UKTV today comedy channel Gold will dedicate the month of June to celebrating the comedy series Blackadder, as the show celebrates its 40th anniversary in June.

As part of the celebrations, Gold has commissioned two UKTV Originals, Blackadder: The Lost Pilot (1x 80′), produced by Red Sauce, and Blackadder: A Cunning Story (1×120′) produced by Tiger Aspect (a Banijay UK company).

In Blackadder: The Lost Pilot Sir Tony Robinson goes on a quest to discover the truth behind the Blackadder origin story. His journey takes him back in time to find out where Blackadder really began, and to uncover the story of the never-before-broadcast Blackadder pilot episode.

It’s a personal story for Robinson – Baldrick has defined his career and playing the character transformed his life. But he didn’t play Baldrick in the pilot. And there’s so much about Blackadder’s beginnings he doesn’t know.

Along the way he will speak to comedy greats including the series creator and writer Richard Curtis and co-writer Ben Elton. The climax of the programme will be a special screening of the never-before-broadcast pilot.

Tony Robinson said: “Blackadder holds a special place in the nation’s heart and in mine too. I’m delighted to be part of its 40th Birthday celebrations on Gold. It’s been wonderful to journey back to where it all began and chat to some of the biggest names in comedy who made it all happen.”

The second UKTV Original documentary Blackadder: A Cunning Story will take a look back at the making of the entire Blackadder series to commemorate the 40th anniversary, featuring contributions from Blackadder’s biggest fans including Jack Whitehall, Darren Harriott, Sarah Hadland, Ardal O’Hanlon and Nina Wadia.

Both documentaries are commissioned for UKTV by commissioning editor Kirsty Hanson and ordered by Gerald Casey, channel director for Gold and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. Blackadder: The Lost Pilot producer is Owen Braben. Blackadder: A Cunning Story executive producers are Sarah Fraser and David Simpson, and producer director is Clyde Holcroft.

Gerald Casey said: “It’s such a thrill to be celebrating one of the UK’s best-loved series with this huge milestone. Blackadder is beloved by our Gold audience and still going strong on the channel, and I’m so happy to bring them something really special this June. True to form there will be big laughs guaranteed!”

Kirsty Hanson said: “Blackadder is a comedy icon, and we are proud to be celebrating 40 years with two fantastic new shows. With a TV first and some of the biggest names in comedy coming to the channel, viewers are in for a treat this Summer.”

Tom Edwards, creative director at Red Sauce for Blackadder: The Lost Pilot said: “As a lifelong Blackadder fan, craving new material since it ended 30 years ago, I was beyond excited to learn of the existence of the lost pilot. We’re so thrilled to share that in full with viewers, along with the thoughts and feelings of an amazing cast of stars, as well as Tony’s own very personal perspective.”

Sarah Fraser executive producer at Tiger Aspect for Blackadder: A Cunning Story said: “Tiger comedy has a rich heritage, and we are happy to be a part of this special celebration, featuring some top talent and newer fans of Blackadder. All bringing a fascinating insight into how this legendary series was made and still stands up today.”

Gold will celebrate Blackadder’s 40th anniversary throughout June with episodes from all four series stripped across weeknights, with the new commissions airing the week of the anniversary. Blackadder’s boxset will also be available on Sky, Virgin and Now.


Pippa Considine

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