Famed for his anarchic comic style, Mayall co-wrote and
starred in the BBC sit-com "The Young Ones", played the corrupt
but suave politician Alan B'Stard in "The New Statesman" and
made notable appearances alongside Rowan Atkinson in "Blackadder".
His management company did not give the cause of death but said
further details would be released soon. Mayall had a serious
quad bike accident in 1998 which left him in a coma for five
He was one of a generation who performed what came to be known
as "alternative comedy" - off-beat, often surreal and,
particularly in Mayall's case, violently slapstick - routines in
London's Comedy Store club, with his long-time comic partner
Adrian Edmondson, Alexi Sayle and the female double-act Dawn
French and Jennifer Saunders.
That troupe went on to successful TV careers, largely sweeping
aside a previous generation of more traditional acts.
Mayall made a brief foray into Hollywood in the 1991 movie Drop
Dead Fred, starring as a young woman's obnoxious imaginary
friend, but was unable to recreate the enormous success he
enjoyed in Britain.
His edgy, aggressive performances were an inspiration to a
generation that followed. David Walliams, co-creator of "Little
Britain", one of the BBC’s most successful comedy sketch shows
of recent years, tweeted: "I am heartbroken that my comedy idol
growing up Rik Mayall has died. He made me want to be a
(Reporting by Jack Stubbs and Michael Roddy; Editing by Robin
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.