Sir Tony Robinson, 75, has spoken on his concern over how history is being taught in school, as he spoke on how “that kind of education” is disappearing “fast” from the curriculum. The Blackadder star said he and his co-stars from the 1980s sitcom knew “a lot” about the First World War, but these days the comedian feels that knowledge is dying out.
Speaking on the inspiration behind Blackadder Goes Forth, he shared: “The First World War comedy in which I played Private Baldrick to Rowan Atkinson’s Captain Edmund Blackadder, didn’t appear from nowhere.
“It came out of education – and I fear that kind of education is disappearing fast. Ben Elton, who co-wrote it, knew a lot about the First World War, and so did Hugh Laurie.
“Stephen Fry, of course, knows something about every war that’s ever been fought in the world, and probably most other worlds, too.
“But since we made it, in 1989, the vision of what should be taught in schools and universities has contracted – and that’s a real problem, because if a country doesn’t know its history, it’s likely to repeat its mistakes… it’s to the country’s detriment that most of these wars aren’t routinely taught in British schools,” he added.
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The star admitted he knows people will think he is “critical” in his view but worries that if schoolchildren are not informed about past wars, it could be a worry for the future.
He continued to Radio Times: “I know people will think, ‘Robinson would say this stuff, because he’s a critical little b*****d’ – but I don’t say it as someone who doesn’t care about my country.
“I love it. But a nation needs to understand the truth about itself. And you can only get that through knowing your history.”
Tony Robinson returned to our screens this week in his latest TV documentary, Channel 4’s Britain’s Forgotten Wars.
And in 2016, a trip to the Loose Woman sofa yielded up some interesting facts, reports the Mirror Online.
The presenter was surrounded by the Loose Women panel and almost seemed lost for words when his second wife’s age was brought up by Stacey Solomon.
Quizzed by Janet Street-Porter, Stacey Solomon, June Sarpong and Ruth Langsford, Tony stuttered as Stacey asked if his wife was actually younger than his daughter from his first marriage.
Flagging the 35-year age gap, Stacey couldn’t stop herself from saying: “Oh! She’s young. Not that you’re old”.
She continued: “Isn’t it right that she’s younger than your daughter?”
Tony, who has two children from his previous marriage to Mary Shepherd, 37-year-old daughter Laura and 40-year-old son Luke, clearly looked uncomfortable.
The Baldrick actor said: “Next question.”
While the audience had a chuckle, he nodded and admitted that his wife was indeed younger than his daughter
When asked how his daughter reacted to it, Tony insisted: “She’s absolutely cool about it. Everybody’s been cool about it.”
Britain’s Forgotten Wars airs on Channel 4 Saturday, October 2, at 8pm.
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