Rik Mayall Interviews and Articles Archive

The Pan Global Phenomenon in all his verbal glory.

Category: 2007

Bad politics – Rik Mayall in The New Statesman

By Tony Cooke for The Stage, 17th January 2007

Rik Mayall insists his latest project, playing the sleaze-ridden MP Alan  B’Stard from his eighties TV hit The New Statesman is not a telly spin-off but a  necessary damnation of the last ten years of British politics.

“Tricky one before we start. How do I present myself? Nice guy? Crazy mad  guy? Good bloke?” Rik Mayall’s opening words say a lot about him – he’s not an  easy actor to pin down.

In person, Mayall is genuinely very funny. He gets excited. He lays himself  bare. He mentions things he probably shouldn’t. He says ‘fuck’ a lot.

A few minutes in, any prepared questions are out the window and I’m running  to keep up. He doesn’t like to be contained.

“I don’t like authority. No, that’s not fucking hard enough,” he says with a  grin, “I don’t do law.”

He might be slipping in and out of screen personas but a glance down his  resume tells the same story. Mayall seems to have spent the last three decades  avoiding being pigeon-holed – three iconic sitcom characters, Hollywood actor,  Emmy Award-winning voiceover, TV leading man, stand-up comic, national stage  actor and writer.

“It’s difficult to talk about yourself without looking like you’re bigging  yourself up but I like the way that I don’t belong to any stream of  entertainment. I swore on all sorts of holy things that I would never repeat  myself.”

That could explain the pains he goes to defending his latest choice of  project to me. He’s brought Alan B’Stard, the sleaze-ridden MP from his eighties  TV hit The New Statesman, to London’s Trafalgar Studios. A move that could be  seen as selling out for the father of alternative comedy?

“I’m very keen that people don’t think this is a telly spin-off. It’s a play.  We are doing it on Whitehall, virtually next door to Tony Blair and Alan is  based in number nine Downing Street.

“Twice in my lifetime so far, this character has presented itself to me to  change the establishment of the British kingdom,” he adds, with a B’Stard slur. “I brought down Thatch for my people. And now I’m bringing down ‘Bleurgh’, for  my people who I love and love me.”

The original writers of the TV series Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran  persuaded Mayall to pick up the role again by showing him how their new play  moves B’Stard on. “It’s just a massive damnation of the last ten years of  British politics,” Mayall explains. “Alan can get older, because evil is a  permanent thing. Alan is who invented New Labour. He is now a very established  global figure. He’s having sex with Condoleezza Rice, he’s starting wars on the  mobile, things like that.”

Marks and Gran are also on hand to keep the script ultra-topical, something  Mayall relishes. “Oh fuck yes. It’s lovely. We had some stuff about Pinochet  leaving me various things in his will just after he died. It’s great.”

A successful regional tour in 2006 confirmed there was still a public hunger  for B’Stard but Mayall believes this London run is a whole new challenge. He  takes a big pause, then quietly starts explaining.

“I don’t want to sound pretentious. See, I’m always covering my arse. He  doesn’t like to be himself does he Rik, always hiding away,” he slams the table  and is back to boisterous again. “London is by far the hardest stage to play,  without doubt. I mean I’m the best at it and this is by far the best show  there’s ever been but it’s very challenging.

“The sense of humour in London always changes, just because there are so many  different people and so many visitors, you just don’t know who is there. You’ve  got to get out there and quickly find out who or what they are. It’s a very  sensual moment.”

Helping him feel his way with the London punters, Mayall is keen to  name-check his fellow cast members. In fact, he’s scarily insistent. “Helen  Baker is a fucking genius. Kamaal Hussein is a fucking genius. Garry Cooper,  Lysette Anthony and Alexandra Gunn are the same. I’m telling you I want this  printed.

“We all react and move with the audience, there haven’t been two plays the  same. It’s about genuinely entertaining those people. They’re not witnesses to  the play for someone else. You start with a room of 400 strangers and you end  with a seriously committed army,” he states, slamming the table once more.

Marks and Gran have known Mayall for 20 years and at the start of last year’s  regional tour Gran described to me what he thought made Mayall tick: “He is a  larger than life performer at his most comfortable, I think. If you asked him to  do The Vicar of Dibley it would come over as a big piece of acting. I’m not  saying he doesn’t do an absolutely perfect job but that’s what people like.”

Gran also explained why they’d chosen to write every line of The New  Statesman, instead of farming it out. “Rik wouldn’t allow it. He needs a very  close, trusting relationship. But after a while we realised it wasn’t the sort  of character or style of show that could easily be subcontracted.”

Mayall moves on to talk about his heroes and his influences are surprising – not so much actors but extreme performers. “I tell you who is one of my heroes;  Wilko Johnson, he was the guitarist from Dr Feelgood. I learned as much in the  seventies about performance from him as from anybody. His stage presence – an  absolute seizure of the audience. Power and terror.

“You’ve go to have balls to come to my theatre, because at the Trafalgar  Studios you are so near to Rik.” He leans right into the tape recorder: “Don’t  be frightened people.”

For someone with such a love of shock and anarchy on stage and screen, his  early upbringing seems rather reserved. Richard Michael Mayall was born in 1958  in Harlow, Essex, the second of four children and when he was three his family  moved to Droitwich, near Worcester.

His father taught drama at a college in Bromsgrove, his mother was also a  teacher and both were involved in local theatre groups. The young Rik was soon  performing, acting in shows at King’s School, Worcester, before going on to  study drama at Manchester University.

It was at Manchester in 1975 where he first met Adrian Edmondson and they  soon cemented their comedy partnership with the act 20th Century Coyote. Mayall  denies they were cocky enough to believe they were destined for success: “We  never looked at it that way, we just wanted to have a good time. We never said ‘Hey let’s get on television. Just imagine in 30 years we can both sit there in  the studio for Celebrity Abortion Sniffing looking like complete and utter  fucking wastes of oxygen’. No, it wasn’t like that.”

On graduating, Mayall showed the early signs of wanting a varied career,  landing a dramatic role touring the USA in The Comedy of Errors for the Oxford  and Cambridge Shakespeare Company. But by 1980, Mayall and Edmundson’s act had  been a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe and they made their debut at London’s Comedy  Store, as well as at the Comic Strip Club – comedy was making stars of them  both.

