Rik Mayall was laid to rest in a rose-festooned wicker coffin in a beautiful English churchyard yesterday (19 June). The late comedian collapsed and died aged 56 after his morning run on Monday 9 June, owing to what was later found to be a heart attack.
Adrian Edmondson [L] Was A Pallbearer At His Friend Rik Mayall's [R] Funeral.
The comedian and former star of The Young Ones passed away at his home in Barnes, South West London, but was buried St George's Church in the village of Dittisham, Devon. The sun was shining and guests were seen smiling as they exchanged fond memories of the profanity-loving comic.
The ceremony was attended by comedy royalty, who had been friends with or worked with Mayall during his long career. Ruby Wax, Dawn French, Ben Elton, Jennifer Saunders, Nigel Planer, Alexei Sayle and Alan Rickman were just some of the 140 guests that gathered to pay their respects to Rik, according to BBC News.
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Comedy partner Edmondson, who starred in The Young Ones with Mayall and co-created the slapstick sitcom, Bottom, was solemn as he dutifully carried out his role as pallbearer with nine other men. Laughter rang out in the church as tributes were paid to the "wonderful, generous, foul-mouthed" star and guests exited the church to the tune of Van Morrison's hit, Brown Eyed Girl.'
Rik Mayall's Life Was Celebrated At A Ceremony Of Laughter, Tears And Music.
Upon learning of his friend's death, Edmondson responded in a way Mayall would have surely appreciated: "There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing,' Edmondson, 57, said. "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******."
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"We would like to let you, the fans, know that we will be having a private family funeral for Rik, as I am sure you will understand," Mayall's widow, Barabard, said in a statement prior to the ceremony. "We will be burying him at 2pm on Thursday June 19 if you would like to join us in thoughts and prayer at this time. Thank you again for all your love and support to all our family, it brings great strength."
Comedienne Dawn French, speaking ahead of the funeral, spoke warmly of Mayall, describing him as "honestly one of the funniest people ever. Breathtakingly funny and beautiful guy - a real tragic loss."
A public memorial service for Mayall is expected to be held in September.