It’s been voted ‘funniest British sitcom of all time’ in a UKTV poll.
And now Blackadder’s never before seen pilot will air ahead of the show’s 40th anniversary.
The iconic BBC series made Rowan Atkinson, now 68, a household name as the scheming and sarcastic Edmund Blackadder and his decedents throughout history.
The milestone will be marked with two documentaries, while Sir Tony Robinson, 76, who played Baldrick in the show, will uncover the never before broadcast 1982 pilot.
Sir Tony said: ‘Blackadder holds a special place in the nation’s heart and in mine too.
‘I’m delighted to be part of its 40th Birthday celebrations on Gold. It’s been wonderful to journey back to where it all began and chat to some of the biggest names in comedy who made it all happen.’
Surprise! Unseen episode of ‘funniest ever British sitcom’ to air for the first time in 40 YEAR
Meanwhile UKTV channel Gold said: ‘Tony’s journey takes him back in time to find out where Blackadder really began, and to uncover the story of the never-before-broadcast 1982 Blackadder pilot episode.
‘It’s a personal story for Tony – Baldrick has defined his career and playing the character transformed his life. But Tony didn’t play Baldrick in the pilot [Philip Fox did]. And there’s so much about Blackadder’s beginnings he doesn’t know.
The show will end with the pilot being shown for the first time for comedy lovers.
The anniversary will also celebrated with a special set of stamps, Royal Mail has announced.
Eight of the stamps capture moments from all four series of the classic sitcom – from the mists of medieval England to the court of Queen Elizabeth I – while a further four depict Edmund Blackadder his various guises over each of the series.
The stamps feature some of the show’s best-loved characters, played by stars including Sir Tony, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson, Brian Blessed and the late Patsy Byrne.
A presentation pack including all 12 stamps will be available for £19.60.
Launched in 1983 by writer Richard Curtis and star Atkinson, with the assistance of BBC producer John Lloyd and co-author Ben Elton.
Icon: The iconic BBC series made Rowan Atkinson (left) a household name as the scheming and sarcastic Edmund Blackadder and his decedents through history (pictured with co-star Sir Tony Robinson)
Explorer: The milestone will be marked with two documentaries, while Tony Robinson, (bottom right) who played Baldrick in the show, will uncover the never-before broadcast 1982 pilot
Curtis said: ‘We’re very amused and delighted. It’s a great relief for Blackadder to have his head on a stamp, instead of on a stake.’
Producer Lloyd added: ‘The entire team behind Britain’s leading situation tragedy is deeply honoured by Royal Mail’s magnificent stamps of approval.
‘In the words of General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, VC KCB, ‘Let’s give them a damn good licking!’
The first episodes of the show, written by university friends Curtis and Atkinson, were set in the 15th century during the fictional reign of King Richard IV.
Celebrations: Sir Tony also secretly hung an Oil painting of Blackadder at Audley End House in Essex to surprise visitors in celebration of the show’s anniversary
Surprise! Tourists were left bemused – mistaking the comedy character for Shakespeare, British aristocracy and even Henry VIII
Artist: Renowned artist Tom Croft painted the portrait over 60 hours, using traditional Elizabethan method
Blackadder II jumped forward in time to follow the shifting fortunes of Lord Edmund Blackadder, an ambitious courtier to the giddy young Queen Elizabeth I, while the third instalment was set in the early 19th century during the Regency of the impressively-trousered royal heir, Prince George.
It followed the adventures of crafty butler Mr E Blackadder, who spends his days tormenting his lice-infested minion Baldrick and cooking up cunning plans to improve his social standing.
The final series, Blackadder Goes Forth, was set in the First World War, where Captain Blackadder and his fellow soldiers in the trenches try every trick in the book to evade the inevitable order to go ‘over the top’.
Stamps! The anniversary will also celebrated with a special set of stamps, Royal Mail has announced
Eight of the stamps capture moments from all four series of the classic sitcom from the mists of medieval England to the court of Queen Elizabeth I
David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: ‘The epic saga of Blackadder spans six centuries of British history and four decades of British television and is still loved and revered by audiences old and new.
‘We are delighted to mark the 40th anniversary of Blackadder with a set of special stamps.’
The pilot will air on Thursday 15 June at 9pm on Gold.