Blackadder goes Biblical

Daily Mirror – January 29th 1998.
Blackadder Series 5 – Rowan returns as TV Edmund but now he’s the 13th disciple of Jesus

Funnyman Rowan Atkinson is bringing Blackadder back to life – as a scheming 13th disciple of Jesus. Atkinson, star of Mr Bean plans to launch the new £1million TV series in time for the millennium. And there is bound to be controversy as dastardly Edmund Blackadder is shown using his villainous way to try to con his new leader.

A BBC TV insider said last night: “This is something the original Blackadder team have been discussing for some time. They really like the idea of a biblical plot, even though it might cause a bit of a storm. “Now it looks like going ahead. Trying to manipulate Jesus will be Blackadder’s ultimate challenge. It’s sure to result in a very funny story.”

The show will feature Blackadder’s Baldrick sidekick, Tony Robinson. There will also be guest appearances from comedy stars Ben Elton, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Tony, 52, said yesterday: “I know many of us have gone on to do other work. But when it comes to Blackadder it’s very much a mates thing for us. Reunion

“It’s a bit like asking your friends to come back for a fun reunion – which will really mean something in 2000.” Blackadder – set in medieval, Elizabethan and Georgian times and also in the First World War – was launched 10 years ago.

The first series was panned. But Edmund soon became a national hit. Atkinson, 43, is Britain’s highest-paid actor earning more than £11million in 1997. His Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie is a worldwide success taking £136million last year. The star lives in a £500,000 18th-century rectory in Oxfordshire with his wife Sunetra and their two children. He also owns a £650,000 house in London’s Chelsea.