SAD to hear of the death of comedy actor Rik Mayall, who was still in his fifties.

Arguably his best role was as the amoral and devious Conservative politician Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman. The show's producer John Bartlett was once asked if it was time for a sequel and he replied: "There was a sequel to Alan B'Stard. It was called Tony Blair, but it wasn't quite as believable and certainly not as funny."

Tweet nothings

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INCIDENTALLY, Rik felt the need to start a Twitter account over four years ago, and his first tweet was: "Opening my very own Twitter to stop anyone else using my name. But don't expect to hear from me any time soon. Love Rik." True to his word, despite having over 30,000 followers on Twitter, he never wrote another thing.

The gospel truth

A PERTHSHIRE reader swears to us that when leaving church on Sunday he heard a fellow worshipper tell the minister as he shook his hand that his sermon hadn't been very good that day. The minister looked shocked, so the parishioner's wife told the minister: "Just ignore him. He doesn't know what he's talking about. All he does is repeat what he hears other people saying."

A trying time

ASKED how the five-a-sides had gone, a chap in a Glasgow pub was heard saying: "Caught a bloke in the changing room afterwards holding up my jacket, saying he thought it was his." He added: "I think he was trying it on."

Not humble pie

ORAN Mor, that great Glasgow West End church turned into bars and restaurants, is now 10 years old. It is perhaps most famous for its lunchtime plays under the Play, A Pie And A Pint title. In an article on Oran Mor in the drinks trade magazine Dram, Rab C Nesbitt writer Ian Pattison had his tongue in his cheek as he declared: "A Play, A Pie And A Pint has ensured that for a generation of Scottish writers, the taste of mutton pies is for us what madeleines were to Proust."

We suspect that's not a quote you would hear from Rab C all that often.

Keeping the peace

TOUR guides continued. Moyna Gardner in Glasgow tells us: "On a bus tour of Ireland the driver kept talking about the misdeeds of the 'Anglo-Normans'. It puzzled me until at last I realised this was his way of describing the English without offending all the English people on the bus."

Taggart star's cover-up

FORMER Taggart star Blythe Duff has won the Critics Award for her portrayal of a Glasgow gangster's daughter in the play Ciara. She once told her audience after appearing in the play at Glasgow's Citizens that because of the bad language and adult themes in the play, she told her two daughters: "I've got to warn you about this new play I'm doing."

"Oh my God, you're not taking your clothes off are you?" asked a worried daughter. When Blythe reassured them her clothes stayed on, they had no qualms at all about the bad language.

An A for cruelty

THE Edinburgh Fringe brochure is now out, so start your planning. We see in this week's Radio Times that actor Tom Rosenthal, from Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner who is doing stand-up this year in Edinburgh, once tricked his parents into believing he had failed his A-levels. Said Tom: "I never mean to be malicious but I can be playful to the point of cruelty. I faked my A-Level results so for half an hour my parents thought I hadn't got into university. Mum was crying and dad was storming round the house, cursing my teachers."