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I ran away from her in the January sales to wed secret lover; RIK MAYALL TELLS HOW HE CHEATED ON DEAYTON'S GIRL.

Byline: ROZ LAWS

ANGUS Deayton's longsuffering girlfriend has suffered DOUBLE heartache - after top Midland comic Rik Mayall last night revealed how he cheated on her, too.

Lise Meyer, reeling after Deayton's visits to vice girls, fell victim to love rat Rik while she was pregnant and later lost her baby - but the Young Ones funnyman is unrepentant.

Rik revealed in detail for the first time how he had a five-year affair while living with Lise - and how he abandoned her while out shopping in the January sales.

Without a word of explanation, he ran off and married his pregnant mistress, Barbara Robbin.

'Oh, I gave Lise the house!' he told the Sunday Mercury. 'I suppose it wasn't very nice at the time, but she's forgiven me now. It's all water under the bridge.

'I don't feel at all guilty. I had to follow my heart. I was living with Lise but I was in love with Barbara. We carried on the affair in secret for five years, until Barbara became pregnant.

'I found out while shopping in the January sales with Lise and Ben Elton, who'd written The Young Ones together. We were in the posh store Peter Jones and I phoned her up.

'Barbara told me she was pregnant and I said: 'I'll be on the next train'. I told Lise and Ben that I wasn't feeling very well and that I was going home.

'I just said 'Bye' to Lise and didn't tell her I was leaving her.

'I jumped in a cab, packed a case and my passport and got on a train to Glasgow. Barbara came running down the platform to meet me - I'm choking up when I think of it now. Then we flew out to Barbados and got married.

'We're about to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary, so I did the right thing.'

Droitwich-born Rik revealed how it was his Midland accent that won Barbara's heart.

He made his TV debut as comic character Kevin Turvey from Redditch in the TV series A Kick Up The Eighties.

'We made the show in 1981 at BBC Glasgow, where Barbara was a make-up artist,' he said. 'Barbara fell in love with Kevin for some bizarre reason.

'When I got her into bed, she asked me to be Kevin! Strangely, she was turned on by his accent!'

Rik and Barbara now have three children - Rosie, 16, Sidney, 13, and seven year-old Bonnie.

He is about to go on tour with Noel Coward's classic comedy Present Laughter, which comes to the Malvern Theatre for a week from January 27.

He said he was delighted to be back in his home county of Worcestershire - but with one regret.

Rik, son of two teachers, went to Rashwood Primary School, which has since disappeared.

'I was most upset when I came back a few years ago to find they'd knocked it down and built a Little Chef,' he said.

He went on to King's School, Worcester, where he was a bright student but didn't do well in his A-levels because he would rather see his girlfriend than revise.

'I made a mess of my exams because I was in love with Jo Nugent, my teenage sweetheart,' he recalled. 'I still see her because she's married to my childhood friend Andy Bourne.'

At Manchester University he met his comedy partner Adrian Edmondson, but it was a while before their careers took off.

On graduating they moved to the Midlands - Rik back to Droitwich and Ade to a council flat in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

Ade worked as a clerk at the tax office in Birmingham while Rik was a forklift truck driver for six months.

The pair met up to write comedy and secured half a dozen gigs in Birmingham pubs, before being acclaimed at the Edinburgh Festival and finding TV fame with The Young Ones and Bottom.

Now Rik, 44, is looking forward to being back on stage.

'When the script plopped through the letter box, I thought 'A Noel Coward play, that's not my area',' he said.

'But when I read it, I realised it was written for me. It features a man in his early 40s who is very vain, who likes to ponce about and talk about himself!

'I hope people who wouldn't normally go to the theatre come to see the play because it's brilliantly funny.'

Rik has recently made three films, taking parts including a sinister undertaker and a selfobsessed DJ.

Next comes a new Comic Strip film, reuniting his old friends Ade Edmondson, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Nigel Planer to play actors making a movie in which Churchill is an American.

But don't expect to see Rik on TV much in the future.

'Television is rubbish these days,' he moaned. 'Everything takes so long and there's so much politically correct censorship.

'I'm fed up of the Blairite administrations at the BBC and ITV, where you have to have a meeting about whether to have a meeting to discuss whether you can tell a joke.

'Television is so last century!'

CAPTION(S):

LOVE RAT... Rik Mayall and (above) ex girlfriend Lise Meyer with Angus Deayton. (Below) Rik and his wife Barbara Robbin
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2002
Words:865
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