Rik Mayall Presents – tape 1471

This tape starts with Micky Love, from the series Rik Mayall Presents. It’s written by Peter Morgan, who also wrote, among many other things, Frost/NixonThe QueenThe DealThe Damned United and also some things that didn’t star Michael Sheen.

Micky Love stars Rik Mayall as the eponymous Micky, a more serious take on Richie Rich from the earlier Filthy Rich and Catflap. It opens with a frankly scary Hughie Green relating an anecdote about Micky. “I said ‘What do you want to be when you grow up, son?’ He looked me straight in the eye, and I can remember the exact words he used. He said ‘I’m going to be you.'”

Hughie Green

Micky presents Family Values, a hit Saturday Night TV show. But a (false) rumour gets started that his show is going to be cancelled to make room for a new show pitched by Alan Cumming.

Alan Cumming

At the same time, plans are afoot for Micky to appear on Time of Your Life (a This Is Your Life style show). His contract is up for renewal, and the head of programming, Eleanor Bron, is keen to keep him on. “We hang on to the good ones.”

Rik Mayall

But the rumour mill turns, and Micky starts getting paranoid. And the secrecy around Time of your Life leads to conversations at cross purposes.

Jennifer Ehle plays Micky’s assistant.

Jennifer Ehle

Eleanor Bron is head of the channel, with her deputy Peter Capaldi

Eleanor Bron and Peter Capaldi

Also working with Bron and Capaldi is Michael Maloney.

Peter Capaldi and Michael Maloney

Nick Hancock makes a brief appearance as an interviewer.

Nick Hancock

And Malcolm McLaren is one of the guests for Time of your Life

Malcolm McLaren

It’s quite dark, this one. And definitely doesn’t have a happy ending.

Next, it’s Briefest Encounter co-starring Amanda Donohoe. Rik and she have hooked up and gone back to her place, which looks like the set for a Cadbury’s Flake advert.

Amanda Donohoe's Flat

This is a pure two-hander in which a potential romantic evening turns into a horror-filled nightmare.

Finally on this tape, Dancing Queen co-starring Helena Bonham Carter. Rik Mayall is the bridegroom on his stag night, Helena Bonham Carter is the stripper hired for the evening.

Rik Mayall and Helena Bonham Carter

Mayall is put on a train to Scarborough while he’s drunk, and happens to share a carriage with Bonham Carter, so naturally, when they get to Scarborough, she has to reluctantly help him, despite him being the most enormous arse.

Nathanial Parker is his best man, and Martin Clunes is his friend, who are supposed to meet him in Scarborough but fail miserably.

Nathaniel Parker and Martin Clunes

I have to admit, Stag Night stories are one of my least favourite types of story. But this one does all the right things, and in the end Mayall himself does all the right things, and he and Bonham Carter have a very happy ending together.

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One comment

  1. Dancing Queen was repeated on ITV as part of the tributes when Rik died, although in an extremely dodgy copy seemingly remade for a screening on Granada Plus, presenting it in 4:3 letterbox and with a massive white line along the left of the screen. Still good, though, although if there’s ever a story rendered redundant by the rise of the mobile phone and the introduction of the Sunday Trading Act it’s this, given it all depends on everything being shut and him not being able to phone anyone.

    This series was probably of pivotal importance in retrospect as I think it was the first time Granada did rather glossy bittersweet contemporary comedy dramas and that led on to Cold Feet and a million more similar shows in the style Granada did here.

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