Blackadder Rides Again for Christmas

As mentioned by me some time ago, Blackadder will be making a return to BBC1 this Christmas, albeit in a documentary celebrating 25 years. The programme will be called “Blackadder Rides Again” – a title which will no doubt confuse viewers; leading them to think that its an actual one-off sitcom special and not a documentary. And I can finally reveal that Rowan Atkinson will also appear.

This article has just been published on the Mirror website.

Blackadder is going forth once more this Christmas… with a oneoff special featuring Rowan Atkinson.

Despite it being one of his best-loved roles, Atkinson has pretty much refused to discuss his character.

But in this 60-minute special, to mark 25 years since the first transmission, he gives his first in-depth interview about Edmund Blackadder.

He says: “The role was almost like an MC, with me delegating the job of entertaining to all these amazing entertainers.

“It was like saying ladies and gentlemen, Mr Tony Robinson, ladies and gentlemen Mr Stephen Fry.”

He also reveals that his initial meeting with co-writer Richard Curtis did not bode well.

He says he “sat in the corner saying nothing” while Curtis recalls that Atkinson was “just a curiously shaped object in the corner”.

Atkinson and other stars also speculate on a possible fifth series of Blackadder – and where it would be set.

Rowan says: “The best idea was Colditz.”

Fry suggests “a prisoner of war camp” and Miranda Richardson likes the idea of a cowboy themed series where she could take on a Calamity Jane type role…

A fifth series anywhere would be a result.

Rowan Atkinson to revisit Blackadder

Thanks to long-standing, much respected Blackadder Hall visitor, nay part-of-the-furniture, John D. for spotting this gem.

Rowan Atkinson has granted his first in-depth interview about his iconic Blackadder role in Tiger Aspect’s second documentary on the classic BBC sitcom.

Atkinson will describe his personal experience of his involvement in the sitcom and its phenomenal success in the 60-minute documentary Blackadder Rides Again, which forms part of BBC1’s Christmas line-up. He will also visit Alnwick Castle, the location of the show’s first series that was titled The Black Adder.

Atkinson did not appear in Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga, Tiger Aspect’s two-hour retrospective for UKTV channel GOLD, which attracted 341,000 viewers to the digital channel last month. A spokesman for the indie said the BBC1 documentary was an entirely separate production to the UKTV programme, featuring all-new interviews.

Both shows were commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of the sitcom, which began on BBC2 and ran for three series before switching to BBC1 for Blackadder Goes Forth in 1989.

For the BBC1 show, cast members including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Miranda Richardson, Tim McInnerny and Tony Robinson and writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton will revisit key iconic moments, costumes and locations.

Tiger Aspect’s director of factual entertainment Ricky Kelehar, who executive produced both shows, said: “We are extremely excited to have persuaded the entire creative team behind this iconic sitcom to appear in the same show for the very first time since they all worked together.

“Many of them have since gone on to become towering talents around the world, including Rowan – who has never before spoken in detail about playing the anti-hero Edmund Blackadder.”

Blackadder Rides Again was commissioned by BBC executive editor, comedy entertainment Katie Taylor and produced and directed by Matt O’Casey. Blackadder producer John Lloyd is programme consultant on the documentary.

BBC to Broadcast 25th Anniversary Special

A couple of weeks a go I was lucky enough to attend the recent Blackadder talk at the Cheltenham Literary Festival with Richard Curtis, Tony Robinson and John Lloyd in attendance. I’ll be doing a full write-up of the event soon, but thought I’d let you all know that Tiger Aspect were recording the event for use in a special 25th anniversary documentary to be broadcast on the BBC later in the year (not really much of the year left is there).

I’m wondering if they will actually feature something on the never-aired pilot episode as the guys certainly talked about it at great length at the Literary Festival.

Cunning Blackadder plan foiled


TELLY producers had a cunning plan to mark the 25th anniversary of Blackadder.

The idea was to show clips from the popular series, accompanied by interviews with the cast.

All the major actors agreed to take part . . . with the exception of star Rowan Atkinson.

And, as Atkinson played the title character in four incarnations, one of Baldrick’s cunning plans was needed. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find one.

You would forgive UKTV Gold executives for thinking “fortune had vomited on their eiderdown” once more.

But they went ahead without Atkinson to produce a documentary looking back on 25 years of the series, famous for Blackadder’s quotes.

You could say they “laughed at danger” and “dropped ice cubes down the vest of fear”.

Atkinson is a miss, of course, but all the other favourites are there.

UKTV’s celebration provides enough trivia and first-hand knowledge from the cast to keep fans happy.

The first of two celebratory programmes reveals how Edmund Blackadder came into being, how the character changed over the four series, and how the stellar cast was assembled.

It also reveals the real inspirations behind Baldrick’s many cunning plans.

Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga, gathers together the cast and crew to provide a complete picture of the origins and evolution of the Blackadder dynasty.

It even has a new Blackadder theme tune, composed by the show’s original theme tune writer.

Those sharing their Blackadder knowledge include writer and creator Richard Curtis and writer Ben Elton.

Actors Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, and Miranda Richardson also share their memories.

Previously unseen footage of the historical sitcom reveals the cast in rehearsals, getting into character during make-up sessions, and donning their elaborate costumes.

A show insider is quoted as saying: “It was a shame that Rowan wouldn’t appear on the reunion shows as all his friends were delighted to join us.

“But he sent his apologies. Rowan is very private . . . he doesn’t do interviews and he rarely makes public appearances.”


Blackadder TV retrospectives – dates confirmed

Blackadder: The Whole Rotten Saga Thursday 9 October 2008, GOLD – The story of the sitcom, featuring contributions by Richard Curtis, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson, Miriam Margolyes, Patsy Byrne and Brian Blessed.

Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments Thursday 16 October 2008, GOLD – Celebrities including Jeremy Paxman, John Sargeant, Tamsin Greig, Ross Kemp, Danny Wallace, Dave Spikey and Dick & Dom pick their favourite moments from the sitcom.

Time to set those video recorders everyone

Two 2-hour Blackadder specials announced

UKTV Gold has commissioned IMG Media’s Tiger Aspect to produce Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga and Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments, two specials providing a behind-the-scenes look at the BAFTA-winning comedy series Blackadder, which was on the air from 1983 to 1999.

Each two-hour special, both premiering this July, features candid interviews with cast and crew as they share their personal experience of working on Blackadder. They will feature previously unseen footage of the show’s cast in rehearsals, getting into character during make-up sessions and donning their elaborate costumes.

Blackadder: The Whole Rotten Saga will include exclusive interviews with writers/creators Richard Curtis, Ben Elton and cast members such as Stephen Fry (QI, BBC Two), Academy Award-nominee Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow) and Tony Robinson (Time Team, Channel 4). BAFTA-winning comedian, David Mitchell (Peep Show, That Mitchell and Webb Look) provides the voiceover, with Howard Goodall rewriting the Blackadder theme tune for the new show.

Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments will see the cast, crew and a diverse mix of celebrity fans reveal their favorite moments from the series. The special also features regular cast members rating their favorite moments out of ten, including Tim McInnerny (the only other actor alongside Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson to appear in all four seasons), among others.

Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga and Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments will be executive produced by Jane Rogerson, UKTV’s director of commissioning, factual and factual entertainment, alongside Tiger Aspect’s Ricky Kelehar.

Rogerson said: “Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga is a fascinating show which reveals—for the first time—the greatest comedic geniuses creating the most hilarious series in history. And Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments is an utterly brilliant accompaniment to it. Tiger Aspect has coming up with a truly cunning plan in bringing these two shows with masses of appeal to UKTV Gold.”

