Rik Mayall: 'Funniest Man Of Generation'
Comedian Adrian Edmondson has led tributes to his long-time friend and collaborator Rik Mayall, who has died aged 56.
The pair worked together on hit shows such as The Young Ones and Bottom after meeting at Manchester University.
"There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing," said Edmondson. "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*****d."
Mayall's CV stands alongside anyone in sitcom, rising to fame in the 1980s as Cliff Richard superfan Rick in The Young Ones.
Sir Cliff said: "I became a fan of his when he was in The Young Ones show and was always thrilled when he used my name during his series. I am so sad at his passing."
Shows like Blackadder and The New Statesman contributed to Mayall becoming one of the most recognisable comics of the modern era.
Blackadder writer Ben Elton and co-star Stephen Fry were quick to pay their respects.
"I met Rik when I was 18 and his friendship and extraordinary comic talent have been an inspiration to me ever since," said Elton.
"I owe him so much, he changed my life utterly when he asked me to co-write The Young Ones with him and he was with me on the day I met my wife. He always made me cry with laughter, now he's just made me cry."
Fry added: "Simply distraught to hear of the death of Rik Mayall. An authentic comedy genius and a prince among men."
Comic Bob Mortimer was one of the first to respond to news of Mayall's death.
He wrote on Twitter: "Last time I saw him he grabbed my crotch and said 'Not eaten yet then?' So sad ? Funniest man of his generation."
Mortimer was joined by a host of fellow comedians.
"Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall," said Monty Python star Eric Idle.
"Far too young. A very funny and talented man."
Impressionist Rory Bremner too: "Oh no. Awful news about Rik Mayall - a fireball of creative comic energy and inspiration. Such brilliant raw talent."
Here are some of the other tributes made:
:: DJ Chris Moyles: "RIP Rik Mayall. Thank you for making me laugh a million times. Woof."
:: Actress Helen Lederer: "Rik Mayall, I loved you. Gutted. The man who taught me not to crash laughs, has crashed. Real love to wife, children. Massive loss."
:: DJ Chris Evans: "RIP Rik Mayall. I'm off to hit the gasman with a frying pan. It's the least I can do."
:: Comedian Jack Dee: "So shocked to hear about Rik Mayall. A wonderfully funny icon of British comedy."
:: Satirist Charlie Brooker: "Rik Mayall was just pure wiry, energetic, unpredictable humour poured into the shape of a human. You couldn't not watch him."