Mayall made his TV debut in 1981 as time-wasting investigative journalist  Kevin Turvey in sketch show A Kick Up the Eighties. A year later, along with his  then girlfriend Lisa Mayer and Ben Elton, he conceived and wrote a sitcom to  bring together several characters he knew from the alternative comedy circuit.  In late 1982, The Young Ones united Mayall and Edmondson with Nigel Planer and  Christopher Ryan, in a flatshare from hell. Its unpredictable, fantastically  infantile, violent style shook British TV comedy to the core.

By the mid-eighties, Mayall had such popularity, even the National Theatre  came knocking. He did eventually appear in The Government Inspector in 1985 but  he flatly turned down the first play they offered, feeling it wasn’t right. “I  feel proud to have turned that down. I wish I could remember what it was. Let’s  say Hamlet. Yeah, I turned down Hamlet. Well who fucking wouldn’t? I mean how  many gags are there in that?”

Mayall and Edmondson followed up The Young Ones with the unfairly panned  Filthy, Rich and Catflap in 1987, before finding their feet again with Bottom in  1991. Reflecting on these series now, Mayall says they’re feeling dated. “The  Young Ones, or Richie, or any characters like that, they have been of their  period,” he adds.

He won’t deny that Bottom’s characters Richie and Eddie could happily return  as pervy old men but for now the phenomenally successful decade of Bottom Live  shows has come to an end and Mayall still seems to miss it. “We didn’t suffer  from any delay with Bottom Live. You wrote the script and you didn’t have to  wait for someone to approve it, cross out some of your jokes and ask for other  lines.”

As well as B’Stard and Bottom, Mayall has worked the last two decades with  his trademark scatter-gun approach. A burst of films, including Drop Dead Fred,  Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis and Carry on Columbus. Scene-stealing turns as  Flashheart in the Blackadder series. Narrating children’s show Jellikins.  Playing King Herod on a DVD production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Voicing  several animated characters to international acclaim.

Perhaps most critically celebrated was his run of six single ITV plays in the  mid-nineties under the banner Rik Mayall Presents… The series bagged him a  British Comedy Award nomination for Best Actor in 1993.

However, the most coverage surrounding him in the press in recent years was  not for his work at all. “You probably know that I’ve met God, in 1998. God and  I are like that,” he says, referring to his near-fatal quad bike accident at his  Devon farm in front of his wife Barbara and three children. “Jesus was only dead  for three days. Two thousand years later, I was technically dead for five.”

With that experience now overcome, Mayall is approaching 50 with what seems  the same energy as ever, just less places than he’d like to use it. “Telly’s  been very peculiar to me in the last few years. My agent will be cross with me  if I say I wish I got more of a variety of scripts offered, because that’s the  sort of thing one doesn’t say. I mean, I’m not desperate to appear on Casualty,  I can live without that.”

Later he retracts the Casualty comment, after all Edmondson has been a Holby  City regular since 2005. But you could hardly blame Mayall for having the desire  to do something more challenging. “I don’t think telly is as exploratory or  brave as it was,” he states. “I watched Steptoe and Son the other night.  Fantastically acted, it was much more theatrically shot in those days and they  were playing a studio audience all the time.”

He also isn’t about to jump on the celebrity reality TV or panel show  circuits. “No! I do get offered them. Well I presume I get offered them. I  probably said no emphatically a few years ago. I don’t really appear as  myself.”

I start to ask what he would like to do next and suddenly he’s again less  self-assured. “What do you think I should do next?” he interrupts. When I  suggest a series of single plays such as Rik Mayall Presents are lacking from TV  at the moment, he nods in agreement. “It’s me, that’s what’s lacking on TV at  the moment.,” he laughs. “No but I appreciate that, thank you. Well let’s do  that then. You write the fucking thing and we’ll just come in and destroy BBC2,  or something like that.”

His appetite for shaking the establishment to the ground hasn’t waned, then,  but the question is, beyond B’Stard, whether he can find a new role big enough  to do it.

“I have just received the script for a lesbian vampire movie,” he adds with  another B’Stard leer. “I’ve not said yes to it yet, so I’m not going to name the  part but I was like, yeah! Be paid to go all the way to Hungary to watch all  that. Come on!”

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The B’Stard is Back!

Milton Keynes Citizen, 2nd July 2007

Name: Alan B’Stard. Address: 9 Downing Street. Who he is: ‘One of the shining stars of the New Labour cabinet.’ What is he? In short, selfish and depraved sums it all up. Is a peerage in the offing? “I’ve already bought several for an awful lot of money!” And another thing: Why is Condoleeza Rice in and out of Alan’s back door? The B’Stard is back!

Rik Mayall caused a stir when he appeared at MK theatre last year – and now the B’Stard is back! Sammy Jones caught up with the star of The New Statesman

We only have a few snatched minutes together, but our relationship blossoms with haste – he calls me a name most beautiful (though best not repeated here and now) and I call him a B’Stard in return.

For this is no ordinary interview and any journalist who picks up the phone expecting the comedy genius that is Rik Mayall to trot out tiresome tatty theatrical lines will return to their keypad disappointed. He is on the phone doing the not very-necessary (given that ticket sales are little short of awesome) but token ring round of the press in advance of The New Statesmanwhich takes its final live turn at MK Theatre from July 9.

“I’m pleased with the show,” he begins, putting more emphasis into those opening five words than many an actor does his entire career.

“I’m looking forward to coming back,” he says of his imminent arrival in our new city. “I’m looking forward to it – it has been going really well so far. You know they call Glasgow the comedians’ graveyard because if the audience don’t like something, they let you know? Well if they like it they let you know too, and we ripped the face off Edinburgh and disembowled Glasgow!”

The New Statesman, the Blair B’Stard Project again comes from the exceptional writing force that is Marks and Gran (Shine On Harvey Moon, Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart) pitting the best writers with the best performers – after all, you don’t need to colour up Mayall’s career to come up with the goods: Bottom, Blackadder and The Young Onesbeing three particular peaches.

But we shouldn’t only give Mayall and his on-stage wifey Lysette Anthony praise. “Helen Baker plays Flora Herbert and she is brilliant, her comedy timing is sublime, put that in…and we’ve got the best terrorist in the world, Kamal Hussein. It was his birthday yesterday which is why I feel a bit rough today.

“What I want to say,” he considers at fast pace, returning to roost at the work, “is that this is not a tired rehash of an old telly programme.”