Rowan’s blow to Blackadder reunion

CAMERA shy Rowan Atkinson has SNUBBED a Blackadder reunion show, TV Biz can reveal.

TV chiefs had a cunning plan to reunite all the cast members of the legendary comedy for its 25th anniversary.

But super-private Rowan, 53, will NOT appear even though all his co-stars — from writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton to actors Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Miranda Richardson — HAVE agreed to take part.

A show source said: “Rowan is very private, he doesn’t do interviews and he rarely makes public appearances.

“It was a shame that he wouldn’t appear on the reunion shows as all his friends were delighted to join us. But Rowan sent his apologies.”

Cast and creators will meet up on UKTV Gold’s Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga and Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments.

Each will feature interviews with the stars as they remember their experiences of working on one of the nation’s best comedies.

All four of the Blackadder series were set in a different period of English history, beginning in 1485 at the end of the Wars of the Roses. The others took place in Elizabethan times, the foppish late 18th century and in the First World War trenches.

In each, Rowan played a different version of scheming, self-serving Edmund Blackadder with Tony Robinson as dimwit servant Baldrick.

Previously unseen footage of the sitcom will reveal the cast in rehearsals, getting into character during make-up sessions and donning their elaborate costumes.

Celeb fans including Jeremy Paxman will also talk about their favourite scenes.

Source: The

BlackAdder Movie – THE TRUTH!

Always one to stop a rumour dead in its tracks – BlackAdder Hall once again can lay to rest the latest rumours surrounding a BlackAdder movie. I’ve spoken to my source who is very close to one of the writers and they had this to say:

“Not that I’ve heard! And just checked with Richard and he knows nothing of it. Ben did once start a russian revolution blackadder, but it was years ago and nothing ever came of it. Why let truth get in the way of a good story though.”

So, there you have it.. There is no movie/series currently being worked on.

A Black(Adder) Russian Please? – new BlackAdder movie rumours

I guess it’s been a while since I’ve sent you an email, and to be honest, I’d just use the BA Hall forums for this message if they were currently up and running. But seeing as they’re not…

Anyway, evidently Stephen Fry participated in another live web chat just a couple of days ago, and as per usual, questions were asked about Blackadder, and his answers ended up reflected in certain media megaphones. Also as per usual. Isn’t it wacky how this particular series of events just seem to endlessly repeat themselves? As I’m sure you’ll be amazed to learn (if you don’t already know), the Sun latched onto his comments, and this time the focus was on Ben Elton’s idea for a BA film set in the Russian Revolution. The comedy websites and picked up on this “news”. In fact, the Funny site has a link to the entire Fry webchat, if you’re interested in checking it out. It mentions some interesting details about various upcoming projects he’s involved in.

I dunno why I feel compelled to share this information with people, seeing as it’s not really “news” in any real sense…though the most interesting thing Fry had to say was that he chatted with Rowan Atkinson via the phone last week – RA was in France filming the Bean sequel – and Rowan apparently made another pronouncement about how much he’d love to return to the Blackadder universe. I suppose I’m grasping at straws, but who knows? Maybe something will happen at some point…it’s at least encouraging that the star of the series wants to do another one…

John A.

Blackadder returns for a good cause

A new sketch by Richard Curtis is going under the hammer to help Book Aid International – and 30 other writers are backing the charity too.

Their adventures spanned five centuries and featured mad royals and barking army generals, not to mention at least one giant turnip. Now, at last, the sardonic Edmund Blackadder and his eternally stupid manservant, Baldrick, are making a comeback. Of sorts.

A new sketch featuring the hapless duo, in the handwriting of Richard Curtis, is one of the star lots at an auction next month aiming to raise funds for the charity Book Aid International, which was backed by The Observer’s 2005 Christmas appeal with a donation of £100,000.

Curtis, who co-wrote the hit Eighties comedy with Ben Elton, is among more than 30 authors and illustrators whose specially produced handwritten work is to go under the hammer.

