It’s about two years ago now that I decided to have a go at putting together some kind of website/blog. The interest on my Rik Mayall Scrapbook Instagram account was growing. People were getting in touch and wanted to know more about the times I saw Rik live. Being able to tell people in more detail about these experiences was difficult on Instagram, so it got me thinking about creating some kind of website. I was however completely clueless about blogs or even how to build a website.
But I took the plunge and opened a WordPress account, playing around with it for ages trying to work out how to use it. It was all very overwhelming, but inside my head I had a little vision. I knew what I wanted to achieve and I knew I wanted to get my experiences down for people now and for future generations to enjoy. So for the next six months or so I very slowly taught myself some basics and had fun playing around with ideas. It took me ages to get it to a stage to where I was happy with it, but slowly it started to come together. It was important to me from the start that I didn’t want the site to just be about me, as I was being told and could see there are lots of other great stories out there too. I thought it would be great to try and add these and if I could pluck up the courage, to even contact comedians who were obsessed with him as a teenager for a contribution too.
Then in February 2019, I launched Rik Mayall Scrapbook – Diary of a Teenage Comedy Freak. Almost straight away it got some encouraging interest and some great stories came in. It’s now beginning to build up nicely and it feels like the awareness of it is growing. To the extent where things have happened that I could not have foreseen two years ago.
In early June 2020, Andy Hollingworth the renowned photographer of comedians emailed me. He had discovered and liked my website, the teenage comedy fan take on a subject close to his heart. Himself being obsessed with Kevin Turvey and The Young Ones as a teenager. Andy would later on get to photograph Rik and has taken some amazing portraits of him. I am hoping he will write up his memories for me to add at some point. In the meantime, Andy is on a mission to document comedy history through tickets and artefacts. With Rik Mayall being one of particular interest. So I was only too pleased to lend him my little bundle of tickets to photograph. Gradually I will be adding more photographs from Andy of Rik related tickets and memorabilia. Collecting, archiving and recording things down has always been something I’ve enjoyed and feel is important to do.
Next thing I know QI Elf, Comedian and Podcaster of ‘No Such Thing as a Fish’ Dan Schreiber gets in touch, asking if I’d be up for appearing on his new Instagram live show “Show Us Your Shit”. A quick idea he thought of that was born from the recent Covid 19 lockdown. He himself too a big fan of Rik, Ade and Ben Elton. I was amazed and delighted to be asked, but it made me nervous just reading his message!! Could I really sit there and talk to Dan on an Instagram live feed? Would people actually find me interesting? Normally I would shy away from doing anything like that but it looked like fun, so there I was last Thursday night chatting away to Dan about my teenage diary and showing some of my shit. If you missed it you can catch up with it here:
These two recent contacts have given me a bit of a boost and drive to take things a step further. I want to now start building up an online archive – “The Rik Mayall Museum and Archive”. Full of newspaper cuttings, magazine articles, people’s memories, performance tickets and other interesting memorabilia. I would also love to track down any rare objects, like props, original scripts and even costumes from various shows – that would be amazing.
I’m slowly adding more and more of my collection and photographs of the Rik tickets/artefacts from Andy will also periodically be added too. I have lots of magazine articles I want to now scan and make available for you to see. Plus I have recently been contacted by a magazine collector who is sorting out images for me as well, which is going to keep me busy. If you like the sound of this and you think you may have something lurking in your loft, or hidden at the back of your wardrobe that you’d like to donate to “The Rik Museum” or lend me to be photographed, then please get in touch.
Don’t forget I still want to add people’s memories and experiences too. An often overlooked part of archiving. People happily save objects to remind them of a favourite experience but writing down a memory I think is equally as important.
So what are you waiting for, get out that note pad, write down those memories or go and have a good look in your loft for that hidden long forgotten item and drop me an email.
You can contact me HERE, or DM me on Instagram or Twitter.
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