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Tony Robinson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (15)  | Personal Quotes (11)

Overview (2)

Born in London, England, UK
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tony Robinson was born on August 15, 1946 in London, England. He is a producer and actor, known for Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (1989), Blackadder Goes Forth (1989) and Black Adder the Third (1987). He has been married to Louise Hobbs since June 27, 2011. He was previously married to Mary Shepherd.

Spouse (2)

Louise Hobbs (27 June 2011 - present)
Mary Shepherd (1972 - 1992) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (2)

The character Baldrick from Blackadder.
London accent.

Trivia (15)

He has one son and one daughter.
Lives just outside of Bristol, England and supports Bristol City Football Club.
Allergic to red wine, cats and feathers.
Has written 17 children's books, most recently one on Kings and Queens.
Has appeared on the British political debate programme, Question Time (1979), as a member of the Labour party.
His favorite songs are "I Can Help" by Billy Swan, "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis, "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, "Unfinished Sympathy" by Massive Attack, "Tangled Up In Blue" by Bob Dylan, "Shoulda Woulda Coulda" by Beverley Knight, "This Woman's Work" by Maxwell, "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons and "Falling Slowly" by The Frames. (Source: BBC Radio 2 "Tracks of My Years").
Along with Rowan Atkinson and Tim McInnerny, he is one of only three actors to appear in all four "Blackadder" series: The Black Adder (1982), Black-Adder II (1986), Black Adder the Third (1987) and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989).
Was a friend of the late Terry Pratchett and narrated the audio versions of many of his Discworld and non-Discworld novels, voice acted for the computer game Discworld (1995), acted in Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (2006), delivered Pratchett's televised lecture on assisted dying - The Richard Dimbleby Lecture: Shaking Hands with Death (2010), gave news and documentary interviews about Pratchett and the Discworld books, including for Terry Pratchett: Back in Black (2017) and participated in a public memorial for Pratchett held the year after his death at the Barbican Theatre in London.
He is an active member of Oxfam and Comic Relief.
In 2000, he was awarded an honorary Masters of Arts degree from Bristol University for his services to theatre and archaeology.
Was a member of the Labour Party National Executive Committee and Labour Party Joint Policy Committee, 2000-2004.
He was consultant on children's programming for the London Symphony Orchestra from 1998 to 2000.
He was Vice President of Equity, the British Actors Union, from 1996 to 2000.
He was created a Knight Bachelor in the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours List for public and political service.
London, England: Activist [June 2013]

Personal Quotes (11)

There is a century of socialism to be won. It will only happen if we make it happen.
Blackadder fans call out Blackadder's catchphrase 'I have a cunning plan', Time Team lovers want me to dig up their gardens, while Tories shout 'You Labour idiot'.
At first I wanted to be an MP but now I think it would be crap.
It was around about the repeat of the second series that I began to get an inkling of quite how popular [The Black Adder (1982)] was. It also coincided with the time I was having children. I brought them up in Bristol and an awful lot of that time it wasn't as if I was popping in and out of the Ivy and the Groucho club. I was dealing with things like queuing up outside primary schools and driving children to the next games field. I remember going to Alton Towers with my kids one day and we were unable to go round it. My presence there caused chaos. I suddenly thought - I have to recalibrate what my life is!
We'd all had running conversations throughout the first series [of The Black Adder (1982)] as to what was wrong with it. As soon as we read the scripts we knew how we would change it. We all knew that it wasn't really working to have Blackadder as stupid as he was. So in the second series there was a feeling of 'Wow, we've got it'. Of course then it was up to me to interpret it. That's just the work you do as an actor. Even after we had done the second series we had no way of knowing whether it would be a sufficient step forward to ensure the BBC gave us a third series. I think probably once we'd made the third series, we were confident that there would be a fourth. But by that time various people were getting so successful, you couldn't guarantee they would be available.
I think everyone was pissed off with everyone else by the end of the fourth series - so there was no possibility of a fifth series straight away. By that time Ben Elton was already a successful novelist, Richard Curtis was interested in his movie career and Rowan Atkinson was talking about this other comic character [Mr. Bean (1990)]. A lot of sitcoms don't last more than four series. You could say it's mystic. With the first series you've got young ambitious people getting together to work on something as an ensemble. In the second series, they become successful. In the third series, they start to get pissed off with each other. And by the fourth series, they are only talking to each other via their lawyers.
There was never any bad feeling between Rowan Atkinson and I. There was bad feeling between the writers and the performers - the writers felt we were unilaterally altering the script and altering it for the worse. At end of the first day of rehearsals the writers would go away and by the time they came back we would have changed an awful lot of it. By the end, they felt we had run away with it. There were quite a lot of emotions flashing around about that.
The only work I had been able to do prior to that was work I'd been offered as a jobbing actor. Having done The Black Adder (1982), it gave me some status within the profession to do ideas I was interested in - I was just going to say 'which were more intellectual than Baldrick' but then a carrot is more intellectual than Baldrick. I'd always been an ideas person and The Black Adder (1982) meant doors opened for me to pitch my ideas.
You had a group of young men who were all intensely interested in history and in particular British history and had a very robust, almost tactile love for it which I think is expressed in [The Black Adder (1982)]. I don't think there was ever a pedagogic intent. But if people used it for educational purposes that was all to the good. As for the class relationship, yes, that was clearly there. Ironically I'm the grammar-school boy who left school at 16 and I was surrounded by all these swanky-heads who had been to public school and then to Oxbridge. There was quite a different class sensibility between me and them - I wouldn't be surprised if that was reflected in our performances.
A lot of us saw The Black Adder (1982) in terms of problem-solving - 'Did that work in that episode?' and so on. We were very picky. A dozen paranoid perfectionists are not the most charming company. But my favourite series is still Black Adder the Third (1987) because I think it's so audacious to write a six-part comedy series about a period of history that most people know nothing about at all except that there were a bunch of kings who all had the same name.
I'd love to do one again. I love those people even if they are toffs. They are the most inspiring bunch I've ever worked alongside. We had this idea that we would do a phone-round in the year 2010 and see how we felt. Tim McInnerny has already made noises that he doesn't want to do one. There is the argument that it is best left alone - that way it will stay in people's memories. There's also the argument - wouldn't it be good to get together for one last time? I think it is down to Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. If the recession hits Ben's book-sales and no one will give Richard money to make any more movies then maybe it will happen. There may be a silver lining to the Credit Crunch after all!

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