The location: Hammersmith Bridge Rd, W6.
The scene: Legendary sitcom ‘Bottom’ first aired on BBC Two in September 1991, telling the story of two loser bachelors (played by Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson) sharing a grotty flat in Hammersmith. In the improvised title sequence the pair get into a slapstick fight – involving Richie punching Eddie in the privates – on this bench.
Then: Although (according to Mayall) the title sequence involved very little planning, the bench was an inspired choice. It sat on a traffic island in the middle of grey Hammersmith, surrounded by fast-moving cars: a perfect illustration of life passing the characters by. The sequence also shows the pair looking out from the Hammersmith Broadway development, then only half-built.
Now: At some point before 2010 the local council removed the bench, with Mayall expressing his sadness at the decision. However, following the comedian’s death in 2014, a petition signed by 7,000 fans called for the bench to return. The council obliged, and the seat now features a brass plaque paying tribute to ‘the man, the myth, the legend, Dr The Rik Mayall.’
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