Clyde Auditorium. Glasgow, Fri 3 8 Sat 4 Oct

Rik Mayall has some kind of death wish. You could put his near-fatal accident on a quad bike in 1998 down to bad luck. You could explain his insistence on working with the violently disposed Adrian Edmondson as foolhardy. But even in the middle of our pre-rehearsal phone chat he manages to burn himself. How or on what, I never find out, but he seems to believe his knee is on fire.

“This is a cursed tour,‘ he says. ‘We were in the restaurant two days ago and we suddenly thought of this fantastic Tony and Cherie Blair joke while Ade was eating a sausage. He inhaled this sausage into his lungs and nearly died. He was lying on the floor and couldn‘t breathe. Was I helping? No. I was shitting myself laughing.‘

That‘s pretty much the level of subtlety you’re likely to find in the latest incarnation of Bottom, which kicks off a national tour with two nights in Glasgow. It is the sight of two men belting merry hell out of each other because it‘s what they know best. They stopped making the TV shows in 1995, but they can‘t resist the urge to keep their arses in front of a live audience. ‘lt’s a triple act really, with me and Ade and the audience,‘ says Mayall. ‘The audience just bring something out in you.‘

Weapons Grade Y-Fronts features Richie and Eddie trying to save the world with the help of a time- travelling toilet. It involves castration, repopulating the planet and meeting God. ‘Richie is trying to help Tony Blair win the Gulf War and invade the rest of the world,’ says Mayall. ‘Eddie has invented a fantastic evacuator which goes into reverse and that‘s how my arse fills with explosives. That‘s why you‘ve got to come to Glasgow, because the chances are for the rest of the tour I won‘t be alive.‘


A cursed and violent tour

He's not entirely joking. They both injured each other last time around. ‘We‘re a bit older and not quite as accurate as we used to be,‘ he says. ‘I had to have five stitches in my right eyebrow and he had to have two stitches near his left ear. So I‘m beating him five-two.‘

Having worked their way through the Dangerous Brothers, The Young Ones, Filthy, Rich and Catflap and Bottom, Mayall and Edmondson are starting to think of a new series for themselves. ‘lt‘ll be called something like Death Wish, Evil Old or Hate the Young. It‘ll be the same double act, but we‘ll move with time, in the same way that The Young Ones was based on your teens and Bottom was based on your 305 and 405. Now it’s time to express what we are now.‘ (Mark Fisher)

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