WATCH: How Ben Elton gave Blackadder a new lease of life

3 February 2020, 17:41 | Updated: 4 February 2020, 14:43

The British comedian, playwright, actor, author and director told Chris Moyles how he came to join the iconic comedy show.

Ben Elton visited The Chris Moyles Show this week, where he talked about everything from writing for The Young Ones to his return to standup.

Talking about how he came to write for the iconic Blackadder, the comedian, writer and director told Chris Moyles: "Richard invited me because he loved The Young Ones, Ro (Rowan Atkinson) loved The Young Ones, John Lloyd... Everyone was excited, everybody wanted to cross-fertilise and I got lucky that Richard rang me up one day.

"I scarcely knew him. In fact the first thing he suggested we do together was a sitcom for Madness [...] We had a lot of fun, but out of that we got talking about Blackadder and Blackadder II - the Elizabethan one with Queenie and Nursey - that came about.

Ben Elton tells Chris Moyles how he gave Blackadder a new lease of life
Ben Elton tells Chris Moyles how he gave Blackadder a new lease of life. Picture: Radio X

He added: "It was an exciting (time). The 80s weren't good for everybody, but they were certainly kind to me."

Asked if they wrote separately when they wrote Blackadder, he revealed: "We had a modus operandi from the first day. I mean, he lived out of London and I lived in London.

"And we had met and had chats, but we tended to talk about pop and we loved to talk about music and other entertainment. So we'd vaguely talk about it and have a chat, and then we'd go away and I'd write a whole script, he'd write a whole script and we'd swap and work on each other's script.

"And the modus operandi is that we'd never look back."

Ben Elton's new theatrical comedy The Upstart Crow - starring David Mitchell as William Shakespeare - opens at the Gielgud Theatre on 7 February.

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