Day: August 25, 2018

Rik Mayall Presents – tape 1917

First on this tape, a couple of episodes of what I’ve listed as Rik Mayall Presents, but it might also be Rik Mayall In.

First, The Big One. Rik plays a London estate agent, and a compulsive liar (perfect fit of job and inclination) who has to appraise a luxury apartment on sale after the owner’s sudden death, and he finds the man’s wallet and all his credit cards, so he pretends to be him, in order to seduce a girl he met, Played by Saffron Burrows.

When he takes her out to a club, he’s recognised by a couple of gangster types, one of whom is played by Phil Daniels.

Back at the (borrowed) flat next morning, he’s awoken by a ring on the doorbell – it’s the dead man’s wife, Phyllis Logan. He manages to assure her he’s the estate agent, and it’s about the only true thing he says. One of the good things about this is the ludicrous stories he spins, particular about his twin brother who built hospitals in Africa.

But the genie is out of the bottle, and Phil Daniels’ boss now thinks Mayall is the dead man, John Wilde, having faked his death and had plastic surgery. He’s played, terrifyingly, by Edward Tudor-Pole

It’s not a bad story, and has twists and turns, and a stand-off clearly inspired by Reservoir Dogs.

Next, another episode, called Dirty Old Town. Helen McCrory plays the receptionist at a film company. A writer phones up about his meeting, but he’s late, so he has to bike in quickly.

Michael Kitchen is the producer at the film company, and he’s a bit of a drunk, owing money.

Rik Mayall plays a homeless man, living on the street near the film company.

I have to admit, I do get a little distracted trying to location spot around London, as a lot of it was shot near Wardour Street (home of the UK film industry for many years).

Just as Kitchen’s taxi is approaching his office, Mayall, possibly suicidal, walks out into the traffic, just as the writer is passing on the other side, and the taxi swerves, swiping the cyclist and clipping Mayall. In the confusion, the writer’s satchel ends up next to Mayall, and he’s presumed to be the writer. I’m not quite sure why the other injured man isn’t paid equal attention, but I guess otherwise the mistaken identity plot wouldn’t work.

The show doesn’t always treat the London geography properly. At one point they take a taxi from Wardour street, then we see them coming up Charing Cross Road, and turning into Old Compton Street. stopping outside Ed’s Easy Diner, which used to be my regular lunch spot when I used to go up to London every Saturday to buy comics and watch films. I can’t remember if Old Compton Street is one way, though, so I can’t decide if that’s a roundabout way to drive there.

Another producer at the film company, who falls a bit for Mayall, is Frances Barber. Here they are talking about things in a car park that seems to have the same back-lit fans that used to be everywhere in Bugs. I presume they were a standard lighting item in the 90s.

Again, not a bad story, and it manages something close to a happy ending. I’m not sure it was wise to run two stories with a Mistaken Identity plot back to back, though. And in this one, I’m not wholly convinced by the young writer’s almost slide into homelessness just because he broke his arm and lost his wallet and bag.

After this, recording continues with an ITN news bulletin. One of the news reports is about the threats of the Ulster Unionist Party to withdraw support for John major’s government, and trigger an election. A small Northern Irish party holding the Conservatives to ransom? Do things ever change?

However, the Labour shadow NI Secretary is Marjorie Mowlam – I had no idea her name was Marjorie as I’d only ever heard her referred to as Mo.

And of course, within literally minutes of seeing her in this news report, I scrolled down my Twitter feed to learn that yesterday was the 13th anniversary of her death, so there’s a big picture of her. I admit, this really freaked me out.

After this, and some weather, from Martyn Davies and Rianna Scipio, there’s an episode of The South Bank Show. It’s all about four ‘Classic Widows’ – the wives of dead composers who have tried, with varied success, to promote their husbands’ work after their deaths. It shows a bit of Russell’s style, and he does make an on-camera appearance towards the end.

After this, there’s a strange programme, a 50th Birthday Tribute to Bob Marley. It’s strange because of the way it seems to have been made. They have an interview with Marley’s widow, Rita, and his son, Ziggy, which would be the least you would expect.

But then, we have Jackie Collins, talking about how much she loves his music, and whenever she wants to write a party scene, she’ll put on some Bob Marley to get in the mood.

Naomi Campbell, at least, had met Marley – she actually appeared as a small girl in one of his videos.

Although for such a brief time you can barely see her.

But the programme is full of random short interviews with various celebs and musicians, many of which look like they were taken at a premiere or a party. I suspect they might be from an actual event held to commemorate him, but they do all look like they were caught on the hoof in a lot of different places, and the subjects are a mixed bag. When Lady Kier of Deee-Lite thinks of Marley, she apparently thinks of a coffee shop in Amsterdam.

Linda Evangelista is very very very sad that she won’t get to see him live.

Lulu talks about his influence.

But you know the show is using absolutely every scrap of footage they have when we hear from a Rolling Stones tribute band.

Richard O’Brien talks about the possibility of a Marley musical.

Bob Geldof, in answer to the question “What’s your favourite Marley song” answers “Redemption Song, just simply because I’ve been playing it on the guitar this afternoon.”

Now, this brief bit with Tim Burton absolutely is not at a Marley event – that’s clearly an inflatable Jack Skellington behind him, so that’s a premiere for The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is what leads me to suspect the makers of this documentary basically took their camera to every premiere they could find and just asked the celebs about Bob Marley, which would also explain why a lot of the comments are very vague.

I mean, under ordinary circumstances, would Rory Bremner really be in your list of interviewees?

Sarah Cracknell is, at least, a musician.

But Kyle Machlachlan?

A very odd thing indeed.

After this, there’s the start of an episode of The Hidden Room, which looks like one of the seemingly endless anthology series that abounded in the 90s. There’s a few minutes of this before the tape ends.

In the adverts, there’s a McDonalds advert, featuring a young woman who looks like Amanda Abbington. Can’t be sure though.


  • Organics
  • Panadol Ultra
  • Peugeot 106
  • Trebor Softmints
  • The Sun
  • Allied Dunbar
  • trail: Pink Cadillac
  • UPS
  • The Road To Wellville in cinemas
  • Fiat Punto – Giants
  • Lunn Poly
  • Werther’s Original
  • Halls
  • trail: Lucky Numbers
  • Daily Express
  • Synergie
  • trail: 9pm Next Week on ITV
  • trail: A Cut Above
  • BT – Bob Hoskins
  • Rover
  • Today
  • Prudential
  • trail: Lucky Numbers
  • trail: The New Avengers
  • Daily Mirror
  • Nissan Micra
  • Allied Dunbar
  • trail: A Cut Above
  • Ireland
  • Powergen Share Issue
  • VW
  • Finish
  • Radion
  • NPI
  • Ireland
  • trail: The Agatha Christie Film
  • trail: World In Action
  • trail: GMTV
  • LWT Action
  • Michelin
  • Solpadeine
  • Dance Mania 95
  • Sandals
  • Synergie
  • Today
  • Prudential
  • VW Polo
  • trail: The Agatha Christie Film
  • Daily Mirror
  • American Express
  • National Lottery
  • Tetley
  • Renault Laguna
  • Allied Dunbar
  • LWT Action
  • trail: A Cut Above
  • I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
  • Chatterbox
  • Persil Washing Up Liquid – Penn & Teller
  • Gillette Sensor Excel
  • VW Polo
  • Levi 501
  • trail: A Cut Above
  • Rover
  • Visa Delta
  • McDonalds
  • Corn Flakes
  • Direct Debit
  • Studioline
  • Jamaica
  • Michelin