Tony Robinson is a man who transcends class, whether playing Black Adder's Baldrick (a character of such low social status that he was ejected from the primordial soup for being riff-raff) or simply being himself in programmes such as the wonderful Time Team. An educator, actor, writer, presenter and politician - Tony Robinson is entertaining, talented and generally just super.

Born 15th August, 1946 in London, Tony's first foray into the acting world was at the age of 13 whilst attending grammar school. The Artful Dodger in the original production of Oliver! had gone AWOL, and there was no understudy. Young Robinson stepped in and immersed himself in the role, leading to subsequent bit-parts as a child actor. After leaving school he attended the Central School of Speech and Drama and joined a theatre group, before propelling himself into the public eye when he was cast as Baldrick.

Acting

After Black Adder, Tony Robinson wrote and starred in (as "The Sheriff") the classic children's T.V. programme Maid Marian and Her Merry Men. Sadly this is rarely repeated, but lives on fondly in the hearts of children now become adults, and the parents who watched whilst pretending to be doing the ironing. Gamers may remember his voice acting in the 1995 point and click adventure Discworld with great fondness, if perhaps not for the game itself. The audio book versions of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels are read by Tony Robinson, and extremely well so.

It would be fair to say that in later years his acting career waned somewhat, as he focused more on documentary appearances.

Abbreviated Filmography

Writing

Tony has written over 20 books - most aimed at children, but a few also for adult readers. His books are usually educational and entertaining, in a similar style to those written by Terry Jones. Some of these tie in to his documentaries and T.V. appearances. One thing you know when you read a Tony Robinson book is that he clearly enjoys the subject matter, and writes because he enjoys writing - this reflects well onto the reader.

As well as books, Tony writes for T.V. and documentaries. As mentioned above, he wrote Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, and earned the nation's respect in the process.

Books

Politics

Tony was a member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee before retiring in October 2004, and has also appeared on Question Time. He's not a rabid politician, but acts as a spokesperson for what he believes in and as an appropriate figurehead for under-represented groups.

Education and Documentaries

Most famously of all, Tony Robinson is the producer and main presenter of the archaeology programme Time Team, making something which wouldn't make naturally interesting T.V. into high-quality entertainment for the entire family. He's also written and presented documentaries about peasants, the Romans, Robin Hood, Shakespeare, and other Anglo-centric subjects. In particular he presented and oft-repeated children's educational programme called "How We Used to Live", which I have watched numerous times as an adult and enjoyed immensely.

Other Documentary Appearances

  • World's Worst Century (2004)
  • The Worst Jobs in History (2004)
  • Fact or Fiction: Boudicca (2002)
  • Fact or Fiction: Braveheart (2001)
  • The Jesus File (1999)
  • History Hunters (1998)
  • Charter 88 Bad Government Awards (1994)
  • Raiders of the Lost Nose (1994)

One last thing: Tony Robinson is quite short. I'm sure he's fed up with people mentioning it - certainly didn't hold him back any, and he's a fine looking chap.

Sources:
      http://www.unofficialtonyrobinsonwebsite.co.uk/
      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0733153/
      http://www.channel4.com/learning/main/netnotes/sersecid684.htm
      spiregrain for information about the NEC.

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