Today would have been Rik’s 65th Birthday. He was my comedy hero. One of the most talented actors of his age, hilariously funny, and by all accounts a lovely man.
I don’t cry over “celebrity deaths” because I didn’t know them outside of their work, which often remains after they’ve gone. But when Rik died I cried my eyes out. I was a mess. Since the age of (far too young) I had watched him gurn, fight and fall his way through countless hours of my favourite shows. I was brought up on Bottom and can recite every episode word for word. It still makes me laugh until I can’t breathe, even after literally hundreds of viewings.
The untimely nature of Rik’s death felt incredibly unjust. He was still young. He was still working. He was still brilliant. But he left is with a body of work that is peerless in its anarchy, timeless in its themes, and unparalleled in its influence on those who came after.
Happy Birthday, you prick.