A Historical Return & Gents Reunited!

Next week sees the launch of the new series of CBBC smash Horrible Histories, featuring Ealing Live veterans Simon Farnaby and Ben Willbond.

© Lion TV / BBC

© Lion TV / BBC

The historical educational comedy sketch show, inspired by the Terry Deary books, has been winning awards left, right and centre, and this fourth series arrives with a blitz of publicity next Monday. Also along for the ride are series regulars Jim HowickLaurence RickardMartha Howe-Douglas and Matthew Baynton.

The first new episode airs at 5pm on the CBBC channel, but is preceeded by an edition of it’s spin-off show, Gory Games, and is followed by another chance to see Horrible Histories: The Big Prom Partyfeaturing highlights from last year’s BBC Proms performance at the Royal Albert Hall.  All three shows will be available on iPlayer after transmission.

All in all, that’s a whopping two hours of Horrible Histories fun, made all the more exciting by the addition of three very big guest stars to the new run.

Three of The League Of Gentlemen – Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith – have reunited to perform sketches for the show, marking their first project together since their 2005 film The League Of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse: though an un-credited Gatiss cropped up in a three-hander episode of Pemberton & Shearsmith’s sublime Psychoville a couple of years back.  Their appearance was announced some time ago, but now a photo of the trio has been released for fans of the cult comedy to get very excited about!

© Lion TV / BBC

© Lion TV / BBC

Whilst The League don’t technically fall under the current TVO remit, the links back to our velvety pages are present throughout their career – even the director of their series and film, Steve Bendelack, has connections: he was first choice to direct The Boosh on television, and shot their pilot episode which was later recycled for use in Tundra from Series One.

Mark Gatiss may be best known these days for his work on Doctor Who and Sherlock, but many years ago, the jobbing character comic also appeared in Spaced and Randall & Hopkirk {deceased}, as did Tony Way, and he later went on to co-star in Nighty Night with its writer, Julia Davis.  Reece Shearsmith also worked with Davis, and her partner Julian Barratt on Sky’s adaptation of Chekov’s The Bear, and as well as also appearing in Spaced, he turned up way back at the start of his television career in Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round, as did a very young Noel Fielding.  Finally, Steve Pemberton is a series regular in ITV’s mainstream sitcom Benidorm, which also features Shelley Longworth – and both Katherine Parkinson and Nicholas Burns appeared in the second series of Psychoville!

So, although they’re not strictly speaking Onion flavoured, we love ’em all the same – and can’t wait to see what they add to an already stellar show!

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