Rowan Atkinson marked the 25th anniversary of his comic character Mr Bean last week, with an appearance outside Buckingham Palace. Dressed in his trademark Bean-garb, with his favourite teddy bear in his hand and Mini close by, he looked to be relishing the success of his creation. And why not, with a DVD boxset being released this week and the latest animated episodes airing on #Television again.
No signs of Atkinson slowing up
Post-Blackadder Atkinson has enjoyed continued celebrity in recent times, with the notable landmark of 60-years-old seeming to hold few fears for a man of his ambitions and capabilities. Mr Bean has made him a recognised face across the world, appealing to a wide audience with his ability to amuse and embarrass in equal measure through the mainly silent action sequences.
Successful on television
Only 15 episodes were made of the sitcom for television, with Atkinson co-writing the storyline in partnership with such star names as Richard Curtis and Ben Elton among others. It became a massive hit with UK television audiences, pulling in over 18 million viewers at its peak. Outside the UK the show has also been favoured with the receipt of the Rose d’Or (Golden Rose), a prestigious award recognising international excellence in entertainment.
Long comedy career
County Durham-born Atkinson burst on to our television screens in the late 1970s with the irreverent “Not the Nine O’Clock News”, a comedy sketch show much in keeping with the protests against the establishment of the time. His fellow contributors on the programme that ran for four series didn’t do too badly for themselves neither: Pamela Stephenson married fellow comedian Billy Connolly and became a clinical psychologist; Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones became part of the television landscape thereafter.
Blackadder cemented his popularity
Atkinson’s own success in the various incarnations of the anti-hero Blackadder cemented his place among the comedy talents of his generation. Blackadder is commonly voted to be among the most popular British sitcoms of all-time, mixing dark humour with moments of touching poignancy.
Mr Bean his greatest success?
Yet it seems that it is Mr Bean that has been Atkinson’s greatest global triumph since the pilot show early in 1990, with over 200 territories worldwide having received the television show and two successful feature films being produced off the back of it. The animated cartoon spin-off continues to flourish, with the digital channel Boomerang currently showing several new episodes.
Continuance of his acting career
Although Atkinson has said previously that his days portraying Mr Bean may be at an end, his acting career is most certainly not. He has starred as the spoof spy Johnny English in feature films, the most recent appearance being in the sequel in 2011.