Ben Miller as King John. Image BBC.
Fancy watching something funny, witty and informative with guest star appearances? then watch a kids show!
When Horrible Histories ended its fifth series in 2013 that seemed to be the end, of the TV series anyway. The cast went off to do “Yonderland” for Sky and other projects and the Horrible Histories theatre tour continued with a new cast.
But no, it’s back, albeit with a slightly different format. The original series was various unconnected comedy sketches and musical numbers dealing with facts introduced under names such as “Measly Middle Ages”, “Rotten Romans”, “Terrible Tudors” and the like. The sketches were connected by our host “Rattus” a talking puppet rat. This time round, each episode focuses on one historical figure, rather than unconnected events. This sounds a good idea and looks like it can provide more time to deal with the events surrounding the historical figure of the episode. Rattus the rat is back to provide extra detail.
First up is King John, and is a Magna Carta special marking 800 years since its signing. Ben Miller (pictured), best known for Death in Paradise and Primeval will be playing King John. Coincidentally, he played the Sheriff of Nottingham in a recent Doctor Who episode too!
Some of the original cast make a welcome return. Jim Howick is back as Winston Churchill and Napoleon and Simon Farnaby as George III and Sarah Hadland as Queen Victoria. Other historical figures featured will be Mary Queen of Scots and Oliver Cromwell.
The big news however is that Blackadder and Mr Bean star, Rowan Atkinson, who is very rarely seen in anything these days will be guest starring in one episode as Henry VIII! I assume he will have some padding as Atkinson doesn’t have the portly figure normally associated with the Tudor monarch!
So it all sounds very promising. Let’s hope the standard of the previous series is maintained.
The first episode is available now on iPlayer ahead of its first terrestial showing on CBBC at 5pm this Friday. There are 15 episodes.