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Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson of ‘The Young Ones’ beating the shit out of each other on ‘Bottom’


Actors and real-life BFFs, the late Rik Mayall and Adrian “Ade” Edmondson from their other television show, ‘Bottom.’
 
If you love Dangerous Minds, then it’s a safe bet that you are also fans of the much loved UK cult-comedy, The Young Ones. If you agree with that, then you are truly one of us and also perhaps a fan of the much-praised comedy series from two of the stars of the show, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson that aired on BBC2 starting in 1991, Bottom. And if you’re not, you should be.

The premise of the show is sort of like a sleazier, down-low version of The Odd Couple television series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Both Edmondson and Mayall are confirmed bachelors who shack up with each other out of desperation and commit equally desperate acts of violence and trickery that often center around trying to get laid. Getting laid is something that according to the storyline has eluded Mayall’s character of “Richard “Richie” Richard” his entire life as he’s still a virgin. Edmondson’s character “Edward Hitler” is just as unhinged as his flatmate as well as being an accomplished boozehound and thief. Adding another layer of cool on Bottom is that apparently, the characters created by both actors was somewhat based on their long, real-life friendship that began back in 1975 when the two were just teenagers attending Manchester University. Mayall and Edmondson would get gigs doing stand-up and sketches as “The Dangerous Brothers” at The Comedy Store in their early 20s which would, in turn, help them get regular work on the long-running UK show, The Comic Strip Presents. Coincidentally, Edmondson would meet his future wife, Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame, on the set of the show. They have been married for 32 years.
 

Edmondson and Mayall performing at The Comedy Store back in the day.
 
The show is hysterically violent and pessimistically dark, and both Mayall and Edmondson did much of the slapsticky stunts in the series themselves—such as when Edmondson fell through a ceiling in the 1992 episode “Burglary.” Only eighteen episodes ever aired before the proposed fourth series was killed by BBC. After that, the duo took Bottom on the road as a stage play which according to all reports was even more tawdry and savage when it came to the vulgar displays of aggression between both Edmondson and Mayall in the name of comedy. Then in 1999 the sad-sack characters were once again brought to life, this time for the film Guest House Paradiso (directed by Edmondson) which centered around Mayall and Edmondson as the owners of the “worst” hotel in the UK. There was some talk of bringing Bottom back—in Edmondson’s words as old men who hit each other with “colostomy bags,” but that awesomeness never materialized.

Get to the ‘Bottom’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:16 am
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That time Neil from ‘The Young Ones’ released his ‘Heavy Concept Album’

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Hippies make the best capitalists. They are the passive-aggressive masters who use their artificial sense of moral superiority to sell you shit you don’t need. You know the kind of shit. Shit, they claim that will save the planet, or feed your soul, or flow in tune with your karmic wholewheat astrological aura, kinda thing.

In a survey I’ve just made up at random, 99.9% of all hippies are capitalist bastards. Take The Young Ones for example. Here was a household consisting of four students from four very different backgrounds. There was a punk called Vyvyan, a radical-leftie-progressive-socialist-Cliff Richard-fan called Rik, a mature student-cum-yuppie-businessman called Mike, and a hippie named Neil. There was also rumored to be a fifth roommate, but we don’t talk about him. Now, you might think out of this small group that the punk or the mature student would go on to make the most money and have say, a pop career that sold literally dozens of records across the world and lasted for days if not weeks. But you’d be wrong. It was, in fact, Neil the hippie who saw the potential in marketing his miserable lentil-stained life and selling it on to an unsuspecting public.

And very, very successful he was at this, too.

It all started, you see, when Neil the hippie (aka the divinely talented actor Nigel Planer) recorded what some might describe as a kind of “novelty record” called “Hole in My Shoe” in 1984. Planer had astutely chosen to cover a song, which in many respects, captured aspects of Neil’s miserabilist, psychedelic personality. The song had originally been a hit for the rock band Traffic in 1967.

Planer used a little help from his friends to record his single. He collaborated with Dave Stewart, a prog rock keyboardist with bands like Uriel, Egg, and National Health, and singer Barbra Gaskin. Stewart, not to be confused with the other Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics, had scored a UK #1 with Gaskin on their cover of “It’s My Party” in 1981. Neil/Nigel’s “Hole in My Shoe” reached #2 on the UK charts. Its success led Planer, Stewart and Gaskin to go one further and record Neil’s Heavy Concept Album.
 

