Blackadder in Colditz Castle idea revealed
The idea of setting a new version of hit sitcom Blackadder in the German prisoner-of-war camp Colditz Castle has been revealed.
The show's producer John Lloyd revealed that he and star Rowan Atkinson had the idea of making either a new series of the show, or a feature film, based around the World War II setting.
However. it should be stressed that the project is only an idea and unlikely to proceed, with Lloyd admitting that all those involved in the programme have their own projects to concentrate on.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Lloyd said: "Rowan and I had this great idea - because we're all getting a bit old now - of doing a 'Dad's Army', that they [the characters] are a platoon in Walmington-on-Sea, and they get kidnapped by a German submarine and taken to Colditz and they all have to escape."
He added: "Tony Robinson is probably very nearly 70 now and it would be just about the right age, and I think quite funny, don't you?"
Asked to clarify if this idea was specifically in relation to the Blackadder show, Lloyd said "Yeah, that was the thought, it'd make a good movie, don't you think?"
Written by Richard Curtis and star Rowan Atkinson, The Black Adder launched on the BBC in 1983. Following a lukewarm reception to the first series, the programme was re-tooled as a sitcom set in the 1550s with Ben Elton replacing Atkinson on the writing team.
The show took off and further series followed, with the third run set in the Regency era and the fourth based in the trenches of World War I. The show is now one of the country's most popular television series. A major TV poll in 2004 saw it voted as the second greatest British sitcom of all time, behind Only Fools And Horses, whilst an internet poll last year saw it voted the best British television series ever.
The show's last episode was Blackadder Back & Forth, a one-off special produced for screenings at the Millennium Dome in 2000 by Sky1. However, the show's central character lives on. In November last year, Atkinson appeared as Sir Edmund Blackadder, chief executive of a bailed-out bank, in a live sketch at We Are Most Amused, a comedy gala night in aid of the Prince of Wales's charity.
This is not the first time a new series of Blackadder has been suggested. In 2011, whilst promoting Johnny English Reborn Atkinson said of the show: "It could be reprised in some form or other. I think there is a possibility of a fifth series", adding "We're all getting a bit old, sadly, to play the characters in the way we did so we'd have to shift it a bit to make it work. They've all got slightly different attitudes and experiences to call upon now. It would be nice to get them all back together."
He also explained, "Generally speaking, Blackadder seemed to work best when there was a sort of claustrophobic world and a hierarchy. So if you can think of any situations in which they are dominant - then I think there is a possibility of a fifth series."
Paying tribute to the show's cast today, Lloyd said: "It was an amazing team of people - in that rehearsal room [the Blackadder TV rehearsals] are half a dozen of the most intelligent, funniest people in the world probably, and you think how well they've all done in their own right, and it was very lucky to have them all in the same place."
Indeed, the main Blackadder cast have all gone on to have extremely successful careers. Rowan Atkinson, who played the central role of Blackadder, is now one of the world's most famous comedians thanks to Mr Bean and his film roles, with an estimated world audience of nearly 1 billion watching his performance at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Tony Robinson, who played dogsbody Baldrick across all four series, has spent much of the past two decades promoting history with programmes such as the hugely successful Channel 4 archaeology series Time Team. He was awarded a knighthood in June for public and political service. Atkinson was awarded a CBE in the same Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Tim McInnerny, who played dim-witted Percy in the first two series and Captain Darling in the fourth, has appeared in many theatre productions, TV dramas and films since Blackadder, including a role in Atkinson's Johnny English film franchise.
Meanwhile, Hugh Laurie became the world's best paid and most-watched drama actor after taking the lead role in US television series House. He has now moved back the UK, and is currently concentrating on a blues music career, but is scheduled to play a villain in the 2014 Hollywood sci-fi movie Tomorrowland.
Stephen Fry has gone on to become one of the UK's best known presenters, and has just filmed an eleventh series of QI, the comic panel show created and produced by John Lloyd.
Lloyd was talking to BBC Breakfast to promote his Edinburgh Fringe show Liff Of QI. As the producer of the much loved 1980s sketch show Not The Nine O'Clock News, he also spoke in the interview about how he thought it was important to have comedy shows which provide a "cheeky comment on the news", and how he was worried how TV is now "a bit concerned what everyone else thinks".
Here is his interview in full:
Following the name of the new Royal Baby being announced as George, clips from the third series of the show starring Hugh Laurie as Prince George have been circulating the internet with greater frequency. Here's one such video:
Kenneth Williams, The Two Ronnies, Les Dawson, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore are amongst the comedians profiled in new Gold series The Interviews.
The cast has been announced for Richard Marsh: Cardboard Heart, a new Radio 4 sitcom about a man who writes poetry for a greetings card company.
Jessica Hynes's suffragette sitcom Up The Women will not return for a third series, the BBC has confirmed today.
Holly Willoughby has signed up to present Play To The Whistle, a new comedy panel show for ITV focused on the world of sport.
The character Keith Lemon is to star in a one-off special on ITV2 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Back To The Future film.
Russell Howard's Stand Up Central, which launches in April, will feature guests including Doc Brown, Katherine Ryan and Joe Wilkinson.
A quick chat with Seann Walsh about his stand-up tour, and his role as a team captain on Virtually Famous. Read
Profiles of the six comedians who will take part in the 2015 Musical Comedy Awards 2015 final in London in April. Read
The latest episode of the political panel show podcast. It includes a discussion about what satire is. Listen
The Barbican has invited eight stars from the world of comedy to select their favourite classic comedy films. Read
Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read
A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read
Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read
Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read
Stand-up comedian Nathan Caton talks to us about various topics, including his ideal comedians football squad. Read
Check out some striking pictures from photographer Matt Crockett's book of comedian portraits, 50 Comics. View
Milton Jones talks about big hair, bad shirts, Mock The Week, his mammoth 2015 tour and other topics too: Read
Sisters Caitlin Moran and Caroline Moran talk about creating Raised By Wolves, their Channel 4 sitcom. Interview
A group of established comedians have set up a new theatre company and school - one devoted entirely to improv. Read
We take a look back at what the Phoenix Nights cast have been doing since the sitcom ended in 2002. Read
A brand new third episode of Richard Herring's latest podcast series, Lord of the Dance Settee. Listen
An interview with Paul Whitehouse and David Cummings, writers of new sitcom Nurse. Read
Sara Pascoe will write "funny, feminist exploration of the female body", Animal: How a Woman is Made. Read
Matt Lucas talks about filming Pompidou, the visual comedy series for the BBC in which he plays an aristocrat. Read
Do you write a funny blog, curate an amusing website or joke a lot on Twitter? If so, here's a competition: Read
Rare images of iconic 1980s British comedy stars are to be displayed at the Museum Of Comedy. Read
Stand-up comedian Tom Little has won the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2015 competition. Read
The main cast members involved in new Comedy Central sitcom I Live With Models introduce themselves. Read
Tiffany Stevenson talks us through some of the bad things that occur when you sort out your health and fitness. Read
Take a look at some of the iconic photos of comedians that feature in photographer Idil Sukan's London exhibition. View