David Walliams has led the celebrity tributes to comedian and actor Rik Mayall who died this morning, aged 56.
Mayall starred in numerous sitcoms including The Young Ones, Blackadder, The New Statesman and Bottom as well as the big screen in comedy films Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso.
Brunskill Management announced their client’s death earlier on today. The comic met wife Barbara, a make-up artist, while working on a show for BBC Scotland.
I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up Rik Mayall has died. He made me want to be a comedian… https://t.co/7DAUgjbX9i
— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) June 9, 2014
She quickly became pregnant with their eldest daughter Rosie, now 27, and, after they got married in Barbados in 1985, they went on to have Sid, 25 and Bonnie, 19.
Comic David Walliams led the celebrity tweets, branding Mayall "his idol".
Oh no. RIP Rik Mayall.
— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) June 9, 2014
Rik Mayall made comedy look like so much fun. He looked like he was having a ball.Made me want a piece of that. Thing is, he was a natural
— Adil Ray (@adilray) June 9, 2014
He wrote: "I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up Rik Mayall has died. He made me want to be a comedian."
Journalist and novelist Caitlin Moran added: "WHAT? Rik Mayall has died? Oh, my heart is broken."
Impressionist Rory Bremner said: "Oh no. Awful news about Rik Mayall – a fireball of creative comic energy and inspiration. Such brilliant raw talent."
1999: Rik Mayall
Blackadder producer John Lloyd said Mayall was "just extraordinary".
Speaking to BBC News, he said: "It’s really a dreadful piece of news.
Monty Python star Eric Idle said: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall. Far too young. A very funny and talented man."
Writing on Twitter, Bob Mortimer said: "Last time I saw him he grabbed my crotch and said ‘Not eaten yet then?" So sad.. Funniest man of his generation."
A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers were called by London Ambulance Service to a house in Barnes, south-west London at around 1.20pm where "a man, aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene".
The death is not believed to be suspicious, he added.
A London Ambulance Service spokesman confirmed they had been called to the house at 12:07.
Mayall is best known for his partnership in the 1980s with Ade Edmondson.
For more tributes, click here.
1999: Comedian Rik Mayall with his family
The pair were best friends since meeting at university 38 years ago but sadly had a bust up two years ago,.
In an interview last year with the Daily Mirror, Mayall revealed the problem arose after they were commissioned to bring back their 90s slapstick comedy Bottom for a new series on BBC2.
A spin-off called Hooligan’s Island featuring the same hopeless characters, Richie and Eddie, was all written and due to begin filming when Ade, 56, got cold feet and scrapped the entire project.
Ade Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer and Christopher Ryan star in the The Young Ones
Rik shrugs: “I thought it would be fun and Ade thought it would be fun but then he had a change of heart. It’s a shame.
"Of course, I f***ing tried to persuade him to change his mind. But if he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t want to.”
Tributes flooded Twitter as news of the comic’s death broke.