Neil sings ‘Hole in My Shoe’: Today the 45rpm record, tomorrow the 33⅓.
 
Neil’s Heavy Concept Album was the most splendid spoof LP since, well, The Rutles in 1978.

This was a concept album that paid homage to the, er, “concept” of a concept album, but didn’t actually have any real concept other than the unifying character of Neil who riffed on a variety of surreal adventures (a trip down a plughole, a meeting with a potato, a movie advert, and reading a poem to his plant) and singing a few classic, beautifully-rendered songs.

The whole album brilliantly parodied the musical form of those trippy conceptual albums released by progressive and psychedelic bands during the sixties and seventies. From the early musings and backward guitars of the Beatles, through Gong (Pip Pyle plays drums on the record), King Crimson, Pink Floyd, the Incredible String Band and a hint of Frank Zappa. The front cover mimicked that of the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request album, while the back, in red with liner notes and four images of Neil, copied the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band but instead of a guaranteeing a splendid time for all, Neil offered that:

A heavy time is guaranteed for all.

 
More heavy concepts, after the jump, man…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.11.2017
01:26 pm
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Ugly Xmas sweater with Rick from ‘The Young Ones’
11.28.2016
03:11 pm
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The last few years have seen an explosion in “ugly Christmas sweater” designs. On DM alone we’ve brought you designs keying off subjects like the Friday the 13th franchise, Blondie, Iron Maiden, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Motörhead, among many others.

It’s gotten so prevalent that we’ve actually started passing on some of them. If we showed you all of them, this would turn into a ugly holiday sweater blog, and who wants that? But every now and then, one stands out from the pack, and those we’re more than happy to show you.

The design for today isn’t actually a sweater, it’s a sweatshirt done to resemble a sweater. Not only does it feature the “People’s Poet” Rick from The Young Ones, it actually references a specific scene from “Bambi,” unquestionably one of the better episodes of the series, which only ran for 12 episodes. It premiered on the BBC on May 8, 1984, and on MTV a year or two later. That episode featured perhaps the best musical performance of the series, with Motörhead kindly obliterating “Ace of Spades.” It’s also the episode with the University Challenge competition that has the fantastic scene in which Neil preps Rick on a train on the way to the quiz show.

The line “Hands up who likes me?” is something only the desperately disliked and needy Rick would ever say, and it immediately conjures an image of the rest of the flatmates thrusting their hands down as far as possible while Rick alone pointlessly flings both of his hands above his head. The scene is exquisitely played by the entire foursome but especially Rik Mayall, also one of the main writers of the series, who sadly passed on in 2013.

Here’s the scene in dialogue form; the episode was written by Mayall, Ben Elton, and Lise Mayer with “additional material by Alexei Sayle”:
 

Rick: [stands up abruptly] Why don’t you like me?
Vyvyan: Because you’re a complete bastard.
Rick: Vyvyan, I’m being serious!
Vyvyan: So am I. You’re a complete bastard and we all hate you.
Rick: [shaking his head] I find that rather difficult to believe.
Vyvyan: Do you want to bet on it? I’ll put down a fiver.
Neil: Yeah, me too.
Mike: You can count me in as well.
[Vyv, Neil, and Mike put their money on the table]
Rick: Yes, eh, I…I don’t bet.
Vyvyan: Coward!
Neil: Yeah, yellow chicken!
Rick: Alright, I’m not scared!
Vyvyan: Right, then, a fiver!
Rick: Oh, I haven’t got any money.
Neil: What about that tenner I lent you this morning? For your sister’s operation?
Vyvyan: You haven’t got a sister, Rick! You’re the classic example of an only child.
Rick: Alright, alright, are we going to bet or are we going to piffle around all night? [slaps money on the table] There’s a tenner!
Vyvyan: Quiet, everybody, the bet’s on!
Rick: Right. Hands up, who likes me! [Rick throws both arms into the air, while the other three guys drop their hands to the floor] DAMN! Right, that’s it, I’m going to kill myself. [He removes his belt] Then you’ll be sorry!
Vyvyan: No, we won’t. [Rips the tenner in half and gives one half to Mike]

 
After this Rick becomes temporarily despondent and tries to kill himself and if you know the episode at all well you know exactly where that leads.

