This morning, I was saddened to hear that Rik Mayall had died. Growing up in the 80s, The Young Ones was everywhere, and as a pre-teen, I adored the show that put him and Adrian Edmondson et al on the world stage.
It was what was to be the final term of Margaret Thatcher being Prime Minister of the UK, and a tide was turning away from conservatism. My family talked politics a lot, so I got the political jokes, laughed at the violence, and gagged my way through the episode where Neil sneezes constantly.
But, it didn't end there. From The Young Ones, I moved onto Filthy, Rich and Catflap with them (for some reason an often overlooked, but brilliantly funny show), The New Statesman, Bottom, all the short films put out under The Comic Strip, Guest House Paradiso, even Drop Dead Fred.
There was nothing Rik Mayall was in that I thought was bad. He was funny, and not afraid of poking fun at himself.
So RIP Rick, Richard Richard, Alan B'Stard, Lord Flashheart, Fred.
And in the immortal words of Rick:
This house will become a shrine, and punks and skins and rastas will all gather round and hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader. And all the grown-ups will say, "But why are the kids crying?" And the kids will say, "Haven't you heard? Rick is dead! The People's Poet is dead!"
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...