Rik May­all be­comes a right B’stard

TV Times - - Puzzles -

ik May­all’s hit po­lit­i­cal sit­com The New States­man came about af­ter he bumped into Shine on Har­vey Moon writ­ers Laurence Marks and Mau­rice Gran and asked if they’d con­sider writ­ing some­thing for him.

‘He was very hon­est,’ Mau­rice re­called. ‘“I want to play a char­ac­ter who’s just like me,” he said. “Vain, greedy, de­praved, ob­sessed with money, and not afraid to kill”. It sounded to us like he wanted to play a Con­ser­va­tive back­bencher…’

And so Alan Beres­ford B’stard was born. The

Tory MP for Hal­tem­price in York­shire – ma­jor­ity 26,738 af­ter he ar­ranged for his op­po­nents to be maimed in a car crash be­fore the elec­tion – was a rot­tento-the-core mega­lo­ma­niac who’d stop at noth­ing

Rto sat­isfy his po­lit­i­cal, fi­nan­cial and sex­ual whims. His first act as an MP was to push for a bill to arm the po­lice, and then promptly cashed in by sell­ing them dodgy firearms made of old fry­ing pans. Soon af­ter, he called for the abo­li­tion of the NHS, the re-le­gal­i­sa­tion of slav­ery and, fore­shad­ow­ing cur­rent prob­lems, the erec­tion of a 30ft-high elec­tri­fied bor­der-control sys­tem called B’stard’s Fence.

Rik came to the role af­ter mak­ing his name as part of the al­ter­na­tive com­edy scene of the early-1980s, most mem­o­rably as self­styled West Mid­lands ‘in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist’ Kevin Tur­vey in A Kick Up the Eight­ies and stu­dent wannabe an­ar­chist Rick in The Young Ones. ‘The mar­vel­lous thing about be­ing an ac­tor is that you can do any­thing,’ he told

TV Times. ‘I mean, I don’t per­son­ally get the chance to break win­dows, black­mail peo­ple or burn down print­works, but I do as Alan!’

In 2014, fol­low­ing Rik’s death at the age of 56, Laurence and Mau­rice wrote an obit­u­ary of Alan, re­veal­ing what he’d been up to since he last ap­peared on TV. Af­ter as­cend­ing to the House of Lords, from where he’d engi­neered Tony Blair’s down­fall, he was lat­terly to be found at one of his favourite hang-outs – ‘Farage’s Pri­vate Mem­bers’ Club’.

Cham­pagne for Alan usu­ally meant real pain for oth­ers

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