British comedian Rik Mayall’s funeral is set to take place with his family asking fans for their “thoughts and prayers”.
Thursday’s private ceremony for the star, who died last week aged 56, will be followed by a memorial service which is expected to be held in September.
“Knowing the swell of love you all share with us we would like to let you, the fans, know that we will be having a private family funeral for Rik, as I am sure you will understand,” his widow Barbara said.
“We will be burying him at 2pm on Thursday June 19 if you would like to join us in thoughts and prayer at this time.
“Thank you again for all your love and support to all our family, it brings great strength.”
The comic and actor collapsed at home in southwest London after what his widow described as an “acute cardiac event”.
Mayall shot to fame playing poetry-writing anarchist Rick in The Young Ones and his career also included roles such as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder and the conniving Conservative MP Alan B’Stard in The New Statesman.
Since his death, tributes have flowed in for the performer who is survived by his wife and three children, Rosie, Sidney and Bonnie, and his 2010 World Cup song Noble England has gone straight into the top 10 of the UK’s official singles chart.
The track, originally recorded for the last World Cup, failed to chart the first time around, but thanks to a social media campaign set up in his memory it went in at number seven on Sunday.
Mayall was born in Harlow, Essex, to drama teacher parents and launched his comedy career on stage in a duo, The Dangerous Brothers, with long-term collaborator Adrian Edmondson.