Horrible Histories: CBBC meets Royston Vasey
Friday 06 April 2012
At their most grotesque, they possessed imagination dark enough to spew forth the village of Royston Vasey – a place populated by pen-obsessed sadists, an incestuous "local" couple and a magical man who swanned around in black-face, abducting innocent women from their homes. Now, after 10 years, the League of Gentlemen are back ... on a children's TV show.
In a way, there's no better place for them than CBBC's Horrible Histories. Loved by children and adored by adults, its focus on poo, gore and stupid deaths (all told through fantastically clever and hilarious sketches) is precisely the sort of thing Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Mark Gatiss might write if they lowered the age of their target audience.
"We're all huge fans of the show," explains Gatiss. "It's brilliantly written and genuinely, dare I say, Reithian in its aims to inform, educate, entertain. It also doesn't talk down to kids in any way. They're just straightforwardly funny ideas and people of all ages respond to that."
Their sketches, sprinkled throughout series four, see them take the form of a hyperactive panel of film executives to whom historical figures (such as an irate Dick Whittington) pitch their biopics – a spoof of those Orange cinema adverts. "We didn't try to influence or change the sketches at all," says Gatiss. "We just had a laugh – after 12 years together, there's a kind of shorthand that developed. We ended up doing some quite outrageous things, just for fun. Or I did. Maybe I'll never work again. They treated us rather like elder statesman."
Has being back together given them a taste for writing as a trio again? "We'd love to do something together but we're all so busy on separate projects," says Gatiss. "Maybe 'A Return to Royston Vasey' in 2019, 20 years on, to see where the characters have got to?"
'Horrible Histories' starts on CCBC on Monday at 5pm
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 2 Lisa Randolph-Gant: Queen Elsa cake maker says she will carry on baking and will not let people 'break her spirit'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
Artist Milo Moire arrested in Paris for taking naked selfies with passers-by in front of the Eiffel Tower
Is Jon Snow dead? Theories stoked by Kit Harrington's longer hair despite Game of Thrones director claiming he's 'deader than dead'
Noel Gallagher actually gives Kanye West some credit for his Glastonbury headline set: 'For half an hour it was as good as it gets'
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas run through Google's Deep Dream neural network is pure nightmare fuel
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy