Neil is one of the four main characters featured in The Young Ones and is portrayed by Nigel Planer.


Neil is a considered a hippie and sports long brown greasy hair and usually wears a grubby grey top and light brown flared trousers. Like his counterparts Rick and Vyvyan, he is generally unclean and unkempt, and speaks with a dry, monotone voice.

Personality & LifestyleEdit

Clinically depressed, often suicidal, frequently despairing pacifist Neil Wheedon Watkins Pye is typified as a hippie. He is an environmentalist and is taking a Peace Studies degree at Scumbag College, however he is never actually seen attending any lessons or lectures. He is constantly picked on by the rest of the household, who force him to do the cooking, cleaning and general housework. Despite this, the house they all share is kept in a horrendous state of squalor. He is also forced to answer the door or telephone whenever it rings.

Neil attempts suicide on a number of occasions, including putting his head in the oven, hanging himself and jumping into the path of a mallet-wielding wrecking crew. All attempts are unsuccessful, sending him into even deeper despair. He is almost always ignored by the rest of the household, often leading them to miss out on important news he has to tell them. Eventually Neil usually manages to become the focus for a short moment and deliver the news in full, leading to unfair criticism from the rest of the household for taking so long to tell them. Despite his perceived impopularity, Neil actually has more friends that Rick, Vyvyan and Mike. These fellow hippie chums are Warlock, Stonehenge and another chap called Neil.

Neil refers to most situations that do not please him as "heavy" or "uncool."

As a cook, Neil's staple dish is lentils, which he often ends up dropping on the floor. Other culinary creations include cornflakes and the contents of the bin. In "Cash" Neil serves up a meal of snow taken from the garden when the boys run out of money to buy any food. He avoids a lot of foodstuffs on the belief that they are carcinogenic. He also believes that sleeping causes cancer, and is an insomniac.

Neil was born in Twickenham to upper class Tory parents, who look down on him for starring in a low-brow comedy series. Like Rick, he takes an anti-government stance, although does not consider himself an anarchist. 

His musical tastes include Marillion, Steve Hillage and Hawkwind, and he owns a guitar allegedly built for him by his grandfather out of matchsticks whilst on his deathbed.


"Vegetable rights and peace." (Bambi)

"Darling facist bully-boy, give me some more money, you bastard. May the seed of your loins be fruitful in the belly of your woman. Neil." (Cash)

"We plant the seed, nature grows the seed and we eat the seed" (Sick)


  1. Neil's middle and surnames were never spoken in dialogue, and were not revealed until the 1984 concept album "Neil's Heavy Concept Album."
  2. Nigel Planer would go on to play Ralph Filthy in Filthy Rich & Catflap, however did not appear in any episode of Bottom.
  3. Typical of Nigel Planer's comedic style, the character of Neil is, like many of his characters, the shambolic outsider.

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