‘I know as much’, I say. “Oh sorry, you’re in charge…I’ll do anything you want,” the comic creator sneers (that infamous, funny) back. But I’m not reaching for my whip (that is reserved for full-time politicans who don’t mind spending a pretty penny) and get back on track, to the very essence of his craft: That wickedly wonderful sense of humour of his.

“Comedy is the salvation of misery,” speaks the man who knows. “It’s practically sexual, and I mean that. When you’ve got several hundred people that you are able to move into any…” ‘Shape?’ I volunteer. “Yes, if you like. That’s the pleasure. I could also say that I’m ******* good at it, but I’m too much of a gentleman of course.” So Mayall is taking to the stage in the role that he made a small screen success…and this won’t be a staid production – not with the writers on tap to weave in fresh political elements as and when they happen. the Government’s brigade is being watched…

“Last year, the main body of the show was the West’s conflict with the East, but for example we did have a lot of very good World Cup jokes, but that’s finished now…” The World Cup…have we missed something?

When the curtain goes down on The New Statesman, that’ll be it, game over so far as Alan B’Stard goes. “If people really want to see the show they have to go to MK Theatre, because it won’t be coming out again, and there won’t be a DVD, nothing, that’s it.” Finish it while it’s good then? “That’s always been my principle.”

With the depraved, selfish politician no longer to wander the corridors of power, Mayall will have some free time on his hands should he choose, though he does mention a film project as a possibility.

Wherever Rik turns up, and doing whatever, you can rest easy in the knowledge that it’ll be fully plump and fantastic. “I worked it out the other day, I’ve been 31 years in the job now, I’m quite an old dog.” But still one that’d make a beeline for the nearest lamp-post and steal your string of sausages…

Rik Mayall

By Mark Shenton for Theatre.com, 11th January 2007

Meeting Rik Mayall is a bit unnerving. We are to talk about The New Statesman, the West End show in which he reprises his role as the none-more-venal politician Alan B’Stard. Mayall’s gleeful enactment of B’Stard’s wretched skullduggery made the original New Statesman TV series a 1980s classic. From beginnings with The Comic Strip and his breakthrough as Kevin Turvey in the seminal A Kick Up the Eighties, he has progressed through The Young Ones, Bottom and myriad stage and screen portrayals into the pantheon of British comedy greats. A near fatal quad bike accident in 1998 almost robbed us of his talent once and for all. Thankfully, he made a remarkable recovery and now returns to the West End for the first time since 1998, when his role in Cell Mates was brought to an abrupt end when Stephen Fry famously quit the show. It’s not his iconic rep that’s making me edgy, but the manic sweep of his conversation as he pogo-sticks relentlessly about his mental landscape. The danger and unpredictability that underpin his comedy are palpable. Winningly earnest, slyly evasive, self-mockingly egomaniacal, he cajoles, flatters and amuses in equal measure. And through it all, Mayall projects a natural charisma that lights up the room.

It’s quite a few years since Alan B’Stard helped to topple Thatcher.

We brought out a series after she was gone, but we knew that there was nothing much to bring down with Major, nothing to hit. So we called it off.

I once met Little Richard, in some cool club, last century in Soho. He’s one of my all-time heroes. Little Ben Elton and me were bringing out a book about The Young Ones, and it so happened that Little Richard was bringing out a book about himself. In my autobiography-called Bigger Than Hitler, Better than Christ, because I don’t fuck about with the truth-there’s a photo of me and Ben and Little Richard. It was him who told me, “Always stop at the top!” He was talking about performance. He said that you’ve got to get the audience high before you’re even on the stage, and when they are high, that’s when you go on there. Then you get to take them higher and higher, till they can’t get any higher. Then you get off that stage-and you don’t come back. It’s important to me never to repeat myself, never to go back.

But you HAVE come back with Alan B’Stard.

No, you’ve misunderstood. We killed The Young Ones – at the top. We killed Bottom – at the top. We killed The New Statesman – at the top. Although we kind of hung on a bit after the top had gone, though we didn’t know it. You could say, this goes against your principles then, Rik, doing Alan B’Stard again.

But it would mean you’re a very ignorant, irrelevant, small piece of barely human flesh and a waste of oxygen if you posed that one at me. Not that you did.

So why, in that case, are you revisiting the character?

Actually, it took me by surprise. The boys [Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who wrote the TV series] gave me the script. I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t funny or was inappropriate or especially if it just seemed pathetic. Like, hey guys, let’s all do The Old Ones. That would just embarrass me and kill me.

Although you might see Alan as just a member of the right-wing, me-me-me ’80s generation, he’s a bigger character than that. He’s not just an ’80s figure. He IS British politics, or rather what it has become. He’s the evil, selfish fighter who shits on the people and takes their money. Alan took the Labour Party, which used to defend the British working class, and destroyed it. He called it New Labour and picked someone from nowhere, Tony Blair, to put in front of it. So Alan is responsible for the last 10 years of British unhappiness.

Alan B’Stard was originally a Conservative-now he’s New Labour. It’s quite a journey you’ve been on with him.

Can you give me another character in drama that has stayed in existence from his 30s into his 50s? I can’t either. Does it mean you don’t do those things? No, it means that Rik has broken another barrier of entertainment concepts. Yes, it does. I’m now a pan-global light entertainment phenomenon, not a mere award-winning top actor of the National Theatre [where he appeared in Gogol’s The Government Inspector].

The great thing about

Rik Mayall

The Hill, May 2007

Cathy Levy meets the Ladbroke Grove comedian

Rik Mayall likes to tell rude jokes, swear a lot, and talk incessantly about himself. He laughs, and says he loves, in fact, to talk about himself and how “bloody marvellous” he is. Actually, he uses a stronger expletive than bloody. Really, he does swear like a trooper; effing this and effing that, but it’s all part of being funny and being a comedy great (comedy genius, he would say).

Ever since he played Sociology student Rik in The Young Ones back in 1982, his career scaled to skyscraper heights, as did those of his fellow comedy actors. Mayall, along with Nigel Planer, best friend Ade Edmondson and the other one (Christopher Ryan), plus Alexei Sayle, all brought a new alternative comedy to our screens and hearts. It was utterly unique, quickly reaching cult status. “I’m still honoured and flattered by the way people come up and talk to me about The Young Ones. Don’t forget it was last effing century, man! It’s a long time ago,” he shouts.

