Amidst the periodic pleas of continuance and subsequent rumours that usually follow about the return of Blackadder, nothing much has materialized beyond the once a year thought that a Blackadder reunion set in the 60’s with Sir Edmund fronting a Dave Clark Five type band with ‘Bald Rick’ as the drummer was once a possibility. Recently, as part of the must-have book for this holiday season, The True History of the Blackadder: The Unadulterated Tale of the Creation of a Comedy Legend by Jem Roberts, even a ‘lost’ Blackadder script was handed over by creator/writer Richard Curtis which had Edmund Blackadder in Bethlehem as the owner of the Blackadder Inn where Joseph and Mary seek a bed for the night on 24 December.
As pleas fall by the wayside and rumours remain just that, rumours, our friends over at the British Comedy Guide come to the aid of Blackadder fans worldwide with an actual Blackadder moment which took place at last weeks Prince’s Trust get together. The performance sketch also featured some well known names and faces to fans of British television around the globe with Miranda Hart (Miranda, Call the Midwife), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Kumars at No. 42) and Helen Lederer (The Young Ones, Absolutely Fabulous).
Written by Ben Elton and featuring both Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson (Baldrick), the sketch has Sir Edmund being called before a parliamentary committee (Hart, Bhasker & Lederer) inquiring into the banking crisis.
Blackadder & Baldrick – image copyright The Princes Trust
According to the British Comedy Guide, the video below is footage shot on an audience member’s camera at We Are Most Amused, the Prince’s Trust gig. It briefly shows Rowan Atkinson return as Blackadder. This time Edmund is Sir Edmund Blackadder, the chief executive of bailed-out bank Melchett, Melchett and Darling Bank. The sketch was 13 minutes long but, sadly, this is footage of just the first 4 minutes.
Whatever the case may be, it’s 4 minutes longer than any true Blackadder sketch since the millennium special, Blackadder: Back and Forth back in 1999. Fortunately, the Telegraph has provided a bit of the script dialogue for those that weren’t in the audience of 5000 at last week’s annual charity event.
Blackadder: “The task of this inquiry is to identify those responsible and if necessary to apportion blame. To help I would like to call a witness to the inquiry. I would like to call my gardener… Mr Sodoff Baldrick.”
Enter Baldrick in grubby overalls.
Madam Chair [to Baldrick]: “I’m sorry, could you tell me your first name again?”
Madam Chair: “Well, I was only asking. Your witness, Sir Edmund.”
Blackadder: “Thank you, Madam Chair. Before we begin, Baldrick, kindly assure the inquiry that you are here of your own volition.”
Baldrick: “I can’t do that, my lord.”
Blackadder: “Why not?”
Baldrick: “I don’t know what ‘volition’ means.”
Blackadder [long-sufferingly]: “Did you come here on your own initiative?”
Baldrick: “No, my lord. I came on my bike.”
Madam Chair: “Why is the witness calling you ‘my lord’, Sir Edmund?”
Blackadder: “Because I bought a peerage at the parliamentary gift shop on my way in. There’s a selection of honours for sale next to the Big Ben snow globes. So, Baldrick…”
Baldrick: “I wish to address the chairwoman!”
Madam Chair: “I’m afraid she’s busy polishing the Speaker’s gavel.”
Female deputy chair: “Doesn’t Mrs Bercow normally do that?”
Madam Chair: “Yes, but not this morning. She’s got an FHM calendar shoot followed by a meeting of Attention-Seekers Anonymous with Mrs Mensch and that mad cow that went into the jungle. Don’t you follow Twitter?”