Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Rik Mayall; 'Love is the answer'.

We had big plans - I needed another CT Scan (it's one of those scans where you really don't want the result) so afterwards we were going to go down to Hammersmith bridge and have our sandwiches down by the river - there's a nice view of Chiswick.

We were late getting into Hammersmith so I bought a big bottle of drink from Tesco's in a rush and then we went to Rik Mayall's bench where, as you can see, I'm about to drink a whole litre of water in 30 seconds;

At the hospital I found this hadn't been as essential as the letter made out.


Anyway, it was a nice chance to take a moment at Rik's bench, which is on a traffic island by the big roundabout in the middle of Hammersmith.

Here's the brass plaque;

Rik was born in Hammersmith and, sadly,died last June aged 56. He transformed british comedy (not least by being very funny) because he spearheaded a group of young, innovative and different comics in the 1980's.

Strongly influenced by Punk and in fierce opposition to a previous generation of sad, unfunny 'comics' (Jim Davidson springs to mind) who relied on jokes about mothers in law, wives, race......and not much else really.

It was no laughing matter.

Whatever united them apart from being young and angry was opposition to Thatcher and everything she stood for. Out of it came 'The Comic Strip' and 'Alternative Comedy' which brought Britain into the 20th century at last.

Anyway, the bench featured as an opener for 'Bottom', where Rik Mayall and his long term friend Aidrian Edmonson would be seen arguing and fighting each other every week.

There are a collection of photo's - mainly of 'Alan B'stard', the greedy and opportunist Thatcherite conservative M.P. Rik played so well.

Anyway, Hammersmith's then conservative council removed the bench before Rik died and because it upset him,after he died his fans organised an internet campaign to get it restored as a memorial to him.

And it was;

So, I drank my water, we took these photos and messed about a bit. Then we went to Charing Cross Hospital and I did the scan. Came out a bit worn out and we walked over to Hammersmith Bridge to have a sit down and our lunch.

Except that when we got there, the area was swarming with Police running about (how can I put it?) like headless chickens.

They had found a 'suspicious package', closed the bridge down and the whole area around it.

So that was the end of our lunch and walk.

We ended up going back to Rik's bench and ate our lunch there in the middle of a traffic island, surrounded by the biggest traffic jam you've ever seen.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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