CBBC · TV Rating · 11 May 2011 · by: BBC
The multi-award winning Horrible Histories returns to CBBC in May with another series packed to the rafters with fascinating facts, silly songs, popular pastiches and gruesome gags.
This year children will be treated to a double dose of historical fun as the brand-new game show Gory Games presented by Come Dine With Me's Dave Lamb and Horrible Histories' very own Rattus Rattus will run alongside Horrible Histories to delight and disgust its young audience in equal measure.
Series three follows on from the phenomenal success of series two which waltzed away with the Best Sketch Show gong at the British Comedy Awards, gaining the prestige of being the first ever children's programme to be recognised at the ceremony.
Damian Kavanagh, Controller CBBC, says: "Horrible Histories is a stand-out critical and ratings success for CBBC loved as much by adults as by our young viewers. The 11 awards the series has now picked are testament to its enormous appeal. Series three is a belter and is even bigger and better than the last."
Based on the best-selling books written by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, Horrible Histories features performances from some of the UK's finest comedy talent.
Series three features special guest star Tanni Grey-Thompson as a news presenter in The Olympic Games Sport Report, David Baddiel (Baddiel And Skinner Unplanned, Newman and Baddiel) returns as Vincenzo Larfoff, and Dave Lamb also voices another spoof Come Dine With Me.
The series also stars Horrible Histories' main cast Mathew Baynton (Gavin & Stacey), Simon Farnaby (Your Highness), Martha Howe Douglas (The Armstrong & Miller Show) Jim Howick (Reggie Perrin), Laurence Rickard (Armstrong And Miller) and Ben Willbond (Rev). Terry Deary also pops up during the series playing a series of cameos including the Venerable Bede.
Packed full of strange facts, rotten rulers, gory battles, crazy inventions and weird and wonderful moments from the past, Horrible Histories offers a tantalising taste of days gone by. Series three covers every era from the Stone Age to the First World War, with new additions including terrible tales from the Angry Aztecs, the Fabulous French and the Nasty Knights.
From Slimy Stuarts to Groovy Greeks and Awful Egyptians to Gorgeous Georgians, each episode features a mixture of sketches from different ages, plus commentary from the show's talented host Rattus Rattus the talking rat. And there are pastiches of some familiar television formats, including Masterchef, Wife Swap, Fashion Fix, Gardeners World, Dragons Den and Come Dine With Me.
Death returns to quiz the recently deceased on the manner of their demise in Stupid Deaths, Shouty Man promotes a range of goods from across the ages and more patients are treated for bizarre cures from the Historical Paramedics.
No series of Horrible Histories would be complete without a selection of historical songs and this series the show has surpassed itself with a devilishly difficult ditty which features every Monarch from William the Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II. Other featured tunes include an Adam Ant style homage to Dick Turpin, and songs about suffragettes and bad emperors. As a special treat the final episode will feature a special compilation of songs from the series.
Series producer Caroline Norris says: "Our viewers never fail to surprise us with their passion for the show; they pick up the lyrics so quickly that we thought we would try to make things a little more difficult for them with our Ruthless Rulers song. Our composer Richie Webb has done an amazing job and I think it will take a while for fans of the show to learn it as we have purposely made it very tricky."
Returning to pen the series are some of Britain's finest comedy writers including Steve Punt, Jon Holmes (Dead Ringers) Giles Pilbrow (Have I Got News For You), Laurence Rickard (Armstrong And Miller) and Ben Ward (M.I. High).
The Horrible historical fun does not end with the series there will be a free Horrible Histories Family Prom on Saturday 30 July which will also be televised on CBBC and Stephen Fry will present a special edited version with highlights from series one and three for BBC One later in the year.
Horrible Histories is a Lion TV and Citrus Television co-production for CBBC based on the best-selling series of books licensed by Scholastic Media and published by Scholastic UK.
The series is produced by Imogen Cooper, directed by Dominic Brigstocke and Giles Pilbrow, series producer is Caroline Norris. Richard Bradley is executive producer for Lion TV and Melissa Hardinge for CBBC.
Shot in HD the new series will air on CBBC. The series will be supported online with games and additional features at bbc.co.uk/cbbc and there will be a special Horrible Histories Join Anytime Quiz and karaoke on CBBC Extra on BBC Red Button.