Following the recent and terribly tragic death of the great Rik Mayall, I decided to return to where it all began for me, and my lifelong hero-worship of this comedy legend. He was the people’s poet, the sex crazed rogue and the imaginary best friend everyone wished they’d been able to create chaos with, but to me, he will be remembered most fondly for his creation that I was first introduced to all those years ago; the eternally hapless and extremely horny virgin Richie from Bottom. The series, which he co-wrote and co-starred in with long-term friend Ade Edmondson was truly a joy to behold, it’s mix of slapstick violence and torrent of rude words instantly appealing to me and my brother who were hooked from that moment on. The BBC show ran for 3 series before going on the road, taking this unique brand of incredibly clever jokes woven into the ever increasing madness of the duo’ s various escapades, to an adoring public around the country. So after much consideration, (and several smashing blouses) later I’ve finally settled on my top 5 Bottom episodes:
5. Burglary – Series 2
After a particularly lengthy drinking session, (even by his standards) Eddie returns home to a fuming, frilly apron wearing Richie. With a rope and pulley system his ‘old seafaring friends’ would be proud of, Richie manages to put a completely inebriated Eddie to bed, which is rather unfortunate when he discovers he needs to send Eddie down into battle against burglars! Can the Hammersmith Hard Men break the sucker – cup of tea Mr Burglar?
4. Gas – Series 1
Eddie and Richie have been secretly tapping into next door’s gas; cue a visit from the gasman, the explanation of their 0000000 meter reading, the tricky business of making a cup of tea without putting the kettle on, and a possible conversion to cannibalism to destroy any evidence – all in a day’s work!
3. Holy – Series 2
It’s Richie’s favourite time of year, and Santa’s left him a very special present on the doorstep, can he and his three wise men Eddie, Spudgun and Hedgehog really be witnessing the second coming….? Well with gold, frankenstein and grrr on the table and a virgin wearing a blue towel on his head it’s looking ever more credible.
2. Bottom’s Up – Series 1
After trying, and failing, to induce Eddie to glory in the British tradition of the perfect Sunday, Richie accepts a £50 offer to watch the landlord’s shop, insisting he wears the shop keeper jacket whilst Eddie wears his jacket back to front. All seems to be going well until a surreal incident involving Jaffa cakes and the small matter of watching a cricket match occurs.
1. Carnival – Series 3
In this, the final episode of the show we find Richie and Eddie enjoying the view of the annual Hammersmith riot. The looting is in full swing and our flatmates decide it’s time they got a piece of the action, but firstly they’ll have to master how to wear a balaclava and go grab hold of their ballpoints – ooh er! This also features my favourite ever Bottom, and indeed Rik Mayall, scene; how can a free duck cause so much confusion and will Richie ever fully grasp what the prime minister is getting up to?