New Blackadder revival rumours

Sunday 23rd August 2015, 10:53pm

Blackadder. Baldrick (Tony Robinson). Copyright: BBC / Tiger Aspect Productions

In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Sir Tony Robinson has given one of the strongest indications yet that Blackadder could return to television screens.

Rumours of a potential fifth series of the beloved sitcom have long persisted, beginning almost as soon as the final series, Blackadder Goes Forth, ended in 1989.

Talking to the newspaper to promote his new Channel 4 historical factual-entertainment series, Time Crashers, Robinson said: "I do think a new series of Blackadder is on the cards. I have spoken to virtually all the cast about this now."

He added, apparently jokingly: "The only problem is Hugh's fee. He's a huge star now -- or so he'd like to think."

Hugh Laurie has become an international star in the past decade, starring as the titular character in multi-award-winning US medical TV drama House between 2004 and 2012, a role for which he was reportedly paid in the region of £250,000 per episode.

Robinson was knighted in the Queen's 2013 Birthday Honours List for services in both public and political life. He has been a high-profile advocate of archaeology and historical education, as well as sitting on the Labour Party's National Executive Committee from 2000 to 2004.

Sir Tony commented on the show's popularity and legendary status, adding: "Expectations for a new series will be high because people not only remember the original, they remember who they were when it was on. It's a big danger."

The first series of the sitcom, broadcast in 1983, was set in the latter half of the 1480s, whilst Blackadder II was set some seventy years later, amidst the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Blackadder The Third saw Hugh Laurie co-starring as Prince George in late-1700s Regency England, whilst the final series, Blackadder Goes Forth, was set in the trenches of World War I.

Specials charted the Victorian age, the turn of the Millennium, and the English Civil War of the 1640s.

The most persistent rumoured setting for a fifth series has been London in the 'Swinging Sixties', with Blackadder and Baldrick leading a pop band.

Produced by John Lloyd, the series was created by Rowan Atkinson, who starred as the titular Blackadder characters, and Richard Curtis, who wrote most of the beloved comedy series with Ben Elton.

Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rik Mayall and Tim McInnerny are amongst the other actors to have enjoyed prominent roles in the sitcom.

A revival would not be unprecedented. The BBC are understood to be keen to produce a second series of Still Open All Hours, a revival of hit Ronnie Barker sitcom Open All Hours, whilst ITV have been enjoying huge success with a revival of Birds Of A Feather after the BBC turned it down, and Dave has ordered more series of its own BBC-revival, sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf.

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