Knutsford GuardianFamily requests prayers for Mayall (From Knutsford Guardian)

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Family requests prayers for Mayall

Knutsford Guardian: Rik Mayall's wife Barbara has asked fans to remember him in their prayers Rik Mayall's wife Barbara has asked fans to remember him in their prayers

Rik Mayall's family has asked fans for their "thoughts and prayers" ahead of his funeral this week.

A memorial service for t he star, who died last week aged 56, is expected to be held in September.

His widow Barbara said: "Knowing the swell of love you all share with us we would like to let you, the fans, know that we will be having a private family funeral for Rik, as I am sure you will understand.

"We will be burying him at 2pm on Thursday June 19 if you would like to join us in thoughts and prayer at this time.

"Thank you again for all your love and support to all our family, it brings great strength."

The comic and actor collapsed at home in southwest London after what his widow described as an "acute cardiac event".

Rik shot to fame playing poetry-writing anarchist Rick in The Young Ones and his career also included roles such as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder and the conniving Conservative MP Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman.

Since his death, tributes have flowed in for the performer who is survived by his wife and three children, Rosie, Sidney and Bonnie, and his 2010 World Cup song Noble England has gone straight into the top 10 of the UK's official singles chart.

The track, which was originally recorded for the last World Cup, failed to chart the first time around, but thanks to a social media campaign set up in his memory it went in at number seven on Sunday.

Rik was born in Harlow, Essex, to drama teacher parents and launched his comedy career on stage in a duo, the Dangerous Brothers, with long-term collaborator Adrian Edmondson.

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