The comedian – who worked with Mayall on The Young Ones and Bottom – has never spoken to the press before about his grief and still struggles to articulate how he feels.
“I’ve been trying to think of a cogent way of talking about it but I think, the thing is, I’m just completely awash, still,” he said. “I don’t know where I am with him.”
“I have never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik,” Edmondson told The Guardian. “Apoplectic laughter.”
Edmondson pulled out of featuring in a BBC tribute programme, after deciding that “it was all wacky and wild”.
Rik Mayall: Career in pictures
Rik Mayall: Career in pictures
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Rik Mayall 'The Last Hurrah' CD signing, Falmouth Bookseller in Cornwall, 2013
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British actor and comedian Rik Mayall being interviewed in January 1985
3/15 Rik Mayall with his wife
Rik Mayall attends the Olivier Awards at the Dominion Theatre in London, 1989
4/15 Rik Mayall and Dave Allen
Rik Mayall and Dave Allen at the British Comedy Awards party in London, 1993
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Rik Mayall in 'Rik Mayall Presents', 1995
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Rik Mayall in 1999
7/15 Rik Mayall with his wife
Rik Mayall with his wife Barbara in 2000
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Rik Mayall in 2003
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Actor Rik Mayall arrives at the UK Film Premiere of the classic novel by Jules Verne 'Around The World In 80 Days' at Vue West End in London, 2004
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Rik Mayall at the National TV Awards in Royal Albert Hall in London, 2005
11/15 Rik Mayall and Marsha Fitzalan
Rik Mayall and Marsha Fitzalan pose as their comic 1980's TV characters Alan and Sarah B'Stard in London, 2006
12/15 Rik Mayall
Actor Rik Mayall is asked to move on by police as he poses as his comic 1980's TV character Alan B'Stard to launch the four-month UK tour of the stage adaptation of the satirical TV series outside the Houses of Parliment in London, 2006
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Rik Mayall auditioning actors for the parts of Tony and Cherie Blair for his play 'The New Statesman - Alan B'Stard's Extremely Secret Weapon', Trafalgar Studios, Whitehall in London, 2006
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Rik Mayall standing on a Saltire painted cow outside the Scottish Parliament, 2006
15/15 Rik Mayall and Alan Yentob
Rik Mayall jokes with television executive and broadcaster Alan Yentob at the British Comedy Awards in London, 2011
“I just think he deserves something better than that. And I think, if someone important dies, you can’t be flippant about it.”
He says that Mayall never fully recovered from a serious quad bike accident in 1998 which left him “strangely more emotional; still very funny”.
The pair met at Manchester University and found a common bond over both being “arty wankers but with a taste for beer”. They worked together on some of the most prolific British comedies of the Eighties, including The Comic Strip Presents… and The Young Ones, before Bottom in the Nineties.
Edmondson rejected his friend’s repeated requests to collaborate again over the past decade in what could have been “a shit, late series like Morecambe and Wise”, a move that “confused” Mayall.
“I spent 10 years trying to explain to him why I didn’t want to work with him, you know, and it was tough,” he said.Reuse content