Richard Curtis, Blackadder’s creator, has confirmed that the comedy will return for a one-off special this year, but fans on social media are criticising the reunion because of Rowan Atkinson’s refusal to take part.
“Blackadder without Rowan Atkinson is like a broken pencil. Pointless,” wrote one fan. “Without Rowan Atkinson..stop..please just stop..stop..!!” wrote another.
“I don’t get it. How can you have blackadder without blackadder? No Rowan Atkinson just doesn’t feel right,” wrote another.
Another said: “So …, Richard Curtis has a cunning plan to bring back the greatest sitcom ever made, #Blackadder for Comic Relief, but without Rowan Atkinson …. wait … Blackadder without Black fkng Adder?”
Another Twitter user was already predicting that the reunion will fail, writing: “They will push this far too hard and it will be a flop.” Another of the harsh comments read: “I know its charity and all, but nobody wants this.”
The Baldrick character played by Tony Robinson will return for the Comic Relief special, although Richard Curtis confirmed lead star Rowan Atkinson, who played Blackadder, was “too serious” for a reprisal of the comedy role.
“For the first time in 20 years, Baldrick is going to be giving some kind of performance,” Richard Curtis told BBC Radio 2’s Gary Davies. “We’re just conspiring about it now, so I think there’s going to be a marvellous, turnip-based thing with Tony Robinson now back in action, so I’m excited about that.”
Curtis also revealed he was “really nervous” ahead of making the Blackadder announcement.
Speaking to Radio Times in 2022, fellow Blackadder creator Ben Elton had said the show would never return. “We were a great team and I’ve talked so many times about doing something else. Not Blackadder again, I don’t think either of us feel any appetite to do that,” he said.
Blackadder originally aired between 1983 and 1989, over four series comprising 26 episodes. The show is a period sitcom about a fictitious situation in which King Richard IV’s out-of-favour son, Black Adder, tries to impress his father in order to overthrow him.
It’s not the only historical sitcom to have announced its return this month: Fawlty Towers will also come back, it has been announced by its creator John Cleese.
The new series about the struggling hotelier in Torquay will see Basil discover he has a daughter he didn’t know existed, and document him as he tries to keep up with the modern world.
Cleese said: “When we first met, he [director and producer Matthew George] offered an excellent first idea, and then Matt, my daughter Camilla, and I had one of the best creative sessions I can remember.
“By dessert, we had an overall concept so good that, a few days later, it won the approval of Rob and Michele Reiner. Camilla and I look forward enormously to expanding it into a series.”
Actor and director Rob Reiner, who will executive produce the series, added: “John Cleese is a comedy legend. Just the idea of working with him makes me laugh.” He added that the new Fawlty Towers series would “explore how Cleese’s over-the-top, cynical and misanthropic Basil Fawlty navigates the modern world”.
Comic Relief starring Blackadder airs on BBC1 on 17 March
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