TeeChip is selling the sweatshirt for just $31, but you can also get the design on a shirt or mug or smartphone case if you prefer, those options are all a little less expensive. Note that you can only get them in the next two days, then the sale is over.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.28.2016
03:11 pm
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Wait, what? There was a ‘secret’ fifth roommate on ‘The Young Ones’ the whole time???
06.20.2016
02:18 pm
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Here he/she the fifth flatmate is, posing in a group photo—not even a still from the show. “Cousin It” much?
 
It’s like a gag straight out of Arrested Development, one that rewards maximum viewer attention and perceptual skills, and no small amount of repeat viewing. It also reminds one of the brilliant trick in The Simpsons, of embedding an entire Schwarzenegger-ish action movie called ‘McBain’, one small snippet at a time, over dozens of episodes.

So it seems that The Young Ones, the celebrated “punk sitcom” that ran on BBC2 from 1982 to 1984 and on MTV starting in 1985, had a running gag buried so incredibly deep that it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that nearly nobody noticed that it was even happening… for years.

Anyone who knows the show can list off the four flatmates in a matter of seconds—Neil, Rick (“Prick”), Vyvyan, and Mike-the-Cool-Person.

Four flatmates, easy peasy, right? But wait—there were actually five flatmates, and one of them never was given a single line of dialogue and could only be spotted in the background of scenes while other action was happening. Not just in a single episode or anything like that, but in every single episode of the first series. That constitutes 6 of the 12 episodes that were produced, the relevant episode titles are “Demolition,” “Oil,” “Boring,” “Bomb,” “Interesting,” and “Flood.” (These episodes featured musical apparances by Madness and Dexys Midnight Runners. Motörhead was in Series 2.)
 

Murky but unmistakable: The fifth flatmate
 
The fifth flatmate doesn’t have a name and, judging from his (her?) hairstyle, appears to have been a homage of sorts to Cousin It from The Addams Family.

Hilariously, one of the creators of the show, Ben Elton, was asked about the mysterious figure and he claimed to have zero knowledge of the character: “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about I’m afraid. There were four housemates plus the Landlord.”

However, a director from the show confirmed that the extra person in the scenes was not an accident. Geoff Posner went on the record thus:
 

So if my memory serves me correctly, Paul Jackson and I thought it would be fun to have some ghostly figure in the background of some scenes that was never explained or talked about. Hair all over the face so you shouldn’t be able to decipher gender either. The fact we forgot to do it consistently through the series shows what a bunch of amateurs we were in them days.

 
The findings were posted on YouTube—below you can click on the case for the prosecution. My mind is blown!
 

 
via Business Insider Australia

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The disgusting punk brilliance of ‘The Young Ones’

Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.20.2016
02:18 pm
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The Young Ones, Ab Fab, Einstein and more, recreated with LEGO


The Young Ones
 
I’m not huge fan of LEGO, but every once in awhile I do come across some LEGO minifigures that make me smile. These The Young Ones minifigures by Etsy shop Glinda the Geek do the job quite nicely. They’re kind of adorable, right?

Not only is there The Young Ones, but there’s also Edina and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous, Jane and Blanche from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and Charles Dickens.

There are more LEGO minifigures at Glinda the Geek‘s shop, I just picked the ones I liked best.


The Young Ones
 

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
 
More after the jump…
 

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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02.05.2016
09:16 am
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Sex Pistols, Clash and Motörhead covered Celtic folk style by Vyvyan from ‘The Young Ones’


 
Dangerous Minds has checked in on English actor/comedian/musician Adrian Edmondson before, to talk about The Idiot Bastard Band, his group with Bonzo Dog/Monty Python habitué Neil Innes, and his beloved BBC comedy The Young Ones, on which he played the insane and violent postcard-punker archetype Vyvyan Basterd. But we’ve only given passing mention to his fine band The Bad Shepherds, and that’s just absurd. The band’s specialty is Celtic folk covers of classic punk, though songs like Elvis Costello’s “Shipbuilding” and Kraftwerk’s “The Model” have found their way into the repertoire. They’ve released three albums worth of such interpretations, 2009’s Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera!, 2010’s By Hook Or By Crook and last year’s Mud, Blood & Beer.
 

