Adrian Edmondson praised for honest Rik Mayall admission in one-off Bottom special

Adrian Edmondson is being praised for his tearful recollections of comedian and actor Rik Mayall.

Comedy star Edmondson opened up about his friendship and working relationship with his Young Ones co-star for a one-off special celebrating the sitcom Bottom, which the pair created in 1991.

Seven months after leaving Desert Island Discs listeners in tears with his memories of Mayall, Edmondson has made fans emotional all over again with his touching words shared about Mayall on Gold special Bottom Exposed.

Edmondson said “it’s very weird being in a world without” Mayall, who died aged 56 in June 2014 after suffering a sudden heart attack. He added: “It’s weird thinking that he didn’t know anything about Brexit, didn’t know about Covid.”

Here, the actor made an admission, which has led to praise for his honesty: that he was not on the best of terms with Mayall at the time of his death.

“I mean, our relationship was strained towards the end,” Edmondson said, adding: “And when I do things like this, and I remember the absolute joy of sitting in that little office in Richmond opposite the Hole in the wall pub, it was absolute, you know, the distilled joy – the most joy I’ve ever had in my life, I think.”

He continued: “Making each other laugh, Properly laugh. Big belly laugh, laughs, you know. Proper can’t stop laughing, laughing. Very rarely you get a relationship like that with someone.”

Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson in ‘Bottom' (BBC)
Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson in ‘Bottom' (BBC)

Edmondson grew emotional when he remembered the passion the pair had for each other’s characters when it came to writing alongside Mayall.

“I mentioned.... the way we used to write each other’s characters and were in love with each other’s characters – I miss that love. Yeah, I miss that other opinion of me. A very loving opinion.”

This is not the first time Edmondson has opened up about his strained relationship with Mayall. In a 2023 memoir, he revealed that, after a new project based on their Bottom characters was commissioned by the BBC, they began to collaborate professionally again in 2012. H

owever, he noticed Mayall counting how many jokes each of them had – and complained when he thought Edmondson had more than he did.

Edmondson wrote: “And I realise that the double act is properly over. There’s no trust left. It was glorious when it was alive, I’m immensely proud of everything we did together, it still makes me laugh, but I’m glad we didn’t do a dodgy final series.”

Adrian Edmondson has opened up about his working relationship with Rik Mayall (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)
Adrian Edmondson has opened up about his working relationship with Rik Mayall (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f)

Fans are reacting to Edmondson’s word for Mayall, with one viewer writing: “Despite their relationship being somewhat strained by the end, the love Ade Edmondson had and still has, for Rik Mayall is bursting through….”

Another added: “God bless Ade Edmondson and God bless Rik Mayall. There's a lot of love going on in this clip. They were absolutely brilliant,” while an additional Bottom fan wrote on X/Twitter: “Ade Edmondson really lost a huge part of himself when Rik died. It’s always really bittersweet to hear him talk about their times together and it’s very sad to hear that their relationship was strained towards the end.”

One viewer said: “I’m never not going to be heartbroken any time Rik Mayall is talked about, especially by Ade Edmondson. They were such a great duo.”

Edmondson previously fought back tears on Desert Island Discs when recalling their time together, telling host Lauren Laverne: “His mum... his mum wrote me a lovely letter. I wrote to her after he died, and she wrote back, saying all she could remember was us – she could see us out in the garden, [on] a couple of deckchairs, just laughing and laughing and laughing – and she could never tell what was quite so funny.

“It was funny. It was good fun. He gave that to so many people.”

Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall (Gold / Shutterstock)
Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall (Gold / Shutterstock)

When asked in Bottom Exposed what Mayall would have thought of the episode celebrating the legacy of the sitcom, Edmondson, smiling, replied: “Rick would have hated a programme like this and would have told you to f*** off. I mean that quite sincerely.”

In September, Edmondson revealed that the duo had a new project commissioned, but were unable to complete it before Mayall’s death.