Comedian Rik Mayall was due to film second RTE series
Published 10/06/2014 | 02:30
It emerged last night that the former enfant terrible of alternative comedy Rik Mayall had been due to film the second series of hit RTE comedy 'Damo & Ivor' in a matter of weeks.
Mayall's on-screen wife in RTE's 'Damo & Ivor', Norma Sheahan, described him as a "creative fountain" while on set.
Ms Sheahan said: "He was wired, constantly thinking between each take how to make things better and better."
The actress, who also stars in 'Moone Boy,' revealed how the creative team behind 'Damo & Ivor' managed to convince Mayall to appear in the homegrown comedy.
Ms Sheahan explained that it was the cousin of Andrew Quirke, who portrays both rough Damo and posh Ivor, who asked Mayall to star.
"He agreed to do it, but obviously with an RTE budget, so I think they squeezed all his scenes into two days."
Mayall developed a trademark anarchic line in over-the-top scatology; but he later broadened his appeal with his portrayal of the egregious politician Alan B'Stard.
His breakthrough came in 1982 when he co-wrote and co-starred in BBC Television's 'The Young Ones', a situation comedy featuring a group of revolting students on the breadline, squeezing spots, baring bottoms and sharing a filthy flat.
Arms flailing and eyes bulging, Mayall's character, the angst-ridden loud-mouthed student Rick, chimed with the programme's unpredictable "alternative" quality. The show tore up the established rules of comedy; the resulting 35 minutes of rampaging, violent slapstick struck some as having more in common with Warner Bros cartoons than with traditional sitcoms.
Mayall wrote 'The Young Ones' with his then girlfriend Lise Meyer and another emerging alternative comedy star, Ben Elton. Although it found a cult audience straight away others were slow to catch on, and it was only when the series was repeated that it began to build a sizeable audience.
In contrast to his outrageous, rebarbative characterisations, Mayall was quietly spoken and shy, with a reputation as the chameleon comedian. (© Daily Telegraph, London)