All were given the phrase ‘between the lines’ to inspire them. Another star contribution comes from JK Rowling, who has excited Harry Potter fans by designing a family tree for the character Sirius Black which is expected to fetch up to £50,000.

DBC Pierre, winner of the Man Booker Prize for Vernon God Little, Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, actress Joanna Lumley and playwright Tom Stoppard have also contributed manuscripts to the event, supported by Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Book Aid International supplies more than half a million books each year to some of the world’s poorest countries, mostly in Africa.

Blackadder, which starred Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson, ran for four series and was revived with a special, Blackadder Back and Forth, for the new millennium. There has since been constant speculation about a comeback. The new sketch, ‘Blackadder Between the Lines’, is apparently set in the Elizabethan era of Blackadder II. Fittingly for the charity, Baldrick attempts to impress his master by reading a book, but Blackadder points out that the book is upside down and written in ancient Greek. ‘I thought it looked a bit funny,’ admits the world’s most stupid turnip lover.

Fans’ appetite for a return of the characters to television may have been whetted, but Curtis, 49, admitted it is unlikely. ‘When we gave up, there was a thought that one day, when we were old and angry with the young world, we might bring Blackadder back to rail against the modern world,’ he told The Observer. ‘But I fear it’s unlikely. Hugh Laurie is now a major American TV star, Stephen Fry is a poet, Rowan’s a racing driver and Tony Robinson is an archaeologist. But never say never.’ Curtis, a co-organiser of last summer’s Live8 concert, spelled out why he was supporting Book Aid International. ‘Education and information are clearly absolutely key in the battle to get out of poverty,’ he said. ‘World governments made a promise in 2000 to get primary education for every child – that promise has been reiterated with some extra money at the G8 last year, but until the promise is kept, every little bit helps.’

The charity auction takes place on 21 February and is hosted by Bloomsbury Auctions. Other authors to donate lots include Iain Banks, Maeve Binchy, Sebastian Faulks, PD James, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Lynne Truss, Jacqueline Wilson, Colin Dexter, David Mitchell, Dick King-Smith, Eoin Colfer, Frederick Forsyth, Louis Theroux, Sebastian Barry, Cathy Kelly, Babette Cole, Joanna Trollope, Sue Townsend and Sir Tim Rice.

Between the lines: three different takes

What are you doing?

Baldrick: I’m reading, sir.

Blackadder: What is it?

Baldrick: It’s a book, sir.

Yes, I can see it’s a book. Which book?

Baldrick: I’m not entirely sure, sir.

You might find it easier if you had it the right way round.

Baldrick: Thank you, sir.

Baldrick turns the book upside down. Blackadder has a look.

And if it was in English, not ancient Greek.

I thought it looked a bit funny.

Blackadder: It is the Iliad by Homer – so it is not the slightest bit funny. But am I to surmise, reading between the lines, Baldrick, that you do not actually know how to read?

Baldrick: No, sir, not a word.

Blackadder: So why were you sitting with a book in your lap when I entered the room?

Baldrick: I was hoping to impress you, sir.

Blackadder: It would take more than you knowing how to read to impress me.

Baldrick: Really, sir?

Blackadder: Yes.

Baldrick: How much more?

Let me put it this way. If I came into the room – and William Shakespeare was on his knees begging you to help him finish his next play, and Queen Elizabeth was on her knees giving you a blow job, I would still not be impressed.

Why not, sir?

Because I know you to be the lowest creature ever created by God and every time he looks down and sees you, he hits his forehead with his fist and shouts – ‘Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I totally and utterly fucked up that time.’

Baldrick: In which case, I will never try to impress you again.

Good decision. Now, what in the hell did I want you to do? I’ve completely forgotten… oh, yes, I remember.

Baldrick: What, my lord?

I want you to take this scroll to Ben Elton and ask him to do a rewrite on this scene – Richard Curtis can’t think of a punchline…