrates put you to sleep until you feel better.

What would you cook to impress a date?

Rik:
I can’t cook, so I’d get someone else to do it.

Adrian:
I’m good at Mediterranean food — getting a load of vegetables, covering them in olive oil, sticking them in the oven, then covering them with rocket and Parmesan. But I gave up cooking about nine months ago when my wife (Jennifer Saunders) took it up and was immediately better than me. Story of my life, really!
What’s the worst holiday you’ve ever had?

Rik:
To be honest, I’ve never really had a holiday from hell. In fact, they’re usually so badly needed that I make sure they’re good.

Adrian:
I’ve been to a few places like the hotel in our movie while on tour, so-called “Country House” hotels run by retired captains who are very bitter and don’t like serving people. They’re the most unfriendly, vile places to stay at, even though all the bumph claims they are just like being at home!

What are you like first thing in the morning?

Rik:
I’m a tyrant, a real “wake up, get up!” sort of person. I can’t bear to waste the day, so when I wake up early I think “Brilliant, it’s only six in the morning, a whole day to go!”

Adrian:
I’m a volatile person and suffer from extraordinary mood swings, so it’s a bit of a lottery what I’m like in the morning.

Are you vain?

Rik:
There’s a scene in the movie where I’m trying to decide between two identical cardigans, and that’s me — tortured by these kind of decisions!

Adrian: I wish I could be but I’m too bloody ugly!

Who’s your best mate?

Rik:
Ade. He’s a good and loyal friend. I adore him. It’s like a marriage. We chose each other in ’75 and we’ve been together ever since.

Adrian:
Rik is probably my best friend. Without getting too lovey-dovey, when he had his accident found it very upsetting. It made me realise that I quite liked him.

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