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About the book
  • Published: 11 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409051718
  • Imprint: Preface Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

The True History of the Blackadder

The Unadulterated Tale of the Creation of a Comedy Legend

To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the first pilot episode of The Black Adder this is the complete history of the series with the co-operation of writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, producer John Lloyd, cast and crew. Including hitherto unseen material including extracts from a previously unseen and unproduced Christmas special.

Jem Roberts, the author of The Authorised History of ‘I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue’ – the antidote to panel games, is now moving on to The Unadulterated True History of THE BLACKADDER.

British history as we know it is a cluttered patchwork of questionable stories which have been re-written, re-evaluated and ridiculed, and yet there is still an unquestioned narrative thread which runs through the nation’s historical record, accepted as the factual history.

But final editorial control has always belonged to the winners. And nobody likes winners … This will be this the very first in-depth examination of the creation of a British institution like no other, arguably the greatest sitcom of all time. With the participation – so far – of Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry and producer John Lloyd, this will be the definitive history of the programme. The author will use all existing archive footage and rare literature, plus new revelations from personal interviews with the makers themselves, to finally reflect the full scope of the tale of how the 70s alumni of three great universities – Oxford, Cambridge and not Hull, but Manchester – discovered a unique chemistry that would see them build a timeless comic masterpiece. Published in autumn 2012 for the 30th anniversary of the original pilot.

  • Pub date: 11 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781409051718
  • Imprint: Preface Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 512

About the Author

J. F. Roberts

Jem Roberts first emerged in Ludlow in the summer of 1978, and studied Film, TV and English Literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Having written for games magazines from an illegally young age, a decade of working on titles from DVD Review, Total Advance and Xbox World to Disney Girl and Muffin the Mule followed graduation, until scribblings for fanzines Publish & Bedazzled and Kettering led to an invitation to chronicle fifty years of filth in his first book, The Clue Bible. He lives in Bath, where he cannot help performing both solo, and with comedy band The Unrelated Family.

Praise for The True History of the Blackadder

“a rather elegant overview of Eighties British TV comedy… If you have any interest in comedy, you will love this book … [Roberts’] research has been assiduous, his judgments are sound and his puppyish enthusiasm encouraged his interviewees to give their best. Unlike Baldrick’s cunning plans, this one seems to have worked”

Marcus Berkman, Daily Mail

“This really is the full history… for true buffs, this is not to be missed”

Press Association

“lively, warm-hearted”


“The True History of the Black Adder is a brilliant read for any fan of Edmund Blackadder, as well as a great introduction into the history of the contemporary comedy scene”


“An almost perfect history of the greatest British sitcom there has ever been”


“fascinating cultural and social background to the series, the history of its creation and an overview of how the characters evolved over four series.”


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