Belfast Telegraph

Rest your bottom on Mayall's bench

A memorial bench has been unveiled in memory of late Bottom actor and "comic genius" Rik Mayall.

The bench was placed in Hammersmith, west London, to honour Mayall's work in the popular BBC sitcom.

Mayall, who died in June aged 56, starred alongside Ade Edmondson in the slapstick show and the duo could be seen in its opening credits sitting on a similar bench in the Broadway.

A red sheet was lifted from the memorial to cheers and whistles in the presence of Mayall's children following an online campaign by more than 7,000 fans.

Organiser and west London resident Jaime Bird, 32, said : "Rik is a legend and I wanted to get the bench for him and be able to sit on it as an old lady. It will honour him forever."

Life-long fan Russ Freeman, 37, who travelled from Essex with his wife Mandy, said: "He was a national treasure and a comic genius.

"We wanted to pay tribute to him. He was under-appreciated in his lifetime and he has left behind a huge body of work.

"To have the bench for Rik in Hammersmith is fantastic and it's great the council have been so positive. He is an important part of our cultural heritage."

A plaque on the bench reads:

"In Memory Of The Man, The Myth, The Legend

"Dr The Rik Mayall

"Pan Global Phenomenon

"Equality, Opportunity, Wisdom, Freedom & Love.

"Barbara: Love Is The Answer"

Hammersmith and Fulham deputy mayor Ali Hashem said: "Rik Mayall was one of the brightest comedians of his generation and we are proud that some of his best work was set in Hammersmith.

"So when his legion of fans suggested a memorial bench in the Broadway, we were pleased to help.

"It was a fantastic day and the moving tributes demonstrated just how many lives he touched."

Immediately after his death, an unofficial blue plaque was attached to the railing of the Hammersmith Broadway traffic island honouring Mayall, near where the bench has now been placed.

Mayall, b orn in Essex, starred in numerous cult classics such as Blackadder, The Young Ones and The New Statesman.

He was survived by his wife Barbara and children Rosie, Sidney, and Bonnie.

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