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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories: Martha Howe-Douglas as Georgian woman, Ben Willbond as Viking Man and Mathew Baynton as Egyptian man

Following a horribly successful debut on CBBC, Horrible Histories returns in May to delight viewers with a new series of gruesome events and ghastly characters from British and international history.

Based on the best-selling books written by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, Horrible Histories features performances from some of the UK's finest comedy talent including David Baddiel (Baddiel And Skinner Unplanned, Newman And Baddiel), Alexei Sayle (The Young Ones, Comic Strip Presents), Dave Lamb (Come Dine With Me), Jim Howick (Peep Show), Jon Culshaw (Dead Ringers, The Impressions Show With Culshaw And Stephenson), Mathew Baynton (Horne And Corden), Ben Willbond (The Thick of It) and Martha Howe Douglas (The Armstrong & Miller Show).

Packed full of strange facts, rotten rulers, gory battles, crazy inventions and weird and wonderful moments from the past, Horrible Histories again covers every era from the Stone Age to World War Two, with new additions including terrible tales from the Incredible Incas and the Awesome USA.

From Slimy Stuarts to Groovy Greeks and Awful Egyptians to Gorgeous Georgians, each episode features a mixture of sketches from different ages, plus commentary from the show's talented host, a talking rat.

The comedy songs are back by popular demand and include toe-tapping numbers Spartan School Musical and a Charles II Song (which nods to 21st century rapper Eminem).

And there are pastiches of some familiar television formats, including Victorian Dragon's Den, Historical Mastermind and Roman Come Dine With Me narrated by Dave Lamb.

"Horrible Histories is a gloriously gruesome and gory success for CBBC," says CBBC Controller Damian Kavanagh. "It introduces children to the great facts and narratives of history in a hilarious way and features some of the finest comedy writing and performances I've seen for a long time.

"And it looks like series two is going to be just as memorable with highlights including Alexei Sayle making his debut as an Arabian healer in the Crusades, and the multi-talented David Baddiel scaring the socks off viewers as Vincenzo Larfoff in Scary Stories."

"The first series pushed back the boundaries of children's television," says author Terry Deary who also appears on screen in a series of cameo roles.

"The second series pushes them back still further as the team gains in confidence and lets their inventiveness run riot. Series one was fall-off-your-chair funny. Series two is roll-around-the-floor funny!"

Returning to Horrible Histories for this second series will be some of Britain's finest comedy writers including Steve Punt, Jon Holmes (Dead Ringers), Giles Pilbrow (Have I Got News For You), Laurence Rickard (Armstrong And Miller) and Ben Ward (M.I. High).

New talent joining the team includes Dominic Brigstocke (The Armstrong & Miller Show, Green Wing) as director alongside Steve Connelly; Nigel Williams (The Office, Extras, Outnumbered) as editor; Kate Benton (Clash Of The Titans, That Mitchell & Webb Look) as makeup designer; Fay Rusling and Oriana Messina as writers; and Alice Lowe (The Mighty Boosh) and Lawry Lewin (Doctor Who, Vivienne Vyle) as cast members.

Horrible Histories is a Lion TV production for CBBC based on the best-selling series of books licensed by Scholastic Entertainment and published by Scholastic UK.

Shot in HD, the new series will air every weekday on CBBC channel at 5.15pm during a special Horrible Histories week during half term, starting on Monday 31 May, and will subsequently air every Tuesday.


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