Rowan Atkinson set for Horrible Histories

Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson is returning to historical comedy – this time as Henry VIII.

The actor has signed up to guest star on the hit children’s sketch TV show Horrible Histories.

Ben Miller and Sanjeev Bhaskar will also feature in the sixth series of the award-winning CBBC show, which is based on the best-selling books by Terry Deary.

The show’s historical consultant Greg Jenner joked on Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 show that Atkinson, 60, will be “in tights for the first time since Blackadder”.

Format changes will mean that each episode will look at the life and times of one prominent historical figure, including Churchill, Napoleon, William the Conqueror, and Mary Queen of Scots.

Comedian Ben will star as King John in a Magna Carta special, while Friday Night Dinner actor Tom Rosenthal will feature as a “nervous and geeky King Alfred”.

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps actress Kathryn Drysdale will play Cleopatra, Kevin Eldon will be William The Conqueror and Lorna Watson is to take on the role of Boudicca. Sanjeev will enjoy a cameo role.

Miranda star Sarah Hadland returns as Queen Victoria, while Simon Farnaby is Death, who has his own Chatty Death show.

CBBC controller Cheryl Taylor said: “Horrible Histories has a well-earned reputation as one of the most popular TV shows of a generation, delighting children and adults alike.

“To combine the considerable talents of the some of the original cast with such a dazzling array of well-known and hilarious guest stars is the icing on a very large and delicious historical cake. We are all fidgeting with ill-concealed anticipation.”