A Question of Taste – Rik Mayall

by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog

Waitrose Food Illustrated, May 2006

The comedian and actor talks to Liz Edwards about the secret contents of his fridge, what really happened to the weapons of mass destruction and tells her all about his saucy fantasies.

Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

I’d have to ask the Blairs as a way of apologising for ripping them apart in The New Statesman show. I’d like to ask John Prescott, too, but I don’t think I’d get him through my front door. A lot of people wonder what happened to the weapons of mass destruction. John Prescott ate them.

Would you rather eat with Alan B’Stard or Rick from The Young Ones?

Alan is the best conversationalist. He knows everything, he’s done everything, he’s been everywhere. He knows why Black Wednesday happened; he sold a beautiful bay in Cuba to the USA… Now he’s left the Tories and invented New Labour.

Do you prefer eating out or staying in for a home-cooked meal?

It depends who I’m with. How’s that for a politician’s answer?

What is your favourite restaurant?

Julie’s, in Holland Park. Fantastic food, discreet… everything you could want.

So you prefer discreet restaurants to celeb hangouts like The Ivy?

Oh no, I like The Ivy. But I wouldn’t call it a celeb hangout. Celebrities have little audiences. I am a vast, panglobal showbiz phenomenon. The Ivy’s more of a phenomenon hangout. I also like McDonald’s in Blackburn.

Do you grow any food on your farm?

It’s not really a farm; just 12 acres with a house in the middle. I do have some tomatoes on the go. But it is one of my fantasies to have a Rik Mayall range, like Paul Newman. I don’t know what – Rik Mayall’s Sauce?

What do you keep in your fridge? Empty beer cans, fag ends, cartons of out-of-date milk, which are actually filled with vodka, and yogurts.

Didn’t you stop drinking after your quad bike accident?

I hide my drinking from my wife.

So what’s your favourite tipple?

A Samurai Dive Bomber: half a pint of scotch, a quarter pint of brandy, two glasses of red wine, some Sarson’s, an egg and one of those pink things from a men’s urinal. Makes it fizz. It takes the enamel off your teeth but it’s worth it.

Apart from custard pies, is there a best food for slapstick comedy?

Kitchen utensils are always very good. I was on stage once with Adrian Edmondson and he hit me with a saucepan – my nose wouldn’t stop bleeding. The audience thought it was the most brilliant special effect.

Marmite: love it or hate it?

More than love it. Adore it, live for it, worship it, go to bed with it. Spread it thick and you can have a good time.

What’s your most memorable meal?

It’s more what happened after dinner. There used to be a place in the early days of showbusiness called The Groucho Club. Stephen Fry and I were playing poker with the owner and they allege that they caught me cheating because I happened to be sitting on two aces. I got banned for life. And I’ve never been in there several times since.

You once told Company, “there’s no point in telling people my favourite food… it’s none of their business.” Have you changed your mind?

Yes, I was wrong. It is their business. It’s Campbell’s soup.