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Tributes to The Young Ones star Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall with his wife Barbara

Rik Mayall with his wife Barbara

Tributes have been pouring in for comedy legend Rik Mayall after he died suddenly at his home on Monday.

The 56-year-old, who starred in a number of hit shows, left his mark in Blackpool, where fans and performers say he will be sadly missed.

He shot to fame playing poetry-writing anarchist Rick in The Young Ones and enjoyed success as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder.

Mayall, who performed at the Grand Theatre, shared the screen with resort favourites the Nolan sisters on an episode of Filthy Rich and Catflap in 1987.

He was later immortalised on Blackpool’s Comedy Carpet, with lines from The Dangerous Brothers, in which he starred with Ade Edmondson, among the first sections to be laid down.

Maureen Nolan, who learned of Mayall’s death while in Florida, said she and her sisters had been shocked to learn of his unexpected death.

She said: “It is so sad and such a shock, we are really upset. We worked with him on his Filthy, Rich and Catflap series when he was at the height of his powers and fame and it was a wonderful experience, really great fun.

“He really was the nicest and most unassuming man despite being a big star, one of the most genuine people in show business and one of the funniest.”

Linda Nolan, who was not in the TV sketch, said she remembered how impressed they had been with Mayall at the time.

She said: “I know they loved him and said he was the nicest man. He gave them flowers at the end of the show.

“When we heard about his death we were at dinner and there was a gasp around the table.”

Meanwhile, local fans have been leaving tributes on social media.

Twitter user Darren Dutton wrote: “Saw Rik Mayall live at Blackpool Grand Theatre in the late 1980s. Effortlessly funny man. Can’t believe it.”

Mayall, who leaves his wife, Barbara, and three children, Rosie, Sidney and Bonnie, survived an almost-fatal quad bike accident in 1998 which left him in a coma for several days.

The cause of his death is not yet known.

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