Barbara Mayall said her family had received thousands and thousands of messages of condolence from around the world, adding:
We always knew that Rik was well loved but we are all overwhelmed by so many joining us in our grief.
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.
Mrs Mayall thanked the press "for their discretion" and "all the wonderful coverage", adding:
It would have made him very happy. I am sure that you all know Rik's response would be something along the lines of.....' well thanks very much all of you.............now **** off!!!"'