Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The People's Poet is dead!

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  • Che Tibby,

    your quote is very apt. being a teen in the 80s was just so goddamn bleak, what with the economy in the loo and the very real threat of nuclear annilation. discovering a series of lunatics on the TV was what helped keep us sane.

    to this day i resent having to be the one who gets it together to put the lentils on to soak (thanks neil...), and occasionally tell myself poetry in the bathroom mirror.

    and SKA ON TV. totes awes.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Nik Dirga,

    Growing up in small-town America in the 1980s, discovering 'The Young Ones' for the first time was revelatory. It made me realise there was a world outside my country, and that I'd like to see it. (And here I am 30 years later, living in New Zealand.)

    Rik was the anarchic, frenzied heart of that show and for those of us in my small-town high school who knew 'The Young Ones,' it was like a secret club of underground cool that nobody else knew about.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    As a twentysomething back in the eighties, I loved the Young Ones...and later Blackadder and the New Statesman, Rik's wickedly funny skewering of the hypocritical self-serving nature of the Thatcher personality cult during that overly long period of UK Conservative Party dominance. RIP Rik, you will be much missed and memories of your inimitable style and razor-sharp wit will be cherished.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 566 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    We had many (p)Riks at Southampton Uni in the early 1980s. Come third year, most of them cut their hair and interviewed for Andersen Consulting. I suspect they are now CEOs.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    and the show was perfectly timed in so many ways, but mostly because the scheduling allowed for the last call at the Windsor, a dash to the car, then back to whoever had the nearest telly. like radio with pictures that was community viewing.
    and as for the ska on teevee,..Motorhead on teevee more like. now that rocked.
    otherwise, really shit news to get up to. all the best to his family.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Fox,

    Rik Mayal and the Young Ones \ Commic strip brought great joy during pretty bleak times in the UK. Feeling nostalgic and very sad today.

    Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Going into the West Country...
    Adrian Edmondson pays tribute:

    "There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. 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 bastard."

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I was about eight years old when I first saw The Young Ones, and like a lot of kids, I loved it, literally rolling on the floor laughing and memorising lines. And the magic of the show was how its comedy appealed to different audiences, with there being more to appreciate and laugh at as I got older.

    As I got older, I began to explore the UK alternative comedy scene and other projects from Mayall and pals - The Comic Strip, Filthy Rich & Catflap, Bottom, Rik Mayall Presents - if it wasn't on TV, whatever United Video in Hamilton East had in their large comedy section. And I'll tell you what, if there's any great source of inspiration for the lolz in my life, it's Rik Mayall.

    His death is terribly, awfully sad, but one bright thing has come out of it. This morning Twitter is full of people sharing their favourite Rik moments, a flood of lolz and love.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don't want to re-watch The Young Ones because I have a sneaking suspicion it's one of those things that had it's time and place but won't age at all well. (Who does?) But everything I read about Mayal, he came across as someone who really took thinks seriously enough to take his own piss first and hardest.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    We had many (p)Riks at Southampton Uni in the early 1980s. Come third year, most of them cut their hair and interviewed for Andersen Consulting. I suspect they are now CEOs.

    Rick's probably a Lib Dem councillor and lost his seat last week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    Sad news.

    The Young Ones first broadcast here in 1985, if I remember rightly. In fact, I think the first most New Zealanders saw of it was when the second series of The Young Ones won a Bafta in 84 or 85 (and they showed the scene of Vyvian kicking his head along the railway tracks on the way to University Challenge). Immediately after, TVNZ bought and broadcast both series.

    But I’d discovered it on my first trip to the UK in 83 (during which, they repeated the first series from the previous year). And so felt very privileged. We even named our Indoor Soccer team after them, the following year (1986).

    But possibly even better – the under-rated Filthy, Rich and Catflap

    and, probably my fav – Bottom here….

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Motorhead!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

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    This wonderful line ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Mr Mark,

    The Young Ones first broadcast here in 1985, if I remember rightly. In fact, I think the first most New Zealanders saw of it was when the second series of The Young Ones won a Bafta in 84 or 85 (and they showed the scene of Vyvian kicking his head along the railway tracks on the way to University Challenge). Immediately after, TVNZ bought and broadcast both series.

    Those were the days, when the Internet was still a Pentagon/university research project. If ever there was a Monty Python for the Punk Generation, the Young Ones were it.

    In case this hasn’t yet been played back in tribute…

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    Well, that didn't work, did it ?

    Let's try Filthy, Rich and Catflap again. And if doesn't work this time, you can call me a complete and utter bastard. ...

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mr Mark,

    Well, that didn’t work, did it ?

    I fixed your URL above, but I will let the words "complete and utter bastard" stand :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell,

    I was about about 15 when the Young Ones first hit, and living in England - it probably had the same sort of profound impact Monty Python had on the generation before. I always loved the story about how, for some sort of funding or programming reasons, they had to have a music act each week as part of the show. I think they more or less conned the BBC into funding and broadcasting it without actually letting them know what was being made. I hope this is true. At the very least, I can tell you it went out on BBC2 with almost no advance promotion - as if they were ashamed of it. Everyone had to discover it. As kids, that made it even cooler. Not only was it "ours" - for a moment there the grown ups didn't even know what we were talking about.

    Anyway, seeing the likes of the Damned and Motorhead on TV just added to the delight. I still have my 7" vinyl copy of the Nasty single the Damned did on the Young Ones.

    I had my own personal Young Ones moment that I didn't even know about at the time. One day I was walking to my aunt's house in Redlands in Bristol. When I got to the zebra crossing on Coldharbour Road, there was a TV crew filming 4 strangely dressed guys walking back and forth across the road in single file. I only twigged what I had seen a few months later when it turned out to be Abbey Road pastiche scene in Boring.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Kebabette,

    Attachment

    Love hearing your stories everybody. I was raised on Young Ones milk ... The People's Poet shows how it is done. Including "raunchy" tribute to Felicity Kendall. From my 1984 copy of Bachelor Boys which has survived earthquakes and too much love. The Poetry of Rick "Have got a tin of Alphabetti Spaghetti, under bed, locked in suitcase. Remember TRUTH IN POETRY".

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Kebabette,

    Attachment

    One more, just for fun. And Trotsky. Was always going to name my cat Trotsky ...

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

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    Amazing ... the front pages.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Abbey Road pastiche scene

    It's just getting dark in London
    and raining, there's no-one on
    the real crossing at the moment...
    but it can be quite diverting over
    our antipodean evenings.

    (It looks like they've put some devices to stop people parking in camera shot, outside Abbey Road Studio.)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It's just getting dark in London
    and raining, there's no-one on
    the real crossing at the moment...
    but it can be quite diverting over
    our antipodean evenings.

    I've done it. I am not ashamed. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    So UK TV, who's up for retrospective then, starting with Comic Strip Presents... please. Jennifer Saunders spoke of the early days as friends making each other laugh and I loved these exactly for that.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Nick Russell,

    I always loved the story about how, for some sort of funding or programming reasons, they had to have a music act each week as part of the show.

    Well, that bit's true -- if they had a musical act then it was classed as "variety" rather than "light entertainment" and allocated a larger budget.

    I think they more or less conned the BBC into funding and broadcasting it without actually letting them know what was being made.

    And that I don't believe, but as producer Paul Jackson has said it could well have ended up getting shelved if Channel Four hadn't come along at a most fortuitous moment.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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