But the Ladbroke Grove resident is now here to promote a stage tour of one of his most favoured “evil” characters, Alan B’Stard in The New Statesman, Episode 2007. Rik has played B’Stard in four series on TV and its original writers, the award-winning and very talented Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, have penned this new version for the stage, currently doing well on tour. “So I saw the script and thought, great, I will go against one of my basic laws of pan-global entertainment, which is ‘you don’t go back’. You don’t say, ‘hey let’s do another series of The Young Onesnow all the others are aged 50 and I’m in my late twenties,'” he laughs. “I thought, ‘no, Alan isn’t merely a yuppie from the 80s he’s a permanently evil, nasty bastard, as British politicians are’.”

For those unfamiliar with the show, it’s set at 9 Downing Street, where Alan works and where he invented New Labour, consisting of a flurry of ex-Tories who’ve all crossed the floor. “I thought it was a very good idea because the Labour party in reality has become so right wing that it’s virtually what the Conservative party used to be – but, understand, God knows I’m not a politician.”

It’s quite hard to keep up with Mayall. He jumps wildly from story to story, interrupting himself with a string of asides – “remind me of Margaret Thatcher” or, “remind me of Little Richard” – constantly going off on tangents and then scrabbling to come back again. The Little Richard story gets him very animated indeed. There are four of us around a table and Mayall holds court, relishing our undivided attention. “Little Richard was one of the greats of rock and roll and I saw him live on stage and he was fantastic,” he begins. “But also, when Ben Elton and I were in a club in Soho, we actually met Little Richard! And I talked with him about being on stage. He always had his band to warm up the audience first: “Get ’em high”” shouts Mayall in a southern US accent, imitating Little Richard. “And then he’d come on and he’d take them “higher and higher!” until “they can’t get no higher!”. And that’s when you get off that stage. And that’s what the show is about – once you’ve done a joke, you don’t do it again. So this is not the same joke, this is the nastier, uglier relative of that joke,” he says, getting to the point of the story, about why it’s really OK to bring back B’stard.

The truth is, it’s a tightly written, very clever and witty political satire with a cast of excellent comedic actors. With Marks and Gran delivering “fistfuls of fresh jokes” each week, the show is able to stay totally current, keeping up to date with Blair’s announcement to retire and Brown’s inching closer to takeover. When the play launched in the West End last year, it wasn’t just theatre critics who came to meet Mayall, but major political journalists too. He says that was very flattering and modestly attributes it to the writing. As well as his being “incredibly famous”, he belts out with a laugh.

His career has indeed been prolific so far, including a string of television series (Bottom, Blackadder, The Comic Strip Presents…) and theatre (Waiting For Godot, The Common Pursuit and The Government Inspector). “The characters I do best are the ones that have some of myself in them,” he says, “like Rick from The Young Ones who is a selfish little twat, and then you have Richie from Bottomwho is a selfish big twat. With Alan, perhaps it’s vanity and self-obsession, but Alan has no morality at all, he walks freely though life doing whatever he likes.” Is this supposed to be some kind of serious insight into Mayall then? But, no, he’s off onto another topic immediately.

The New Statesman has been touring since March, also featuring Lysette Anthony as Alan’s wife, Garry Cooper, Helen Baker, Alexandra Gunn (as Condoleeza Rice) and Kamaal Hussein. The final dates take them to Bromley, Richmond and ending in Milton Keynes in July. Is it hard work being on stage through a long tour? “Theatre is the hardest job in the world because you work almost two hours a day. So, some days you have to get out of bed at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, you really do. And you have to make your own way to the theatre, well, sometimes they send you a car, but I have to find my own way from my bed to the car. Then they’ve got to drive you to the theatre and I have to get out of the car and into my dressing room and take all my clothes off and I’ve only just put them on, can you believe it? And it goes on and on. It’s hell. Sometimes you have to do it twice a day – matinees, in front of three pensioners. Can you imagine?” he says in a soft, deadpan voice.

It’s clear that there’s little chance of seeing the real man behind the comedian. Married to Barbara and with three children, he once told journalist Lynn Barber: “I don’t want people to know who I am”. Even when he talks about the near-fatal quad bike accident he had in 1998 at his Devon farm, suffering two brain haemorrhages and a fractured skull, he still makes a big joke of it. “Yes, they tried to assassinate me with a quad bike, but they failed. I was dead for five days, don’t forget that – it was the day before Good Friday. I went down that Thursday and Jesus went up on the Friday. On Sunday, Jesus comes back to life, Easter Day. On Monday, bank holiday Monday, that’s when I was not dead. Five-three, I beat Jesus, 2000 years later!”

A serious conversation with Rik Mayall? As his Young Ones alter-ego would say while sticking two fingers up: “Not bloody likely, matie!”

On the Campaign Trail with Alan B’Stard

By Gavin Allen for South wales Echo, 27th April 2007

Rik Mayall tapped a waiting Dictaphone speaker and addressed the little machine closely: ‘One-two, one-two. The great thing about me is …’

Always open with a joke.

Sitting in the circle bar at Cardiff’s New Theatre, the star of The Young Ones, Bottom and The Comic Strip insisted on a press conference to promote The New Statesman: Episode 2007.

He likes an audience and playing to a room full of journalists allowed him to deflect questions he didn’t want to answer – all of them.

Instead, Mayall spun a three-act performance.

In a supporting role was the character of Alan B’Stard, whose lines were read theatrically from a script, but B’Stard was overpowered by the lead performance of Rik Mayall, a caricature of vast ego.

There was also the rarely-glimpsed role of his real personality which showed flits of consideration, giving his pen to one absent-minded reporter.

It made a schizophrenic play: puerile but witty, massively egotistical but desperate to please his audience.

‘I’m above politics, I’ve always been a narco-surrealist – very violent, very egalitarian, very sexy,’ said Mayall, launching into his monologue.

‘Actually, I’m beneath politics. I’m either side of politics. I’m bigger than politics.

‘Anyway, Tony Blair tried to assassinate me in 1998 by fixing the brakes on my quad bike,’ he continued, referring to the accident that put him in a coma and almost claimed his life.

‘The medical truth of it is that I was dead for five days.

‘I cracked my head open on the day before Good Friday – my kids call it C**p Thursday – and the doctors kept me alive with wires all through Good Friday, all Saturday, all Easter Sunday – it’s important to note that – and then on the Bank Holiday Monday I came back to life.

‘That means I beat Jesus Christ 5-3 on days dead 2000 years later, which holds a certain significance doesn’t it?

