Belfast Telegraph

Davies' pain over Mayall death

TV star Greg Davies has told of his painful year after both his father and the man who played his on-screen dad - Rik Mayall - died.

The Young Ones star Mayall died at the age of just 56 last year.

Davies, 47, told Radio Times magazine: "My dad died a couple of months after Rik... it was a difficult year. It's a unique set of circumstances. It was incredibly sad. I was very close to my dad."

Mayall played Davies' father in the Channel 4 sitcom Man Down and t he former drama teacher said that he would never have considered getting another actor to play him.

"Rik was the dream casting for me. He was a childhood hero of mine, and I look like him. And he was beloved, as you saw when he died," he said.

"The adoration poured out for him. So never for a second did I think, 'That's OK, we'll just get another dad in.' "

Davies, who plays a teacher in the show, had already sketched out five episodes of a second series of Man Down when Mayall died.

Eventually he decided to substitute him with an eccentric aunt, who is not based on a real relative.

"I don't have a battleaxe aunty, but I know some women in Shropshire who are that sort of stoic, get-on-with-life-even-if-your-legs-get-chopped-off, red-faced farmers' wives," he said.

Davies spent 13 years as a drama teacher, an unhappy period in which he was "lost at sea" and felt "a bsolute self-loathing" before becoming an actor.

He said that Mayall "was probably the first person who made me think, 'Yeah, God, if I can get paid for that!'"

Davies also hit the headlines recently when it emerged that he had been in a relationship with Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall.

He said: "We haven't been together for some time, but it was all very amicable and she is a good friend."

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