Entertainment & Arts

Rowan Atkinson plans stage return

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Media captionRowan Atkinson tells the BBC's Tim Masters that he chose a Rolls-Royce for his latest adventure as MI7's top spy

Rowan Atkinson is returning to the stage after the success of his role as Fagin in the West End musical Oliver!

The Blackadder star told the BBC he would appear in a play in late 2012.

"I love theatre, I hadn't done it for 20 years before I did Fagin and I was surprised how comfortable I felt on stage," he said.

"I would like to do more and I think that's the next thing I do." He said he would appear in a "fairly straight, straightforward" stage play.

The 56-year-old actor played Fagin for six months in 2009 opposite Jodie Prenger as Nancy.

Blackadder reunion

Atkinson's latest film is Johnny English Reborn, out on 7 October, in which he reprises the role of the incompetent secret agent.

The first Johnny English movie, in 2003, made more than $160m (£103m) at the box office. Atkinson's last cinema outing was in 2007's Mr Bean's Holiday.

Johnny English Reborn reunites Atkinson on-screen with Tim McInnerny, who played Percy in the Blackadder series.

Image caption Rowan Atkinson appeared as Fagin in London from January to July 2009

Asked why there had never been a Blackadder feature film, Atkinson said it was "surprisingly tricky" to expand the sitcom format to an hour and a half.

He doesn't see a movie version ever happening. "We've all just gone our different ways, it's very difficult to get people back together.

"It's very difficult to create the comic creative consensus that we all enjoyed in the 1980s - the writers, producers and actors - and even if you get the same people together, they don't necessarily have the same ambitions and attitudes."

Atkinson, who in 1999 starred in a Doctor Who special for Comic Relief, said it had been "a secret ambition" of his at one stage to play the Doctor.

"I remember we were thinking of doing a Blackadder episode called Doctor Whom in which Blackadder would be effectively the Doctor and Baldrick would be his sidekick. But that never came to anything."

Atkinson did reveal he had been approached to appear in the new series, alongside Matt Smith's incarnation of the Time Lord.

"I was offered a role a year last August, but I couldn't do it because of preparations for Johnny English," he said.

The UK premiere of Johnny English takes place on Sunday 2 October in London's Leicester Square. Alongside Atkinson, the cast includes Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike and Daniel Kaluuya.

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