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Rik Mayall Dies at 56

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I am so sad to hear the news of Rik Mayall's death. He was one of the funniest actors I had ever seen and I really need to go watch The young Ones and Drop Dead Fred again soon. Here is the story:

'A truly brilliant comedian': Tributes paid to Young Ones star Rik Mayall By Simon Coyle

The star was 56 and his career included appearances in shows including Blackadder, Bottom and The New Statesman

Comedians, actors and friends have paid their tributes to Rik Mayall, who died this morning.

The star, who shot to fame playing Rick in The Young Ones, was 56 and his career included appearances in shows including Blackadder, Bottom and The New Statesman.

Actor and long-time friend Adrian Edmondson said of Rik Mayall: "There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing.

"They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish b*****d."

Many people took to Twitter soon after news broke to express their shock at his death.

Among those paying tribute was David Walliams, who wrote: "I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up, Rik Mayall, has died. He made me want to be a comedian."

Impressionist Rory Bremner said: "Oh no. Awful news about Rik Mayall - a fireball of creative comic energy and inspiration. Such brilliant raw talent."

Writer and comedian David Schneider wrote on Twitter: "RIP Rik Mayall. Hard to believe we've been robbed of such flair and comic force."

Comedian Kevin Bridges wrote: "Very sad news about Rik Mayall. Loads of great nights growing up watching 'The Young Ones' and 'Bottom' A funny, funny guy. Respect."

Novellist and journalist Tony Parsons tweeted: "Rotten news about the death of Rik Mayall - decades too soon. He taught a generation to laugh at the world - and ourselves. Rik Mayall, RIP."

Blackadder producer John Lloyd said Mayall was "just extraordinary".

Speaking to BBC News, he said: "It's really a dreadful piece of news.

"I remember going to the very first night of the Comedy Store and thinking 'Where does this come from?'.

"It was the most extraordinary thing, him and Ade Edmondson doing the Dangerous Brothers, they were called, and you just felt you were in the presence of something, a whole revolutionary thing."

BBC director of television Danny Cohen said: "Rik Mayall was a truly brilliant comedian.

"His comic timing was outstanding and his screen presence unique. For a generation of viewers he was a true comedy hero."

Actress Helen Lederer, who appeared in The Young Ones, tweeted: "Rik Mayall, I loved you. Gutted. The man who taught me not to crash laughs, has crashed. Real love to wife, children. Massive loss."

Comedy star Noel Fielding wrote: "Growing up there was no-one funnier! We will really miss you Rik Mayall you genius."

Trainspotting writer Irvine Welsh wrote: "Rik Mayall spread a lot of fun and laughter. Very sad to see him taken before his time."

Actor David Harewood said: "RIP Rick Mayall. Great comedian and actor. Funny, brilliant and sharp as nails."

Monty Python star Eric Idle said: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall. Far too young. A very funny and talented man.

Writing on Twitter, Bob Mortimer said: "Last time I saw him he grabbed my crotch and said 'Not eaten yet then?" So sad.. Funniest man of his generation."

Mayall's spokeswoman confirmed that the actor, who was married with three children, died at home in London.

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Tremendous loss! Never less than interesting, often thrilling!

I first encountered him on TV as a provocative stand-up in the then-new alternative comedy scene which he quickly outgrew.

The first real character I saw him do was Kevin Turvey, the "investigative journalist". Brilliant!

Of course, he moved on to greater triumphs. RIP, People's Poet!!! :(

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