One Year On: Rik Mayall’s Best Bits

Alan B’Stard in The New Statesman (1987-1994)

One of his more underrated performances, Mayall starred in ITV’s political satire, The New Statesman from 1987-1994. Written by the champion comedy writing duo, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran (Birds of a Feather, Goodnight Sweetheart), the show followed the conniving, self-serving exploits of Conservative backbencher, Alan Beresford B’Stard. Both the character and the series were written especially for Mayall, who performed with vigour as the slimy, and often sadistic politician.

Below is a clip of the appropriately named B’Stard at his best/worst, speaking candidly – and to hilarious effect – in the House of Commons about education and healthcare. Like all brilliant political satire, there is much to be recognised in B’Stard’s selfish, poor-bashing ideas for reform. And in this current climate, where we find ourselves on tenterhooks under a Conservative constituency, it’s almost scary how accurate these jokes are to today’s actual policy plans… Regardless of all that though, this was the character that proved Mayall could command any show, even without the company of his Comic Strip cohorts.

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