Blackadder Goes Fourth

Blackadder – 40th Anniversary celebrated with two new documentaries

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The UKTV Gold channel is celebrating the beloved comedy series throughout June. 

Blackadder, the classic era-hopping comedy is 40 years old this June. To mark the occasion, the UTKV comedy channel Gold is devoting the month to the show.

The channel is stripping the show’s four series across weeknights, as well as debuting two new documentaries.

The Black Adder, as it was originally titled, first aired on June 15th 1983. Set in 1485, it was styled as an alternate history in which Richard III won the Battle of Bosworth Field only to be murdered and succeeded by Richard IV. The Black Adder himself is his second son Edmund, who tries various schemes to win his father’s favour and eventually overthrow him.


The show subsequently returned across the 1980s, morphing into the Elizabethan-set Blackadder II and the Regency era Blackadder the Third. It concluded in the trenches of WWI trenches for Blackadder Goes Fourth.

Blackadder Goes Fourth

Each iteration kept the central characters of Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) and Baldrick (Tony Robinson), with a succession of other familiar faces popping up. These included Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Tim McInnerny, as well as Miranda Richardson, Miriam Margolyes and Rik Mayall.

Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder's Christmas Carol

The show also spawned a number of comic skits and a Christmas special which cunningly spoofed Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Gold’s two new documentaries will air in the week of the Blackadder 40th Anniversary.

Blackadder: The Lost Pilot

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

It’s a personal story for Tony – Baldrick has defined his career and playing the character transformed his life. But Tony 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.

Sir Tony Robinson dressed as Baldrick to tell a CBeebies Bedtime story for Comic Relief 2023

Sir Tony Robinson (who recently reprised Baldrick for Comic Relief) 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.”

Blackadder: The Lost Pilot is an 80-minute documentary, produced by Red Sauce. The producer is Owen Braben.

Blackadder: A Cunning Story

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

Blackadder: A Cunning Story is a 2-hour programme, produced by Tiger Aspect. The executive producers are Sarah Fraser and David Simpson, and producer director is Clyde Holcroft.

In addition, a Blackadder boxset will also be available on Sky, Virgin and Now.

We’ll keep you posted on the Blackadder 40th Anniversary.