Tony is a hugely popular actor, comedian, historian, and TV presenter. He is best known for playing Baldrick in the BBC television series Blackadder and for hosting Channel 4 programmes such as Time Team and The Worst Jobs in History. He appeared in the 1974-75 season at Chichester Festival Theatre, as Angel Chicago in the nativity musical Follow The Star. In the 1975 season, he appeared as Hovstad in Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People. In 1976, he appeared as Feste in Twelfth Night, and as Majorin in Monsieur Perrichon’s Travels.
In the early 1970s he starred in the children’s educational programme Sam on Boffs’ Island and was later a presenter on Play Away. He also appeared in the award-winning Horizon documentary Joey, and in the title role in the BBC production of The Miracle of Brother Humphrey. He also had a minor part in the film Brannigan starring John Wayne.
Tony Robinson came to prominence in 1983 for his role in the British historical sitcom Blackadder, as Edmund Blackadder’s dogsbody Baldrick.
In addition to his acting on Blackadder, he also wrote and narrated several Jackanory-style children’s programmes, encouraged by Richard Curtis.
After Blackadder, Robinson became the narrator and one of the lead actors for the British animated series Nellie the Elephant, based on a song of the same name. The series ran from 1989 to 1991 and was shown on Children’s ITV.
He also provided voice-over to the Free-ranger Chicken cartoon short, an English child-scripted arts-funded production in 1989.
In 1994, Robinson began presenting Time Team, a TV programme devoted to archaeological investigations limited to three days. In 2005, Exeter University conferred an Honorary Doctorate on Robinson to reflect its great appreciation for what Time Team has done for the public understanding of archaeology in the UK.
From 1996 to 2000, he was vice-president of the actors’ union Equity, helping with a huge restructuring programme which turned a £500,000 deficit into a small surplus.
In 2000 he was elected to the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee, a position he held to 2004.
In 1999 he was awarded an honorary Master of Arts by the University of Bristol for his services to drama and archaeology.
He was also active in the “Make Poverty History” campaign during early 2005, in the lead-up to the G8 summit in Scotland, and is the patron for UK-based charity Street Child Africa.
Later Television Work
Robinson was drafted to present other history-based shows on Channel 4, including The Worst Jobs in History, researching and re-enacting some of the more horrible jobs of the past millennium. He also took this show on tour around the country along with an autobiographical question and answer session.
Tony Robinson’s Cunning Night Out, a largely improvised stage show, followed in early 2005 and included a mix of the many themes from his career for which Robinson is famous.
From 1 September 2010, Robinson hosted a new series on National Geographic Channel called Birth of Britain which was repeated on Channel 4 beginning in January 2011.
Tony Robinson is an excellent speaker on a number of topics, and a presenter who’s reputation is second to none.