AN ACTOR and author has paid tribute to leading alternative comedian and former colleague Rik Mayall, who died this week aged 56.
Dave Dutton, from Atherton, worked alongside the star of Bottom and The Young Ones on radio series The Last Hurrah, a hilarious adult comedy about the surreal characters inhabiting a gentleman’s club.
Dave, whose career has included roles in leading soaps and writing several books of Lancashire dialect poems and stories, was also planning to return to the studio with Rik to record a second, fully-written series of the show.
He hailed Rik, who appeared in numerous cult sitcoms but also worked on everything from narrative voice-overs for children’s educational films to West End theatre productions, as “a comic genius” and shared his memories of working together.
Dave, 66, said: “I went to London to audition for The Last Hurrah near his home and we seemed to hit it off straight away. He was a lovely man and after recording sessions in Plymouth we would go for meals and have long chats.
“He was a thorough professional, looking at everything down to the last detail and asking why certain lines were in the script.
“He was great fun and it is unbelievable he has gone so young, as 56 is no age at all.”
Dave appeared alongside Rik in the six episodes of The Last Hurrah, with the two actors playing a disgraced northern ventriloquist and an immortal snowman respectively.
He said recording alongside Rik was often hysterically funny, but they also enjoyed serious conversations in which the actor best known for his work with Ade Edmondson spoke about his influences and the comedy he most admired.
Dave said: “In the studio it was hard not to laugh. Even if you knew the lines the way he delivered them meant I had to bite my fist to stop laughing until it was my turn to speak.
“At times we both had tears in our eyes from laughing at each other’s performances. It was quite rude but very funny.
“He was also interesting when he spoke about comedy, because he said his biggest influence was Tom and Jerry and you can actually see similarities to that cartoon style in his work.
“I think he had a lot more to give but he left a good legacy. I’m sure his work will stand the test of time and his anarchic brand of comedy will live on.”