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Monday, March 1, 1999 Published at 21:14 GMT


Entertainment

Blackadder becomes Dr Who

Rowan Atkinson will run into Dr Who's deadliest enemy - the Daleks

Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson is to be the ninth incarnation of cult sci-fi time-traveller Dr Who in a one-off comedy special.

The actor will be behind the controls of the Tardis in a special show for the BBC's Comic Relief charity night on 12 March.

Atkinson, best-known for his bumbling Mr Bean and cunning Blackadder roles, will be joined by Ab Fab actress Julia Sawalha as his sidekick and Jonathan Pryce as arch-foe The Master.

The long-running BBC show, about the adventures of a time-travelling eccentric, was axed in 1989.


[ image: Rowan Atkinson as the cunning Blackadder]
Rowan Atkinson as the cunning Blackadder
It was briefly reprised in 1996 in an American co-production starring Paul McGann.

The feature-length adventure was critically panned, and the Doctor has been on ice ever since.

The revival has been welcomed by fans of the original. Doctor Who Appreciation Society spokesman Andrew Eaton said: "I think Rowan Atkinson will make a great Doctor, and anything that keeps the programme in the public eye is good news."

A Comic Relief spokeswoman said: "We have never had so many odd calls since the Rowan Atkinson special was revealed."


[ image: Tom Baker was Dr Who's fourth incarnation]
Tom Baker was Dr Who's fourth incarnation
The tongue-in-cheek revival is the latest in a glittering line of one-off specials for Comic Relief.

Previously, the TV special has included spoof detective drama Prime Cracker, starring Robbie Coltrane and Helen Mirren, and Blackadder: The Cavalier Years.

In another Comic Relief special, comedy star Victoria Wood took over as editor of the BBC's listings magazine Radio Times for the edition published this week.

She dressed in a power suit and a red nose for the cover to mark her stint in the editor's chair.

Comic Relief's Red Nose Day runs from 1900 on BBC One on Friday 12 March.



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