 
Given Edmondson’s history in comedy, you could be forgiven for assuming this was a joke band, an inversion of the tired old novelty punk covers trip. But before you leap to conclude that, hear Edmondson out in these excerpts from an excellent recent interview with Outline Online

The whole mechanic of taking on cover songs is a huge mantle for you to take on; has there ever been a song that’s been too difficult, that’s wriggled away from you, that can’t be tamed?

Oh, hundreds of ‘em. Loads of ‘em. Yeah, we try loads of stuff and what we do probably represents about a quarter of what we try to do. It’s not that we don’t like the ones that don’t work, it’s just we haven’t found a way of doing it. We generally take the songs completely to pieces and then put them back together again without thinking about the original and try and find instrumentation for them. Primarily they fall down on lyrics because I’m a middle-aged man and they’ve got to suit my age, and most folk and most punk songs surprisingly do because they’re surprisingly adult in content, most of the punk canon, y’know. They were written by people who were really thinking; they’re not just solipsistic, selfish kind of ‘ooh, I’m in love, I’m not in love’ songs. They’re about social commentary and social protest and things like that and it’s very exciting. But some songs, for example, we’ve tried a few songs by The Damned and none of them worked because they’re all – and I don’t mean this to deride The Damned but they’re all just a bit childish when you take them to bits and you read the lyrics without thinking about what the music’s about. It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t go anywhere. We tried moving up the years as well thinking there must be a load of stuff in the 80s with Tears for Fears and OMD and stuff like that, so we scoured through those and tried to work on that and again, that kinda falls short, lyrically. It’s too childish. I mean, they’re brilliant, original things but they don’t fit the ethos of our band; they don’t become folk songs.

What is it about those genres that seem to lend themselves so well?


Because they’re forgotten songs and people all imagine that that sort of era is full of jumping up and down, shouting and spitting and it didn’t mean anything apart from anger in the performance. They’re disastrously wrong; they’re some of the most complex songs. The idea that all punk songs are three-chord wonders is completely erroneous. There are vastly complicated chord sequences and tuning in some of the songs we play.

 

The Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The U.K.”
 

The Clash’s “London Calling”

After the jump, Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” and more…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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01.30.2014
09:25 am
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Before the punk rock comedy of ‘The Young Ones’ Rik Mayall was investigative reporter ‘Kevin Turvey’
09.06.2013
10:24 am
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yevrutnivekllayamkir.jpg
 
Rik Mayall was fearless. In the early 1980s, when British stand-up comedy was chubby blokes in too tight dinner jackets telling jokes about wives, mother-in-laws and ethnic groups, Rik Mayall would walk on stage, looking like a Bowie-fan circa Heroes and recite poetry about his love for Vanessa Redgrave and the theater. Audiences were aghast and unsure whether Mayall was genuinely an angry socialist poet ranting about theater or some kind of bizarre amateur stand-up comic taking time out from his sociology degree.

Mayall was part of the disparate group of comics who were filed under “A” for “Alternative Comedy.” Ye olde comics didn’t like these cheeky young comics, because they didn’t have punchlines, and couldn’t understand why younger audiences found them funny.

From the Comedy Store in London, these Alternative comics made their early appearances on shows such as the rather excellent Boom Boom Out Go The Lights, which launched Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Keith Allen, Alexei Sayle, Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson, and (the sadly forgotten) late-nite-live entertainment series, Friday Night, Saturday Morning, hosted by amongst others, the avuncular Ned Sherrin, the man responsible for That Was The Week That Was and producing musicals like Side-by_Side by Sondheim. Friday Night, Saturday Morning gave air time to Mayall and Edmondson (as Twentieth Century Coyote) and The Outer Limits (Planer and Richardson). These four would later regroup with Keith Allen, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Robbie Coltrane as The Comic Strip Presents… for Channel 4 in 1982.

Yet, before all that, and even before Rik and co. “kicked in the doors of British comedy” with The Young Ones in 1982, Mayall starred as intrepid investigative Redditch reporter Kevin Turvey on A Kick Up The Eighties—the show which launched Tracy Ullman, Robbie Coltrane, and Mayall, alongside more established actors/performers Miriam Margolyes, Roger Sloman, Ron Bain and Richard Stilgoe. Produced by comedy supremo, Colin Gilbert for BBC Scotland, A Kick Up The Eighties was a mix of Alternative and traditional comedy, which set the tone for other sketch shows such as Naked Video, and (to an extent) even Ben Elton’s Alfresco (with Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Siobhan Redmond and Robbie Coltrane).

