Horrible Histories - In The Press
Main News Stories About 'Horrible Histories':
Certainly the most irreverent of all the programmes commissioned for the BBC's first world war commemorations, this Horrible Histories one-off is also one of the best, getting across the gravity and grimness of the conflict without compromising on comedy. Expect MasterChef parodies and songs. Lots of songs.
Horrible Histories: Frightful First World War Special is not, strictly speaking, last night's TV. It first aired on CBBC at 9am yesterday morning, but it would be remiss of me not to recommend an iPlayer catch up in the strongest possible terms. Nothing can dislodge Blackadder Goes Forth from its place on the informal school syllabus (especially with Michael Gove's enthusiastic endorsement still ringing in teachers' ears), but this would make a very acceptable substitute.
"Sir, why does an Austrian being killed by a Serb in Bosnia mean war, sir?" And so begins the fastest guide to the first world war you'll ever meet, narrated by a rat. As ever, there's an emphasis on gruesome facts and bodily functions, with an advert for World War One Wee Wee, useful for cooling down and softening boots in the trenches. It's not just the children who'll chortle at Historic MasterChef and Emmeline Pankhurst portrayed as a Lily Allen-ish character singing about how fierce suffragettes were.
All the regulars are out in force with new sketches in this Valentine's Day one-off special, but don't expect them to go soppy. Not when Rattus Rattus's idea of a romantic meal is "cockroach in jus de rubbish bag" and Henry VIII is taking part in a TV show called Dating in the Dark - where he falls in love with Anne of Cleves. Our advice: don't turn the lights on, Anne!
The songs are genius. I mean, seriously, you can take the Wiggles, put them in a hessian sack and fire them into space.
Written by Lucy Sweet. The Mirror, 15th December 2013
BBC educational sketch series Horrible Histories has become the first programme to win four consecutive BAFTAs at the Children's Awards, having topped the comedy category yet again.
BBC News, 25th November 2013
An interview with the author of the Horrible Histories books.
Written by Kieran James. The Good Review, 31st August 2013
Popular children's show Horrible Histories has come to an end, with viewing celebrating its humourous take on history on Twitter.
Metro, 17th July 2013
The cast and crew of CBBC's best show explain how they turn musty old history into minor pop classics.
Written by Jack Seale. The Radio Times, 6th June 2013
The award-winning Horrible Histories has returned for a triumphant fifth series, putting its distinct comic twist upon epochs long gone, plus a few that are, disconcertingly, more recent.
It's no secret that many alleged "grown-ups" are supplementing their haphazard history educations with CBBC's Horrible Histories, back for its fifth series with lovely, daft input from The League of Gentlemen. Tiny, mighty Sarah Hadland from Miranda and funny, clever Alice Lowe, writer of Sightseers are regular faces too. To adult eyes, Horrible Histories has the distinct feel of a group of bright, young, erudite, writery-actory sparks having a tremendously good time. One that they probably wouldn't be permitted to have anywhere else on telly.
We celebrate five glorious years of Horrible Histories with 40 frankly fantastic facts, but can you spot the one fake?
Written by Greg Jenner. The Radio Times, 27th May 2013
"Gory stories we do that - and your host's a talking rat!" The return of the best thing on telly, this week featuring Smashing Saxons (and their superhero-style Gods), Vile Victorians, and Gorgeous Georgians. But the stand-out highlight is Dominique Moore as civil rights icon Rosa Parks, singing a frankly brilliant Motown-style number called I Sat On The Bus: "I made a stand in my home town of Montgomery, Alabama/Refused to stand/For a white man/So they put me in the slammer"
Nothing falls flat in this rambunctious sketch show, which 'makes history look less crap' with dazzling writing and pop pastiches.
Written by Sarah Dempster. The Guardian, 25th May 2013
The Horrible Histories author is struggling not to say something outrageous. Just don't mention schools... or libraries... or football.
Written by Cole Moreton. The Daily Telegraph, 11th May 2013
Popular children's book series, Horrible Histories, is to end after 20 years according to author Terry Deary.
BBC News, 2nd April 2013
Horrible Histories has evolved into a phenomenon encompassing books, stage shows and a children's TV series as funny as anything aimed at adults.
Written by Richard Preston. The Telegraph, 21st February 2013
Authors, including artistic director of Bath Children's Literature Festival David Almond have criticised Horrible Histories author Terry Deary's comments that libraries are damaging the book industry.
Written by Daisy Bowie-Sell. The Daily Telegraph, 14th February 2013
Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain, the children's history show currently showing in the daytime slot at the Garrick Theatre, will embark on a tour to the Middle East before returning to its West End home in October.
Written by Kieran Corcoran. What's on Stage, 29th August 2012
The wildly successful Horrible Histories books and TV shows - facts boosted by lots of jokes - are adored by children and adults alike. Writer Terry Deary thinks it's because his characters often subvert authority.
Written by Jon Henley. The Guardian, 14th July 2012
Have you ever wondered why the Romans never won MasterChef? Or what you would do if a Viking moved in next door? The latest stage show by Horrible Histories could answer your questions. Barmy Britain at the Garrick Theatre in London is proving as popular as the books and television series. Two of its stars, Neal Foster and Alison Fitzjohn, joined the BBC Breakfast team as Anne Boleyn and Henry the Eighth and they had a special 'Jubilee' rap to share.
BBC News, 1st June 2012
You can't beat this series for fascinating facts underlining the fact that life in the past was often weird, cruel and smelly. But it's the songs that are often the best bit and today's is a winner for Kate Bush fans, as Mary Stuart tackles her own version of Wuthering Heights. Plus, we learn that the Normans changed the name of a town called Snottingham... by simply dropping the "s".
Geoff Ellis, The Radio Times, 18th May 2012
The past has never looked so much fun or so funny as in this award-winning comedy, enjoyed by children, adults and even most history teachers. In this episode, King Edward III gets married, Julius Caesar reveals his not-very-secret tips on hiding baldness, we learn the tricks of the criminal trade on The Real Victorian Hustle and there's an insight into the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci.
Geoff Ellis, Radio Times, 11th May 2012
The best comedy of the week was to be found over on CBBC, where series four of Horrible Histories made its debut (confusingly, BBC1 is currently showing series two).
Often described as being 'funny ... for a kids' show', few comedies can touch Horrible Histories for original ideas.
Written by Stephen Kelly. The Guardian, 12th April 2012