http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-10/british-comedy-actor-rik-mayall-dies-age-56/5511196 Rik Mayall: British comedy actor, famed for hit sitcom The Young Ones, dies aged 56 Rik Mayall, the comic actor who pioneered a new wave of British television comedy in the 1980s, has died aged 56, his management company says. Famed for his anarchic comic style, Mayall co-wrote and starred in the BBC sitcom The Young Ones, played the corrupt but suave politician Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman, and made notable appearances alongside Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder. Long-time comic partner Adrian 'Ade' Edmonson offered an aptly profane tribute to his long-time collaborator. "There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing," he said. "They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. "And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard!" Mayall's management company did not give the cause of death but said further details would be released soon. Police said officers were called to a house in the upmarket south-west London district of Barnes and "a man, aged in his 50s" was pronounced dead at the scene. The death is not believed to be suspicious, the spokesman added. In 1998, Mayall survived a potentially fatal accident on a quad bike, but he had been working until recently. Speaking about the accident last year, Mayall said he had been kept alive on a life-support machine for five days and doctors were considering turning it off when he began to show signs of life. He said the brush with death changed his life - for years afterwards, he would mark the occasion by exchanging gifts with his wife and three children. He said: "The main difference between now and before my accident is I'm just very glad to be alive. "Other people get moody in their 40s and 50s - men get the male menopause. I missed the whole thing. I was just really happy." Mayall was one of a generation who performed what came to be known as alternative comedy - offbeat, often surreal and, particularly in Mayall's case, violently slapstick routines in London's Comedy Store club with Edmondson, Alexi Sayle and the female double-act Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. That troupe went on to successful TV careers, largely sweeping aside a previous generation of more traditional acts. Mayall made a brief foray into Hollywood in the 1991 movie Drop Dead Fred, starring as a young woman's obnoxious imaginary friend, but was unable to recreate the enormous success he enjoyed in Britain. His edgy, aggressive performances were an inspiration to a generation that followed. David Walliams, co-creator of Little Britain, one of the BBC's most successful comedy sketch shows of recent years, tweeted: "I am heartbroken that my comedy idol growing up Rik Mayall has died. He made me want to be a comedian." The co-producer of The New Statesman, Lawrence Marks, says the screen persona Mayall played could not have been more different to the man he knew. "He was a gentleman; he was a quiet, polite, caring gentleman. That's the way I would describe Rik," he said. "He was the antithesis of the characters he played." Blackadder producer and writer John Lloyd also worked closely with Mayall. "He was the most extraordinarily good actor, as well as being an amazing live stand-up comic," he said. "It was one of the great treats to see Rik Mayall live on stage."