Smash hit CBBC series introducing children to gruesome events and ghastly characters from British and international history
- Sketch Show
- 2009 - 2014 (CBBC / BBC One)
- 71 (5 series)
- Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Ben Willbond, Mathew Baynton, Martha Howe-Douglas, Laurence Rickard, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith, Sarah Hadland, Jon Culshaw
- Mathew Baynton, Colin Swash, Terry Deary, Steve Punt, Jon Holmes, Dave Cohen, Ben Ward, Greg Jenner, Laurence Rickard, Gerard Foster, Giles Pilbrow
- Lion Television
Childrens' BBC comedy series based on the best-selling books written by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown.
Starting out in the Savage Stone Age, Horrible Histories progresses through the Awful Egyptians, Rotten Romans, Vicious Vikings, Measly Middle Ages, Terrible Tudors, Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians, right up to the Woeful Second World War.
Liberally splattered with guts, blood and poo, Horrible Histories romps through the ages in a collection of sketches, cartoons and quizzes.
Each episode features a mixture of sketches from different ages, played by the ensemble cast, and commentary from the show's host Rattus Rattus - the talking rat.
The show also includes pastiches of some familiar TV formats such as Historical Wife Swap, Historical Hospital and Ready Steady Feast; and various spoof songs, for example a musical journey through 18th Century British history in the style of a Westlife ballad, sung by four King Georges.
Our Review: Horrible Histories is amazing! A talented cast and sharp writing team made this a comedy highlight for us across its five series... and we say that as people officially outside its target audience.
Much like Sorry, I've Got No Head, the material doesn't patronise but instead treats the children watching as the intelligent people they are. The musical numbers are the real highlight - make sure you check them out!
The show was such a hit that at its peak nearly half of all 6 to 12-year-olds in the country watched, and its website has attracted millions upon millions of hits since it launched.
The show's achievements include beating other mainstream sketch shows to win more than one British Comedy Award; getting its own prime-time highlights series hosted by Stephen Fry; and spawning a gameshow spin-off. However, it's biggest achievement was getting millions of kids interested in history.
Sadly, aside from the odd special, the show has now finished. However, the cast have, as a team, moved onto interesting new projects - there's the feature film Bill and Sky1's fantasy series Yonderland.