Tony Robinson first appeared on stage as part of Fagin's gang in the original production of the musical, Oliver!
Sticking to period parts, his most famous role came as Baldrick, long-suffering assistant to dastardly Edmund Blackadder.
His small stature and high-pitched voice gave the scrofulous servant genuine pathos, even as his latest "cunning plan" led his master to disaster.
At the same time Robinson developed a series of children's stories in which he performed all the characters.
These began with the brilliant Tales from Fat Tulip's Garden, later adding retellings of The Odyssey and several Old Testament stories.
In the late eighties he developed the much-loved Maid Marian and her Merry Men, bringing to children's TV a loose retelling of the Robin Hood legend with a feminist spin and Robinson himself as Sheriff of Nottingham.
He is now best known for his work on history programmes such as Time Team.
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