Rik wrote many amazing letters to fans but there’s one particular letter I’ve seen circulating the web and shared on various social media more than most. It’s the letter congratulating a happy couple on their wedding day. But how did this letter come about?
Thank you to Matthew Webster for getting in touch and telling your wonderful story.
Right… this is how it starts…
I have a few “Best Friends”… but one in particular is the dependable, steady, “lets talk when we talk” sort of Best friend… he lives 200 miles from me.
We met when we both worked as Photographers and had to share a room together on a training course, we’d been told numerous time before we met that we’d “get on like a house on fire”.
We have a number of things in common… our birthdays are 6 hours apart and we seem to like the same things.
He was my Best Man when I got married and when we both changed jobs… we sort of lost contact for a number of years.
My Wife found him via Facebook (I’m not a fan of that sort of Social Media) and arranged a meeting… we met in Darlington and had a great weekend… the spark was relit and we never lost touch again.
He said something to me on our next meeting that has stayed in my head forever “I’ve found my Best Man again… I can get married now” he and his partner had been together for 10 years… and he hadn’t popped the question in all that time.
We visited again when it was his (now) Wife’s 30th Birthday…. she had a great party… they stayed away the night before and he (finally) popped the question… wedding plans went into overdrive and I was asked to be Best Man. I wanted to do something different. I’d been a Best Man a couple of times before and reeled off the predictable jokes and japes… I wasn’t going to do that again…
A few weeks after the party we travelled down to Dorset for a few days, the 4 of us crammed in a small caravan that my In Laws own… we had a blast, the weather was amazing, we barbequed on the Beach, visited places of historical interest and attempted on more than one occasion to drink Dorset dry. One evening we became “caravan bound” due to the traditional British Summer Time storm and sat about chatting and eating picnic food. I steered the conversation to “Who Has Played An Influence On Your Life?”, there were some rules…
1. The have to be alive
2. You can’t have met them
3. You can’t be related to them
4. They have to be real
I remembered as many people on the list as I could and the reason why they meant a lot… I then started writing letters… searching out addresses and building a spreadsheet.
I had a wonderful time… I spoke to Billie-Jo Spears (The late Country Singer) on the phone… she asked the dates of the wedding to see if in coincided with a tour of the UK because “If I’m in the UK… I’ll be there Honey” (The Bride is named after her!). I wrote to Sir Stirling Moss and received a beautiful signed photograph of him as a gift for The Happy Couples Day and one of the most heart felt letters I’ve ever received from him.
I had a telephone call from John Prescott to see how they spelt their surname as he didn’t want to get it wrong… more and more mail began arriving at home… A Beautiful signed book from the photographer Rankin, signed photos from the likes of Dave Spikey, Gordon Ramsey, Shirley Williams, Alan Bennett, a wonderful dedicated photo from June Brown, a lovely note from Victoria Wood, a signed portrait from Doris Day, a signed photo from Britney Spears… James Herbert, a wonderful drawing from Ron Moody… I managed to get a mate to infiltrate security at a top hotel to gain the signature of Sylvester Stallone on some posters… snagged an signed Arsenal (something Dave and I DON’T have in common)
I posted each letter with a stamped addressed envelope (I’m of that Blue Peter generation…) so I knew when something had arrived… it was amazing!
Then something very special happened and I didn’t think it could be beaten… a hand drawn wedding card from Phil Collins… now this may not mean a lot to some people… but to me it was a massive coup… Billie-Jo, loves him and in her head she can play drums just like him (she can’t… I’ve heard her)… that was my pinnacle… or so I thought.
It was a Saturday morning and Dave and Billie-Jo were visiting… we were off to London on a Grand Day Out… the post arrived recognising one of my envelopes I made my excuses and hid myself away in the bathroom and opened the letter… and there it was… handwritten… a letter from one of my heroes… to them… but mentioning me… I knew from that very moment I’d topped anything that could ever happen for my speech… a personal letter from Rik Mayall. I’m not going to lie… I cried… read it about 10 times and then cried again… it was AMAZING!
It goes like this…
Dearest Billie-Jo & David,
obviously I wish you a joyous and magnificent marriage and life together but I just want to say that you are utter, UTTER, UTTER BASTARDS for not giving me the job as Best Man instead of that total ARSE-BRAINED, NOB-FACED TWAT called Matt!
So I hope you have a CRAP DAY and David can’t get a stiffy tonight. SO THERE!
love, hate and violence, your friend
Rik Mayall xxxxxxxxxx (fuck off)
I kept silent about my exploits, my Wife and my parents knew and that was about it. Loose Lips Sink Ships.
I mounted all of the letters and photographs in a book, mapped out a speech… arranged a “fly past” by supplying everyone with those little polystyrene planes.
The speech was a winner… I ended with Rik’s letter and it bought the house down… Thank You Rik… you STILL make the world a much happier place.
ARSE-BRAINED : NOB-FACED TWAT
Did you too receive an amazing letter from Rik? Get in touch if you’d like to share your story?
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