The stand-out segment of A Kick Up The Eighties was Mayall’s superb “Kevin Turvey Investigates” which presented one of the most brilliant, original and hilarious comic creations of the 1980s. The character’s success led to a one-off “mockumentary” The Man Behind the Green Door in 1982, which starred, Mayall as Turvey, with Coltrane as Mick the lodger, Ade Edmondson as Keith Marshall, and Roger Sloman as the park keeper. The story-line is simple: Kevin investigates what’s going on around in his hometown, Redditch. The answer is “not a lot.”

It’s an astonishingly original piece of television that prefigures the style of shows like The Office, and it still retains its comic brilliance more than 30-years later. Enjoy!
 

 
Bonus clip of Rik reading his angry poetry, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.06.2013
10:24 am
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The disgusting punk brilliance of ‘The Young Ones’
08.21.2013
11:13 am
Topics:
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It’s difficult to express adequately how distinctive and even dangerous the UK series The Young Ones felt when it landed on MTV in 1985. The angry, chaotic, hilarious series, which positively screamed opposition to conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, represented a timely injection of Monty Python-esque absurdism into the cultural landscape and was, in retrospect, a key purveyor of a scarcely diluted punk aesthetic to the mainstream audience. You know how your older brother was good enough to introduce you to The Clash? The Young Ones served a similar function for me in my middle school years.
 

 
What was immediately clear, to me at the age of 13 or so, was that American TV had nothing like this! There wasn’t even anything remotely like it on American TV. This show had actual punks in it! The characters were angry and profane and disgusting and seemed to pay normal bourgeois virtues no heed at all. The focus of the series was ostensibly the filthiest and least likeable set of college students in all of Britain, a premise that they carried over in thoroughly convincing fashion. Their squalid squat featured four enduring archetypes: the hippie Neil (Nigel Planer), the politically engaged poet Rik (played with emphatic genius by Rik Mayall), punk Vyvyan, and “Mike The-Cool-Person”—possibly only by comparison—who is a bit more of a ladies’ man.
 

 
Vyvyan, played with a pinched air of dunderheaded menace by Adrian Edmondson, wore torn denim and sported four painful-looking metal stars across his forehead. His key foil is Rik, a prat by anyone’s definition—in so doing the show stacked the deck in favor of the punk, even though he was himself a complete asshole. The issue of “likeability” never seemed to arise much because, indeed, none of the flatmates were in any way likable or ingratiating, evidence of courage on the part of the show’s writers, or perhaps simply conviction that they knew damn well what they wanted to express. The trio of Rik, Neil, and Vyvyan—Mike wasn’t very essential—nailed an anti-buddy comedy nirvana obscurely comparable to Kirk, Spock, and Bones.
 

 
The show frequently featured copious amounts of spurting blood and vomit, explosions, and frequent references to almost unmentionable squalor and filth, a refreshing change of pace from, say, “Silver Spoons,” an American sitcom of the same vintage. The anarchic absurdity called for many unmotivated cutaways to puppets who would offer a punchline or some other sort of mordant commentary. One of the best such characters was “Special Patrol Group,” the flat’s resident hamster. (Years later a friend of mine would name his cat SPG in homage.)

But best of all were the bands! Motörhead! The Damned! Madness! Dexys Midnight Runners! Who the hell were these maniacs!? How the hell did they find their way onto a prime-time sitcom? The juxtaposition of a raging rendition of “Ace of Spades” with a near-genius piece of sketch writing between Neil and Rik comes very close to my Platonic ideal of television entertainment:
 
“Bambi” episode:

 
More Young Ones after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.21.2013
11:13 am
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‘Hole in My Shoe’ times two: Traffic and Neil the Hippy’s #2 hit single
09.09.2010
02:36 pm
Topics:
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Wonderful 1967 promotional film for Traffic’s acid rock classic, “Hole In My Shoe,” which reached #2 in the UK singles chart that year. Apparently Traffic leader Steve Winwood always hated this song.
 

 
In 1984, actor Nigel Planer, in character as “Neil the Hippie” from The Young Ones television program, also reached #2 with his humorous cover version.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.09.2010
02:36 pm
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