Give them a damn good licking! Blackadder celebrated with special stamps
The 40th anniversary of beloved comedy Blackadder will be celebrated with a special set of stamps, Royal Mail has announced.
Eight of the stamps capture moments from all four series of the classic sitcom – From the mists of medieval England to the court of Queen Elizabeth I – while a further four depict Edmund Blackadder, played by Rowan Atkinson, in his various guises over each of the series.
The stamps feature some of the show’s best-loved characters, played by stars including Sir Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson, Brian Blessed and the late Patsy Byrne.
A presentation pack including all 12 stamps will be available for £19.60.
Launched in 1983 by writer Richard Curtis and star Atkinson, with the assistance of BBC producer John Lloyd and co-author Ben Elton, the show is often cited as one of the best British sitcoms of all time.
Curtis said: “We’re very amused and delighted. It’s a great relief for Blackadder to have his head on a stamp, instead of on a stake.”
Producer Lloyd added: “The entire team behind Britain’s leading situation tragedy is deeply honoured by Royal Mail’s magnificent stamps of approval.
“In the words of General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, VC KCB: ‘Let’s give them a damn good licking!’”
The first episodes of the show, written by university friends Curtis and Atkinson, were set in the 15th century during the fictional reign of King Richard IV.
Blackadder II jumped forward in time to follow the shifting fortunes of Lord Edmund Blackadder, an ambitious courtier to the giddy young Queen Elizabeth I, while the third instalment was set in the early 19th century during the Regency of the impressively-trousered royal heir, Prince George.
It followed the adventures of crafty butler Mr E Blackadder, who spends his days tormenting his lice-infested minion Baldrick and cooking up cunning plans to improve his social standing.
The final series, Blackadder Goes Forth, was set in the First World War, where Captain Blackadder and his fellow soldiers in the trenches try every trick in the book to evade the inevitable order to go “over the top”.
David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: “The epic saga of Blackadder spans six centuries of British history and four decades of British television and is still loved and revered by audiences old and new.
“We are delighted to mark the 40th anniversary of Blackadder with a set of special stamps.”
The stamps are available to pre-order at www.royalmail.com/blackadder, by telephone on 03457 641 641, and at 7,000 Post Office branches across the UK.
The stamps go on general sale on May 17.