COMIC Rik Mayall suffered an "acute cardiac event" after returning from a morning run, his widow has said.

The former Droitwich comedian, who shot to fame playing poetry-writing anarchist Rick in The Young Ones, was found dead at his London home on Monday, and Barbara Mayall said: "We now know that our darling Rik suffered an 'acute cardiac event' at our home around midday on June 9th.

"He had just returned from his usual run and many people had seen him that morning."

An earlier post-mortem at West London Coroner's Court had been inconclusive and more tests were being carried out in an attempt to determine how the 56-year-old star died.

Mrs Mayall also said her family had received "thousands and thousands of messages of condolence" from around the world.

She added: "We always knew that Rik was well loved but we are all overwhelmed by so many joining us in our grief."

His career, which also included roles such as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder and the conniving Conservative MP Alan B'Stard in The New Statesman, stretched back to the start of the alternative comedy scene.

Fans of the star have launched a campaign to send his failed football song, Noble England, into the charts in his memory.

According to data from the Official Charts Company, the track was sat just outside the top 10 at number 11 in the mid-week chart.