Horrible Histories. Image shows from L to R: Gemma Whelan, Ryan Sampson, Tom Stourton.

Horrible Histories

CBBC and BBC One sketch show based on historical fact. 111 episodes (8 series), 2009 - 2020. Stars Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Ben Willbond, Mathew Baynton and others.

Series 4, Highlights Special is repeated today at 7pm.

Horrible Histories. Image shows from L to R: Jessica Ransom, Gemma Whelan, Natalie Walter. Copyright: Lion Television / BBC.

2016 Specials - Staggering Storytellers

As part of the BBC's #Lovetoread campaign, the award-winning Horrible Histories returns to look at some of literature's greatest works and history's wackiest writers.

Further details

As part of the BBC's #Lovetoread campaign, the award-winning Horrible Histories returns.

In its own distinctive and irreverently accurate style, the episode takes a look at some of literature's greatest works and history's wackiest writers, from Stone Age times, right up present day. We learn how a party at Lord Byron's house led to the writing of the Gothic masterpiece Frankenstein, and how Charles Dickens was the Harry Styles of his day. We meet The Bronte Sisters trying to get a book deal, and Roald Dahl enters the Great British Bake Off with a worm cake.

Spanning 3,000 years of recorded history, we take a look at the funny and ridiculous ways some of our finest writers cured their writing block - did you know Tennyson used to pretend to go the loo as a party trick? Or that DH Lawrence would climb mulberry trees in the nude to stimulate his imagination? And there's a celebration of brilliant female writers, with Malorie Blackman, Enid Blyton, Jacqueline Wilson and Beatrix Potter getting on down, Little Mix stylie.

Plus, of course, our trusty host Rattus to guide the way.

Broadcast details

Monday 11th July 2016
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Tom Stourton Various
Jalaal Hartley Various
Jessica Ransom Various
Natalie Walter Various
Richard David-Caine Various
Gemma Whelan Various
Jon Culshaw Various (Voice)
Louise Ford Ensemble Actor
Dominique Moore Ensemble Actor
John Eccleston Rattus Rattus
Guest cast
Richard Atwill Various
Thom Tuck Various
Mel Giedroyc Publisher
Mel Giedroyc Bake Off Narrator (Voice)
Daniel Lawrence Taylor (as Daniel Taylor) Ensemble Actor
Writing team
Benjamin Partridge Writer
Daniel Peak Writer
Lucy Clarke Writer
Dave Cohen Writer
Ben Ward Writer
Gerard Foster Writer
Dan Maier (as Daniel Maier) Writer (Additional Material)
Ben Ward Script Editor
George Sawyer Script Editor
Daniel Peak (as Danny Peak) Script Editor
Production team
Steve Connelly Director
Tom Miller Series Producer
Lisa Mitchell Producer
Melissa Hardinge Executive Producer
Richard Bradley Executive Producer
Simon Welton Executive Producer


Staggering Storytellers song

Horrible Histories parody Little Mix's Black Magic in the Staggering Storytellers special. This song features Beatrix Potter, Malorie Blackman, Jacqueline Wilson and Enid Blyton. The Staggering Storytellers special is on CBBC on Monday 11th July at 5pm. Guide

Featuring: Jessica Ransom, Louise Ford, Dominique Moore, Thom Tuck, Gemma Whelan.

Jacqueline Wilson reacts to the Horrible Histories song

Jacqueline Wilson reacts to seeing a version of herself in the Horrible Histories Staggering Storytellers song.

Featuring: Jacqueline Wilson.


Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • See 2 press clippings related to this episode
  • Broadcast details of 22 further repeats of this episode
  • BCG Pro business users can see additional crew credits  
    If you join BCG Pro business, you can see composer, editor & production designer credits for this episode.

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?