‘God told me to resurrect Alan B’Stard to free the people from the evil of Tony Blair.’

In the stage revival of the successful Eighties sitcom, B’Stard is seeking to join the oil-rich Trillionaires Club and he doesn’t care what he has to do to get in.

‘Alan is probably the most amoral character I have created,’ said Mayall, briefly serious. ‘And the characters you do best have something of your own nature in them.’

Mayall offered his theory on performance – to leave an audience wanting more and never go back – so why is he returning to a previously closed chapter of his career?

‘The writers (Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran) gave me the script and I said ‘We’ve done The New Statesman‘ but I read it and it was absolutely brilliant because it is exactly what has happened to British politics.

‘In the play, you have a very right-wing MP who destroyed the Tory Party in the ’80s so he invents New Labour by plucking a non-entity from the gutter, dusting him off, calling him Tony Blair and sticking him in 10 Downing Street.

‘Alan lives in 9 Downing Street, from where he runs this country, and that’s the premise. He’s very high up and very evil.’

But given that Blair may not be long for this political world, what happens if there is a new Prime Minister halfway through this tour, does the play collapse?

‘We’ll be all right because we have a warehouse full of gags and scripts waiting for us. We’ll have to throw it together really fast because the very next day the whole thing is going to have to be about Gordon Brown but we have material backed up.

‘If you saw the show last year, you would probably recognise about a fifth of it because there is such a rolling turnover of gags.

‘The two writers are the best comedy writers in the country.’

They are on the phone all the time pouring jokes in.

‘But the important thing is that when my people need me to bring down the Prime Minister, I do.

‘I brought down Thatcher for the British people back in the day and now we need Blair brought down.

‘He doesn’t have much time left so if you want to enjoy his last thrashings then come along to the New Theatre, Cardiff – the best theatre in the country by far.’

His monologue over, he was off, peacocking down Queen Street, handing out ‘Vote For B’Stard’ rosettes and meeting the public.

He talked to them generously but never stopped long enough to answer their questions.

Life in the Day: Rik Mayall

By Kathy Brewis for The Sunday Times, 24th June 2007

The comic actor, 49, who starred in the 1980s sitcom The Young Ones, is on tour as Alan B’Stard, now a new-Labour convert, in the satire The New Statesman. His wife is Barbara Robbin, a former make-up artist. They live in London and Devon with their children: Rosie, 20, Sid, 18, and Bonnie, 11

I don’t like waking up in strange places, like in somebody else’s house. I keep my eyes closed, slip my hands down under the sheets and check my equipment. Then pretend to stretch, lean over, find out if there’s anyone else in the bed. If they’re asleep, get their wallet.

Not really? I’m just trying to be funny.

Last night was my beautiful wife Barbara’s birthday, so I was up all f***ing night. The kids are grown up and their friends came. Barbara was surrounded by beautiful 18, 19-year-old men being very attractive around her. My secrets are really dull: the responsible dad who gives the kids a lift to school, picks them up, gets them this or that, takes Barb shopping, helps clean the house. I try to be enigmatic. Honesty is very frightening, and so are the few friends you’re honest with.

My day is upside down — the show is only two hours’ work a day, in the evening. Normally I’m not up till midday. I don’t have to be asleep: there’s other things you can do in bed. Then I get whichever hotel I’m in to make breakfast at lunchtime: a bacon sandwich with both mayonnaise and ketchup, and tomato. It has to be toasted — bread’s no good. If you go out for breakfast, people recognise you. I love it, of course. I love being famous! I’ve been famous since I was 17. I’m self-interested, self-obsessed. I find myself fascinating.

I always wear the same clothes: black T-shirt, pair of jeans, pair of boots, and my big coat, no matter what season it is. The writers will have sent me a couple of new gags, and we’ll look at where they could fit in the show. Coffee is very important. I’m not addicted to anything — I’m Rik Mayall — but you’ve got to have a cup to wake up, haven’t you? And another for elevenses, and another when I’m feeling tired… I don’t drink milk. When I was a little boy, it made me bloat up. It’s some health thing — my mummy knows what it is. So I’ll have a double espresso.

I might go for a run, in shorts. I’m not fast, but I’m lengthy. I don’t like swimming: it’s constricting. You’re freer if you run. I like to meet people, as well. I like excitement. You go out for a run and meet someone and something happens. I’m never alone. Human intercourse — physical, mental, emotional communication — is the most pleasurable thing there is. This huge, practically sexual experience — that’s what it’s like with an audience.

There’s fun everywhere. I’ll walk down the street and talk to a complete stranger, someone who doesn’t know me as Rik, and have a little adventure, pretend to be someone else. After 10 minutes they’ll say: “You’re that bloke off the telly, aren’t you? What’s your name?” And I say: “Jennifer. Jennifer Saunders.”

I’ve already got rid of Thatcher — Alan B’Stard did it. I can feel my nation thanking me. And now in our latest show we’ve brought down Tony Blair. In 1997 there was a big party in Downing Street and all the hot new people were asked along. Adrian Edmondson and I were not. We were obviously disapproved of. The following year, Tony got MI5 to assassinate me by fixing my quad bike. When he saw he hadn’t killed me, he decided to give up the fight and just go.

After I smashed my head in, in the accident, I was very ill for a year. I woke up and the world was completely different. Maybe it was a cheap, easy way of getting older. I don’t take as much medication now. God wanted me completely cured. But when you start to get old, your memory starts to go, doesn’t it? I’d like to go back to school. I don’t know how to work computers, and it’s all people talk about — “You’ve just got to look up dot-dot-slash-thingybob.”

It’s very flattering when you have an ego as titanic as mine to know you’re so important you’ve been given two lives.

I was dead for five days: it’s important that I beat Jesus Christ 5-3. I’m not frightened of death. It felt like home. Didn’t feel scary, felt like that’s where you should be. I’d like to be buried, not cremated, so you’re eaten properly. I’d rather become a plate of soil.

I’ve been very happy all my life. I’ve had a f***ing good time. It’s a big piece of luck because I’m shit at everything except acting. Telly is not so welcoming as it was. Oh, yes, at 3 o’clock I always rush to the door to see if anyone’s come to give me a part in a television show. Of course there isn’t, so I weep, alone, for several hours. But you can be funnier in the theatre. There’s no censorship.

Tea time on the road is when me and some very good actors sit around and have some pasta or something.

I don’t like beetroot. I’m known for this. I’m not a big foodie type, it’s just fuel.

We discuss any new jokes, then get ready to do the show.

I like to go out and play afterwards — there’s no point going to bed till about 4am. The others get smashed, but I can’t drink. Two weeks ago I had flu and had to give up smoking. Obviously, I still do three or four grams of crack cocaine a day. And adultery. I do love being a dirty old man. You don’t have to be drunk to be irresponsible. But look, I’m nearly 50.

I don’t have to go disco-dancing or do rude, naughty things. I’m nice. Sensible. I work till I’m exhausted and I sleep when I’m knackered.

I’m More Famous than Tony Blair

Western Mail, 27th April 2007

Rik Mayall is in the bar of the New Theatre in Cardiff greeting a small group of journalists.

The funnyman, who has appeared in such classics as The Young Ones, Blackadder and Bottom, is in town to promote the stage version of his popular late ’80s sitcom, The New Statesman.

But trying to get answers out of Mayall is no easy feat.

Firstly, rather than do the usual one-to-one interviews, Mayall wants to conduct his question and answer session en-masse.

Within minutes it becomes clear that the reason for this is so that he can spend almost the entire time in character as the scurrilous MP Alan B’Stard.

Maybe this is because he doesn’t like being quizzed by journalists. However, I suspect that it’s due to the fact that he likes being the centre of attention too much to let any opportunity to hold court slip by.

When asked how he feels to be bringing the satire to the stage, Mayall quips, “I wish I could say I was scared. A lesser performer would be terrified. When you are a global light entertainment phenomenon there’s no fear.”

And while it may be a tongue-in-cheek remark, you get the distinct impression that he’s only half joking.

For those not familiar with The New Statesman, the TV comedy was penned by legendary writing duo Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who were also behind series like Birds Of A Feather and Shine On Harvey Moon.

Set in May 1987, Alan B’Stard (Mayall) had just been elected Tory MP for a constituency in North Yorkshire. He turned out to be one of the most unscrupulous politicians of all time.

Fast forward two decades and the stage show finds that B’Stard has defected to New Labour where he is one of the party’s kingpins and is still as wicked as ever.

“Politicians have always been bad,” says Mayall. “Alan is probably the most immoral character I have ever created.”

While audiences will no doubt be looking for elements of Tony Blair in the character, Mayall says B’Stard is his own man.

“When we originally did the series, Michael Portillo was the MP for one of the writers,” he says. “They would ask him questions like, ‘Where do you go to the toilet?’ Because of that he was constantly being accused of being the template for Alan B’Stard. Of course he wasn’t. I merely used my genius.”

So is there anything of Mayall himself in B’Stard?

“The characters you do best always have something about yourself in them – aspects of yourself you have always tried not to be, like vain. God knows I am not vain – modesty has always been my achilles heel.”

The New Statesmanis constantly updated to reflect the current political climate and the cities the stage show visits. And with the local elections just a week away, after which Blair is expected to announce his resignation as Prime Minister, the writers have more to contend with then usual. But Mayall says they’re prepared.

“We’re touring until July and if Tony loses his job in May we’ll be alright as we have a warehouse full of gags. But we’ll have to throw the scripts together really fast.”

As far as Cardiff itself is concerned, B’Stard has plenty of ideas about what he wants for the capital city. He would like to see £24m of lottery money destined for Welsh charities and sports diverted to pay for the 2012 London Olympics.

“I am in charge of the budget for the 2012 Olympics and I don’t want decent English money wasted on these little Welsh things,” he says in B’Stard mode once again.

He also wants to see a London-style congestion charge implemented in Cardiff city centre. “We must do whatever we can to keep poor people out of Cardiff.”

The stage version has already visited a number of towns and cities, including Bristol, but Mayall – or is that B’Stard? – says it will be unrecognisable when it reaches Wales due to the constant script changes.

“If you saw it in Bristol you would only recognise about a fifth of the Cardiff show.”

But Mayall says that those who were a fan of the TV sitcom will enjoy it as it’s similar to the original series but “you are allowed to say jokes you are not allowed to say on the telly”.

He adds, “The BBC would not allow you to tell a Tony Blair joke on the telly – it’s just a Tony Blair mouthpiece.”

The stage show has already been performed in London in a venue near the Commons and many MPs caught it – although Mr Blair wasn’t spotted in the audience.

“I’m more famous than Tony. I’m more important than Tony,” says Mayall/B’Stard.

As if to push the point, the comic continues, “There was a really flattering programme about me called Comedy Connections. There was footage of a Tory MP in Parliament at Prime Minister’s Question Time saying, ‘Prime Minister how do you feel about Alan B’Stard joining the Labour Party?’ Yes Elvis was famous, yes Jesus was famous, but Rik? A question has been asked about him at Prime Minister’s Question Time.”

While Mayall is not shy in praising his talents, he is keen to point out that Marks and Gran are the real brains behind The New Statesman.

“I will offer my thoughts on lines and gags but it’s important for them to get credit as it’s their baby,” he says.

So, in his opinion, what makes great comedy?

“People should come and see the show – that’s where they’ll find the answer to what great comedy is.”

Of course.

Bad Politics – Rik Mayall in The New Statesman

The Stage, 17th Janmuary 2007

Rik Mayall insists his latest project, playing the sleaze-ridden MP Alan B’Stard from his eighties TV hit The New Statesman is not a telly spin-off but a necessary damnation of the last ten years of British politics.

“Tricky one before we start. How do I present myself? Nice guy? Crazy mad guy? Good bloke?” Rik Mayall’s opening words say a lot about him – he’s not an easy actor to pin down.

In person, Mayall is genuinely very funny. He gets excited. He lays himself bare. He mentions things he probably shouldn’t. He says ‘fuck’ a lot.

A few minutes in, any prepared questions are out the window and I’m running to keep up. He doesn’t like to be contained.

“I don’t like authority. No, that’s not fucking hard enough,” he says with a grin, “I don’t do law.”

He might be slipping in and out of screen personas but a glance down his resume tells the same story. Mayall seems to have spent the last three decades avoiding being pigeon-holed – three iconic sitcom characters, Hollywood actor, Emmy Award-winning voiceover, TV leading man, stand-up comic, national stage actor and writer.

“It’s difficult to talk about yourself without looking like you’re bigging yourself up but I like the way that I don’t belong to any stream of entertainment. I swore on all sorts of holy things that I would never repeat myself.”

