It’s always fascinating to hear how people discover and become a fan of Rik Mayall. Many fans it would seem discover his work at a very young and tender age. Especially when you have older brothers and a Dad who likes to watch his comedy. Darren is one such fan.
Thank you to: Darren Sheppard
Unfortunately, I was only born in 1991, so I would have been too young for the shows. However, my love for Bottom/Rik Mayall came at an early age in the 90s, probably around 1997 when I came across a Bottom VHS tape, I think it was titled Bottom 2, Parade and a yellow The Young Ones VHS. I would watch these endlessly as a child. My dad would take me to the local shops, and we would fill a bowl up of chocolate minstrels and wine gums, sometimes chippy food would also be bought for the night in ahead if money allowed. I would watch Bottom with my 2 other older brothers and my Dad, I felt like such a naughty boy being allowed to watch a certificate 15 video at the age of around 6/7. I do recall watching some episodes on TV, but I think they may have been reruns at the time.
My love for Bottom continued during my childhood by the way of video rentals. During the late 90’s we would have this, and probably unlicensed illegally operated, yellow video rental van that would drive around on a Friday afternoon ready for people to rent videos for the weekend. The outside of the van bared no signage but inside it was kitted out with a 360-degree wall of videos on shelves. In the smorgasbord of videos there were only 2 titles that I would look out for, Mr Bean adventures and of course, Bottom/The Young ones! I remember I would rotate between a different coloured Mr Bean video and anything Bottom or The Young Ones actually.
One other memory of Bottom I have from a child was in 2001 when my Dad and my older brother, mentioned that they were off to see Rik and Ade live during their An Arse Oddity stage show. I was still too young at the time to go to the show. But I do remember how I felt annoyed and upset that I was made to stay at home and sit with my mother whilst she looked after me and my other slightly less older brother. My Dad and older brother came back in high-spirts after the show quoting what they’d just seen, this only made me more jealous!
So, that’s my early recollection and introduction to how I found Bottom. From there on onwards to now I still watch it and like many others, must have seen each episode around 1,000,000,000 times.
Darren is also keen collector of all things Bottom and has recently acquired these brilliant signed posters from the first two Bottom Live tours. Buying them both second hand the sellers told Darren the provenance behind them. If you have any unwanted Bottom memorabilia you’d like to sell and see go to a good home then please get in touch with me here or you can direct message Darren on Instagram @darrensheppFirst one is signed to Desperate Dan, who was a member of the maintenance team at the Edinburgh Playhouse for a number of years.
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