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
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Cilla, episode 2, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith continues to shine as the young singer
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, ITV, review: There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning
Foo Fighters: Live 2015 tour dates announced for Sonic Highways
Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Top Gear to launch in France after Jeremy Clarkson banned from driving on roads
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God