That could explain the pains he goes to defending his latest choice of project to me. He’s brought Alan B’Stard, the sleaze-ridden MP from his eighties TV hit The New Statesman, to London’s Trafalgar Studios. A move that could be seen as selling out for the father of alternative comedy?

“I’m very keen that people don’t think this is a telly spin-off. It’s a play. We are doing it on Whitehall, virtually next door to Tony Blair and Alan is based in number nine Downing Street.

“Twice in my lifetime so far, this character has presented itself to me to change the establishment of the British kingdom,” he adds, with a B’Stard slur. “I brought down Thatch for my people. And now I’m bringing down ‘Bleurgh’, for my people who I love and love me.”

The original writers of the TV series Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran persuaded Mayall to pick up the role again by showing him how their new play moves B’Stard on. “It’s just a massive damnation of the last ten years of British politics,” Mayall explains. “Alan can get older, because evil is a permanent thing. Alan is who invented New Labour. He is now a very established global figure. He’s having sex with Condoleezza Rice, he’s starting wars on the mobile, things like that.”

Marks and Gran are also on hand to keep the script ultra-topical, something Mayall relishes. “Oh fuck yes. It’s lovely. We had some stuff about Pinochet leaving me various things in his will just after he died. It’s great.”

A successful regional tour in 2006 confirmed there was still a public hunger for B’Stard but Mayall believes this London run is a whole new challenge. He takes a big pause, then quietly starts explaining.

“I don’t want to sound pretentious. See, I’m always covering my arse. He doesn’t like to be himself does he Rik, always hiding away,” he slams the table and is back to boisterous again. “London is by far the hardest stage to play, without doubt. I mean I’m the best at it and this is by far the best show there’s ever been but it’s very challenging.

“The sense of humour in London always changes, just because there are so many different people and so many visitors, you just don’t know who is there. You’ve got to get out there and quickly find out who or what they are. It’s a very sensual moment.”

Helping him feel his way with the London punters, Mayall is keen to name-check his fellow cast members. In fact, he’s scarily insistent. “Helen Baker is a fucking genius. Kamaal Hussein is a fucking genius. Garry Cooper, Lysette Anthony and Alexandra Gunn are the same. I’m telling you I want this printed.

“We all react and move with the audience, there haven’t been two plays the same. It’s about genuinely entertaining those people. They’re not witnesses to the play for someone else. You start with a room of 400 strangers and you end with a seriously committed army,” he states, slamming the table once more.

Marks and Gran have known Mayall for 20 years and at the start of last year’s regional tour Gran described to me what he thought made Mayall tick:

“He is a larger than life performer at his most comfortable, I think. If you asked him to do The Vicar of Dibley it would come over as a big piece of acting. I’m not saying he doesn’t do an absolutely perfect job but that’s what people like.”

Gran also explained why they’d chosen to write every line of The New Statesman, instead of farming it out. “Rik wouldn’t allow it. He needs a very close, trusting relationship. But after a while we realised it wasn’t the sort of character or style of show that could easily be subcontracted.”

Mayall moves on to talk about his heroes and his influences are surprising – not so much actors but extreme performers. “I tell you who is one of my heroes; Wilko Johnson, he was the guitarist from Dr Feelgood. I learned as much in the seventies about performance from him as from anybody. His stage presence – an absolute seizure of the audience. Power and terror.

“You’ve go to have balls to come to my theatre, because at the Trafalgar Studios you are so near to Rik.” He leans right into the tape recorder:

“Don’t be frightened people.”

For someone with such a love of shock and anarchy on stage and screen, his early upbringing seems rather reserved. Richard Michael Mayall was born in 1958 in Harlow, Essex, the second of four children and when he was three his family moved to Droitwich, near Worcester.

His father taught drama at a college in Bromsgrove, his mother was also a teacher and both were involved in local theatre groups. The young Rik was soon performing, acting in shows at King’s School, Worcester, before going on to study drama at Manchester University.

It was at Manchester in 1975 where he first met Adrian Edmondson and they soon cemented their comedy partnership with the act 20th Century Coyote.

Mayall denies they were cocky enough to believe they were destined for success: “We never looked at it that way, we just wanted to have a good time. We never said ‘Hey let’s get on television. Just imagine in 30 years we can both sit there in the studio for Celebrity Abortion Sniffing looking like complete and utter fucking wastes of oxygen’. No, it wasn’t like that.”

On graduating, Mayall showed the early signs of wanting a varied career, landing a dramatic role touring the USA in The Comedy of Errors for the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company. But by 1980, Mayall and Edmundson’s act had been a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe and they made their debut at London’s Comedy Store, as well as at the Comic Strip Club – comedy was making stars of them both.

Mayall made his TV debut in 1981 as time-wasting investigative journalist Kevin Turvey in sketch show A Kick Up the Eighties. A year later, along with his then girlfriend Lisa Mayer and Ben Elton, he conceived and wrote a sitcom to bring together several characters he knew from the alternative comedy circuit. In late 1982, The Young Ones united Mayall and Edmondson with Nigel Planer and Christopher Ryan, in a flatshare from hell. Its unpredictable, fantastically infantile, violent style shook British TV comedy to the core.

By the mid-eighties, Mayall had such popularity, even the National Theatre came knocking. He did eventually appear in The Government Inspector in 1985 but he flatly turned down the first play they offered, feeling it wasn’t right. “I feel proud to have turned that down. I wish I could remember what it was. Let’s say Hamlet. Yeah, I turned down Hamlet. Well who fucking wouldn’t? I mean how many gags are there in that?”

Mayall and Edmondson followed up The Young Ones with the unfairly panned Filthy, Rich and Catflap in 1987, before finding their feet again with Bottom in 1991. Reflecting on these series now, Mayall says they’re feeling dated. “The Young Ones, or Richie, or any characters like that, they have been of their period,” he adds.

He won’t deny that Bottom’s characters Richie and Eddie could happily return as pervy old men but for now the phenomenally successful decade of Bottom Live shows has come to an end and Mayall still seems to miss it. “We didn’t suffer from any delay with Bottom Live. You wrote the script and you didn’t have to wait for someone to approve it, cross out some of your jokes and ask for other lines.”

