British comedian and actor Rik Mayall has died suddenly aged 56.

The circumstances surrounding his death are as yet unknown.

The beloved actor is best known for appearing in sitcoms, The Young Ones, Blackadder,the New Statesman and Bottom.

He leaves a wife and three children.

He gained famed as the obnoxious, poetry-writing anarchist Rick in cult comedy The Young Ones alongside his friend, Adrian Edmonson.

The duo later went on to star in Bottom. He also starred in The New Statesman and made numerous appearances in comedy classic Blackadder.

He was left seriously ill after a quad bike accident in 1998 which left him in a coma for several days.

A statement from Mayall's management, Brunskill, said: "We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Rik Mayall who passed away this morning."