A spirited tribute to a hell-raising comic who was a master of playing it by ear.Will Dean, The Independent, 26th December 2013
Having enjoyed what Stephen Fry described as a "full life", Mel Smith died in July aged just 60. At this time of year, it's probably his Rockin' around the Christmas Tree duet that comes to mind first, but the clowning about was part of a rich career that shaped British comedy but also took in straight acting and directing, TV production and a modicum of high living.
Rowan Atkinson remembers a "wonderful sort of peace" in performing alongside him, and John Lloyd credits Smith with developing the naturalistic style that characterises modern alternative comedy. Lloyd and Atkinson are joined by Richard Curtis and, of course, his sketch partner Griff Rhys Jones to commemorate Mel Smith's contribution to both comedy and life in general. Home video and lots of classic sketches (which really do stand the test of time) tell the story of a beloved comic personality.Emma Sturgess, Radio Times, 24th December 2013