As well as B’Stard and Bottom, Mayall has worked the last two decades with his trademark scatter-gun approach. A burst of films, including Drop Dead Fred, Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis and Carry on Columbus. Scene-stealing turns as Flashheart in the Blackadder series. Narrating children’s show Jellikins. Playing King Herod on a DVD production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Voicing several animated characters to international acclaim.

Perhaps most critically celebrated was his run of six single ITV plays in the mid-nineties under the banner Rik Mayall Presents. The series bagged him a British Comedy Award nomination for Best Actor in 1993.

However, the most coverage surrounding him in the press in recent years was not for his work at all. “You probably know that I’ve met God, in 1998. God and I are like that,” he says, referring to his near-fatal quad bike accident at his Devon farm in front of his wife Barbara and three children.

“Jesus was only dead for three days. Two thousand years later, I was technically dead for five.”

With that experience now overcome, Mayall is approaching 50 with what seems the same energy as ever, just less places than he’d like to use it. “Telly’s been very peculiar to me in the last few years. My agent will be cross with me if I say I wish I got more of a variety of scripts offered, because that’s the sort of thing one doesn’t say. I mean, I’m not desperate to appear on Casualty, I can live without that.”

Later he retracts the Casualty comment, after all Edmondson has been a Holby City regular since 2005. But you could hardly blame Mayall for having the desire to do something more challenging. “I don’t think telly is as exploratory or brave as it was,” he states. “I watched Steptoe and Son the other night. Fantastically acted, it was much more theatrically shot in those days and they were playing a studio audience all the time.”

He also isn’t about to jump on the celebrity reality TV or panel show circuits. “No! I do get offered them. Well I presume I get offered them. I probably said no emphatically a few years ago. I don’t really appear as myself.”

I start to ask what he would like to do next and suddenly he’s again less self-assured. “What do you think I should do next?” he interrupts. When I suggest a series of single plays such as Rik Mayall Presents are lacking from TV at the moment, he nods in agreement. “It’s me, that’s what’s lacking on TV at the moment.,” he laughs. “No but I appreciate that, thank you. Well let’s do that then. You write the fucking thing and we’ll just come in and destroy BBC2, or something like that.”

His appetite for shaking the establishment to the ground hasn’t waned, then, but the question is, beyond B’Stard, whether he can find a new role big enough to do it.

“I have just received the script for a lesbian vampire movie,” he adds with another B’Stard leer. “I’ve not said yes to it yet, so I’m not going to name the part but I was like, yeah! Be paid to go all the way to Hungary to watch all that. Come on!”

Alan B’Stard Goes Walkabout!

By Emma Clayton for Telegraph and Argus, 12th June 2007

Strutting in front of City Hall, the sharp-suited politician oozed oily insincerity as he grinned for photographers, chatted to shoppers and shook the hands of passers-by.

This was actor Rik Mayall in character as slimy MP Alan B’Stard, doing a walkabout in Bradford city centre today on the day his show, The New Statesman, opened at the Alhambra.

Once a pinstripe-suited Thatcherite, B’Stard has made a political comeback – as a pinstripe-suited Blairite – and yesterday lunchtime he was in Centenary Square meeting bemused Bradford-ians.

“Hello Bradford!” he called. There were no babies around to kiss but the MP’ flirted with a couple of women, kissing their hands for the cameras, and shared a joke with a group of lads.

Passers-by called out and a Big Issueseller stopped to shake his hand, prompting B’Stard to grimace and wipe his hand on a reporter’s jacket.

The MP we love to hate insisted he was a man of the people who was “saving the nation from Tony Blair.”

“When Alan removed Thatcher from the country there was nobody left to despise. So he invented New Labour, which is far more right wing than the Tories, and he’s on a mission to keep them in power,” said Rik.

“He’s edging Tony out and making way for Gordon. I’m a patriot, I love my country. And I have been called to get rid of Tony Blair.”

Slipping in and out of character, it was difficult to know where Alan B’Stard ended and Rik Mayall began.

His tongue was firmly in his cheek as he spoke of the “great fun” he’s having on the UK tour of The New Statesman. “It’s not a stage version of the TV show, it’s the next instalment. We tried to get it on the telly but nobody would do it. They won’t take a risk, they’re all working for Blair.”

In the show, by writers of the original 1987-92 TV series, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the deliciously devious B’Stard throws himself into the campaign for leadership of the Labour Party. But his big concern is joining the Trillionaires Club, an exclusive body boasting eight figures who own most of the world’s oil. Condolezza Rice has the key – but will she allow Alan to access all areas?

Rik Mayall starred in four series of The New Statesman on ITV. His career also includes Bottom, Blackadder, and The Young Ones.

A Right B’Stard

The Daily Echo, 5th April 2007

Outrageous TV favourite Alan B’Stard caused a stir when he took to the streets of Southampton yesterday.

Rik Mayall transformed into his hilarious comedy creation to promote his show The New Statesman, which is set to enjoy a week-long run at the Mayflower in June.

Ultra-right wing Tory MP Alan praised Southampton as “the funkiest city in England” and agreed with MP Boris Johnston’s negative comments about rival city Portsmouth.

But he didn’t please everyone – with a number of shoppers failing to see the funny side of B’Stard’s scandalous remarks .

Rik, as B’stard, told the Daily Echo: “All the puritans left this city on the Mayflower and went off to America to not drink, then blow up Japan.

“So there’s no puritans in Southampton and the audience is going to be made up of the funkiest best people. Southampton is the funkiest city in England.”

Adding fuel to the comments by MP for Henley on Thames Johnson that Portsmouth is “too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs”, B’Stard said the comments were “a bit tame” and just showed that “Johnson is in the employ of me Alan B’Stard”.

While in town, B’stard also tried to give the mayor of Southampton Councillor John Slade a cash bung and managed to insult many of the city’s shoppers while walking down the High Street.

Teenagers enjoying an Easter shopping trip didn’t recognise the funnyman and one girl even resorted to ripping his Vote B’Stard’ rosette from his suit.

B’Stard pretended to urinate on a busker and a police car, stopped traffic and questioned British immigration laws while holding a spoof electioneering campaign in the city centre.

Rik Mayall appears as Alan B’Stard in The New Statesmenat the Mayflower from Monday June 4 to Saturday June 9.

In the show, B’Stard has a country to run, but is only concerned with joining the Trillionaires Club. You can join him as Tony Blair prepares for his farewell tour and the cabinet discuss the issues of the day – cash for honours, unmarried mothers, the Bush administration and what the Blairs will do next.