Time Team presenter and Blackadder star Tony Robinson visited Morley Academy last Friday to talk to students about the world of history.
Tony, who played Baldrick in the period sitcom, was at the school to tell the pupils about his new book series, Weird World of Wonders, a whimsical take on history through the ages.
Tony’s literary career so far has been successful, his history titles drawing considerable praise and even a Blue Peter Book Award.
And the Weird World of Wonders series combines historical trivia, cartoons and humour in a way which tries to make history fun for youngsters.
He said: “I really enjoyed working on them, it was a real liberation to be able to pull together my two biggest obsessions: comedy and history.
“The whole thing was a very enjoyable enterprise and coming to do it in front of schools, I feel if I enjoy this stuff then maybe it will be possible for me to communicate to young people what fun delving into history can be.”
Despite making his name as the dim-witted Baldrick, Tony is now renowned as one of the country’s most knowledgeable historians, and thinks a grasp of history is something every young person should aspire to.
He said: “If you’re not interested in history how do you know who you are? How do you know what you came from? How do you know why you speak the language you do, dress the way you do, live in the kind of houses that you do and are governed by the rules that you are?
“I think history gives enormous power and when you turn your back on history, you are disempowering yourself. I don’t want to see our kids like that.”
The latest book in the Weird World of Wonders collection, Inventions, will go on sale on February 14, with Second World War hitting the shops the following month. And with Time Team in it’s final series this year, Tony sees more books in the future.
He said: “When I finish this tour I go off to Australia for three months, I do a series each year there about Australian history. Then when I come back there are another four Time Team documentaries to make.
“Then I’ll be writing more of these books. I’m writing through the year at the moment which is great.”