'Blackadder' actor Sir Tony Robinson brands Education Secretary's First World War comments "silly"

Posted on centenarynews.com on 05 January 2014
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Sir Tony Robinson, who played the character Baldrick in the series Blackadder, has branded comments by the Education Secretary that the programme is used to "feed myths" about the First World War by "left-wing academics" as "silly".

In an article written for The Daily Mail by Education Secretary Michael Gove, entitled Why does the Left insist on belittling true British heroes?, he said that "it is important that we commemorate, and learn from, [the] conflict in the right way in the next four years".

Mr. Gove continued that: "The conflict has, for many, been seen through the fictional prism of dramas such as Oh, What a Lovely War!, The Monocled Mutineer and Blackadder, as a misbegotten shambles - a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite".

Speaking on Sky News, Sir Tony said Mr. Gove's comments amounted to "slagging off" teachers who used Blackadder as a teaching aid.

"To make this mistake, to categorise teachers who would introduce something like Blackadder as left-wing and introducing left-wing propaganda, is very, very unhelpful - and particularly unhelpful and irresponsible from a minister of education".

Mr. Gove's comments also led to a reaction from the Shadow Education Secretary, Labour's Tristram Hunt.

Mr. Hunt, who is also a historian, condemned Mr. Gove's comments as "crass" and "shocking".

Writing in The Observer, Mr. Hunt accused Mr. Gove and the Conservative Party of "using this year's anniversary [the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War] to sow division with ugly attacks on "leftwing academics"" and of "using history" for political point scoring.

To read Mr. Gove's article, visit The Daily Mail website here.

To read Mr. Hunt's article, visit The Observer website here.

To hear some of Sir Tony Robinson's comments, visit the Sky News website here.

Images courtesy of the BBC

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News