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Dawn French: 'Rik Mayall's death is a wake-up call'

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Jun 12, 2014 | 8:32am EDT

British funnywoman Dawn French has branded the death of her longtime friend and colleague Rik Mayall a "wake-up call" and vowed to "live every minute properly" in the aftermath of the tragedy. The Harry Potter star worked with the comedian/actor on a number of projects over the years after landing her big break alongside Mayall on 1980s TV sketch series The Comic Strip Presents... French admits she was blindsided by Mayall's sudden death on Monday (09Jun14) at the age of 56, and the tragedy has prompted her to re-evaluate her own life. She tells the BBC, "I'm very sorry for his family's loss particularly... (It was) utterly shocking and (he was) the same age as me. Thirty million minutes. Just that. Hardly anything... I owe him a massive debt of gratitude. I will miss him enormously... "We made, what, 45 films together... He's the first of our gang to go really... and recently Roger Lloyd-Pack (actor) died so I'm certainly having a bit of a wake-up call and it just reminds me to live every minute properly and to properly inhabit my life as well as I can."

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