The fifteenth anniversary of comedy sketch show Horrible Histories will be marked with a new episode – Terrifying Tower of London.

Based on the best-selling books written by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, Horrible Histories is made by Lion TV. Matt Lamont is series producer and Melissa Hardinge is commissioning editor for CBBC. Richard Bradley and Simon Welton are Executive Producers for Lion TV.

The special episode has been filmed, for the first time ever, at the UNESCO World Heritage Site and follows the adventurous pair Rattus and current Yeoman Warder AJ Clark, a ‘Beefeater’ from the Tower, as they journey through the Tower’s rich history, spanning from its construction by William the Conqueror to the present day.

Since its inception, Horrible Histories has won a slew of awards, with 13 BAFTA Awards, three British Comedy Awards, an International Emmy Award and six RTS Awards. Last year, the Horrible Histories: ‘Orrible Opera sold out the Royal Albert Hall twice as part of the BBC Proms.

With 162 episodes produced to date, Horrible Histories has even been included in a Medieval History Tripos Exam at Cambridge University in 2019.

Horrible Histories has showcased a diverse array of emerging talents and stars on its historical platform. Original cast members Matthew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, and Ben Willbond are still synonymous with the show’s unique blend of humour and historical precision, and today’s cast featuring the likes of Jess Ransom, Tom Stourton, Inel Tomlinson, Richard David-Caine, Harrie Hayes, Ethan Lawrence, Emily Lloyd-Saini, James McNicholas, Paul G Raymond and Timmika Ramsay continue to fly that flag.

“Reflecting on the show’s impact, Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education, says: “Horrible Histories is a jewel in the crown of our programming offer for children across CBBC and iPlayer. It’s a success story blending comedic genius and educational excellence with a fan base that spans generations. The multi-award-winning show set a precedent for children’s programming when it first aired and continues to do so today. It’s a shining example of our public service remit to educate and entertain our young audiences with culturally relevant content – with tons of laughs and great songs along the way!”

Simon Welton, Executive Producer, Lion Television, adds: “This show is a real labour of love for everyone who is involved in making it (past and present), and the fact that it is still so beloved by our audience after 15 years is incredibly rewarding. Balancing both the funny and the factual in every sketch and engaging our audience with History whilst also making them (along with any adults who are in the room…) laugh as much is possible is something that we don’t take lightly, and hopefully we can continue doing that with CBBC for many years to come.”

Terry Deary, author of Horrible Histories, says: “Having celebrated 30 years of the Horrible Histories books in 2023, it is wonderful to reach the landmark of 15 years of the ground-breaking TV series. Since the start, I have enjoyed seeing the imaginative songs and sketches bring horrible history to life on screen. I continue to be amazed by the appetite for all things horrible from young and old.”

Pippa Considine

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