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September 2014

The day Rik Mayall offered to shag my sister

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Guest House Paradiso wasn't a cinematic masterpiece. It was, however, an opportunity to see Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson being violently hilarious on the big screen. And for me,thanks to the free weekly entertainment rag Revolver, it was the opportunity to meet Rik 'n' Ade in real life. They'd come to Australia to promote the film and were being interviewed in their hotel at The Rocks in Sydney.

I'd taken my sister Sylvia along to the interview. Having introduced her to The Young Ones via Monty Python's Flying Circus, she had - as most converts do - become the more zealous true believer. While I was off having my inner-city freelance writer adventures, she was dutifully compiling all the episodes of Bottom on carefully labelled VHS video cassettes; the series hadn't been released on DVD yet.

Of course, I'd had the good sense to leave my sister in the hotel foyer. I figured, get the interview in the can, then ask if I can bring her up to the room; if they get annoyed by unprofessional fan-boy and his sister, the work's already done.

So after the interview, I sheepishly began by saying, "look, I know it's not very professional, but I was wondering – my sister's downstairs, and…"

"You want us to shag her?" Rik interrupted helpfully. "Well, we've only got a few minutes…" – glancing at his watch – "…but we can give it a go."

Rather than my going downstairs and bringing her up, they suggested they come down to the foyer and say g'day. On the way down they asked me her name.

As the lift opened, the voice of Vyvyan of the 'Young Ones' - or Edward Catflap of 'Filthy, Rich and Catflap' or Edward Hitler of 'Bottom' rang out across the room: "Where's this Sylvia bird then?"

That Sylvia bird was on the sofa opposite the lifts, with the biggest grin on her face.

That was the day Rik Mayall offered to shag my sister.

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