Rik Mayall: Campaign launched to get 'lost' World Cup song to number one

The Young Ones star died yesterday but could 'Noble England' be revived?

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The Independent Culture

A campaign has been launched to get late comedian Rik Mayall's “lost” World Cup song “Noble England” to number one.

DJ Jon Morter, who calls himself the ‘charts hijacker’, has started a Facebook page in tribute to The Young Ones star who died yesterday aged 56 for as-yet-undisclosed causes. To date, almost 3,000 people have “liked” the group.

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Mayall’s track, which includes famous lines “respectfully taken” from Shakespeare’s Henry V (“Once more unto the pitch, dear friends”), set against a football chant (“Come on you England, you noble Englishmen”) and motivational music.

The video, which has racked up 310,500 views, stars Mayall in traditional Henry V get-up inspiring the footballers to bring home glory for their country and “win for St George”.

Update: Mayall's World Cup anthem enters UK top 40

It closes with the trophy being held aloft and, somewhat poignantly, shows Mayall disappearing into a glowing walkway, an English flag draped over his shoulders, as the crowd cheers. 


“I am the lovechild of Britannia and St George,” Mayall said upon the anthem’s release. “That is why they gave birth to me, so that I could release this single.

"I’m doing my bit, just like every other Englishman, as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder, doing out bit, stiff upper lip – apart from when you’re screaming out the lyrics to 'Noble England'.”

Unfortunately "Noble England" failed to chart, but if anyone can bring it back from obscurity, it’s Morter.

The social media campaigner was behind the successful effort to take Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” to the 2009 Christmas top spot, in an outcry against Simon Cowell’s commercial juggernaut, The X Factor.

Speaking on his new project, Morter told the Evening Standard: "It would be great thing for Rik's memory. He was a comedy legend. Rage Against the Machine was more of a protest whereas this campaign seems to be a way of displaying respect.

"It's a cruel irony that on the eve of the World Cup we have lost him. It's now time for everyone to wake up to this fantastic song."

The World Cup kicks off on Thursday but there is no official England song as yet. Gary Barlow and Michael Owen's take on Take That's "Greatest Day" was sidelined, while unofficial contributions include Monty Python's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".