Bottom’s Up!

by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog

What’s On TV? 21st October 2000

Rik Mayall wanted to make sure he was looking good for his first, serious TV sex scene, as Simon Reid, an adulterous businessman in ITV’S The Knock, which begins a new series this week.

Unfortunately, part of the episode was filmed in Ghana — and Rik hadn’t bargained for the bloating effect that the malaria pills would have on his body.

“I’d been running regularly and doind all these press-ups because I knew I’d have to get my kit off. Then I had to take these pills!” tuts Rik, 41 — one of the several guest stars in the latest series.

Luckily,Rik wasn’t too embarrassed about having to cavort around naked on a boat with beautiful actress Julie Ann White — partly becuase it wasn’t the first time they’d appeared naked together.

Julie Ann played Rik’s mistress 10 years ago in an episode of The New Statesman, which involved a bed, bare flesh, and a pair of handcuffs.

“Because I knew Julie Ann there wasn’t this thing about meeting a stranger, stripping off and going to bed with them in front of others — which is weird,” says Rik.

“It was a delicate situation though. I didn’t want to tell everyone to go away. I wanted to be more relaxed about it, like other actors. But the thing is, I’m 41 not 21, and , while Julie Ann was still looking as beautiful as ever, here was I, Mr Pot Belly!”

Apart from filming in Africa his part in The Knock offered him the chance to play the kind of role he finds hard to resist. “I’m attracted to playing weird people who don’t fit in,” explains Rik, who lives in a Devonshire farmhouse with his wife Barbara and their three children, Rosie, 13, Sydney, 11, and four-year-old Bonnie.

But it was only 2 and a half years ago that it looked like he might never work again. He lay in a coma for weeks on end after a horrific quad bike accident which left him suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Perhaps he should have heeded his fathers advice. “He told me never to get a bike,” reveals Rik “But I remember thinking, “A quad bike’s got 4 wheels —I won’t come off that!”

He still has the bike. “I wasn’t sure it was morally right to sell it,” he says. “I was going to push it off a big cliff and have a big explosion at the bottom, but then I thought, ‘I can’t do that, it’s littering’.”

So I go in the shed and look at it and I have made a bond with Barbara that I wouldnt do anything with it!”