On Thursday, July 16 the Belfast Film Festival will have a special celebration of the late, great Rik Mayall. From The Young Ones to Blackadder, join our host Paul Currie as we celebrate Rik’s finest moments…
Comedy performer and writer Rik Mayall was an integral member of the ‘alternative comedy’ scene that emerged on British television in the 1980s, and is most famous for his roles in the anarchic sitcom The Young Ones, The New Statesman and Bottom.
Mayall met his comedy partner Adrian Edmondson in 1975 whilst a student at the University of Manchester. He performed sketches and stand-up in The Comedy Store and The Comic Strip Club in London as part of a double act called with Edmondson called ‘Twentieth Century Coyote’. A regular sketch in the show A Kick Up The Eighties (BBC 1981, 1984) showcased Mayall’s character Kevin Turvey, a dreary Brummie investigative journalist who was given his own one-off show Kevin Turvey – The Man Behind The Green Door (BBC) in 1982. Mayall was also a regular cast member of the parodic teleplay series The Comic Strip Presents…
But his biggest television breakthrough was The Young Ones, which followed the surreal antics of the four occupants of a dilapidated student house in London, and was co-written by Mayall with Ben Elton and Lise Mayer. The New Statesman saw the creation of another of Mayall’s long-running sitcom characters. Alan B’Stard was a smug, conniving and morally bankrupt Conservative MP in this vicious political satire that was first broadcast when Margaret Thatcher was still the Conservative Prime Minister.
In 1991, Mayall reunited with Edmondson for another sitcom. The pair jointly wrote Bottom, in which Mayall played Richie Richard alongside Edmondson’s Eddie Hitler, an ‘odd couple’ of flat-sharing unemployed middle-aged bachelors with a mutual hatred of each other, but bound together by circumstance.
We’ll be screening highlights from Rik Mayall’s amazing career for this special event.
The evening starts at 8PM