Horrible Histories is a kids educational entertainment show that has taken the world by storm. Based on the best selling series of books written by Terry Deary, this British show has an appeal that has won it fans young and old alike. It follows characters of British history and tells stories that are slightly more alternative or te kinds of stories that you are not likely to hear at school or read in conventional history books. In the tv series, like in the books, the writing is witty and clever and there are also some very catchy songs that people have enjoyed learning and singing along to.
The show was actually first aired on television as an animated series in 2001 but it was not continued past the first series. It reappeared in 2009 however as a live action sketch show, airing on CBBC. It won many awards and ran for 5 series. It was the first children’s show to win a British Comedy award. In 2015 the show was rebooted and presented a range of programmes each of which focused on a different historical figure, such as Queen Victoria, Guy Fawkes or Henry VIII.
The core cast has remained similar through the years and they have each played numerous different characters, although some firm favorite characters return in sketches rather more often than others. In this list we take a look at ten of the most famous of the actors, which mostly means that they appeared in more shows than others. Dozens of people have appeared in Horrible Histories over the years, including the writer of the original books himself, Terry Deary, who has appeared in 17 episodes. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top ten Horrible Histories actors:
List of Top 10 Best Horrible Histories Actors in 2017
10. David Baddiel (15 episodes 2009-2011)
Baddiel played Vincenzo Larfoff, a book reader of scary stories. He was a firm favorite amongst children in the series that he ran in. Baddiel is mostly known as being an American born English comedian, particularly as a writing partner of Frank Skinner. Baddiel’s character, Larfoff, enjoys reading stories in a scary voice and he always appears in a dimly lit room sitting on a stone arm chair. He wears a white top under a black robe. The stories he reads always turn out to not be spooky at all. Eventually he gets fed up with the stories not being scary and vows to burn the scary book. Funnily enough, not soon after he no longer reappeared as a character.
9. Ben Miller (1 episode, 2015)
Miller only appeared in one episode of Horrible Histories, as the evil King John, but he made quite an impact (as he would – it’s Ben Miller!).
8. Alice Lowe (12 episodes, 2010)
Alice Lowe played a few different characters in Horrible Histories, across a single series, including Lady Jane Grey, Matilda of Boulogne and occasionally Joan of Arc. Lowe is an English actress and writer who focuses mainly on comedy. She has appeared in numerous television shows across the BBC and Channel 4 and even wrote a short film called Stiffy, which premiered at the Cannes film festival in 2005.
7. Sarah Hadland (19 episodes, 2009-2010)
Sarah Hadland appeared across two different series again playing a range of characters which included Nurse Mandy, Nurse Sanders, Queen Victoria and Helen of Troy. Hadland is probably best known for playing Stevie in the BBC comedy hit show Miranda. She also played the Ocean Sky receptionist in the Bond film Quantum of Solace. Her work has spanned film, television and voice overs for video games.
6. Ben Willbond (39 episodes, 2009-2013)
Ben Willbond is the first in this list to have appeared in all series and almost all episodes. He has played numerous characters through the different series including: Henry VIII, George I, Julius Caesar and Louis XVI. He is probably best known for playing Henry. An interesting fact about Willbond is that he speaks French and Russian. He is an English actor and screenwriter who has credits across film, television and radio. He played Giles in Bridget Jones’s Baby and Adam Kenyon in The Thick of It. He is one amongst the Top 10 Best Horrible Histories Actors 2017.
5. Laurence Rickard (37 episodes, 2009-2013)
Rickard has played the main Aztec priest and William the II but he is definitely most famous in Horrible Histories terms for playing the brilliant news reporter character Bob Hale, a firm favorite for fans. Rickard actually came to Horrible Histories as a writer, not an actor but it was clear that he was the right person to play Bob Hale. He has also written for the Charlotte Church Show and the Armstrong and Miller Show. He often writes with George Sawyer. He is a co-creator and writer of Yonderland.
4. Jim Howick (39 episodes, 2009-2015)
Jim Howick appears in all episodes and plays many well known characters including a shouty man, King George IV, Richard III, Emperor Nero, Prince Albert, Lord Sugar and Admiral Lord Nelson. He is a co-creator and writer of Yonderland. He has credits across television and radio.
3. Martha Howe-Douglas (39 episodes 2009-2013)
Martha How-Douglas is probably the best known female actor in Horible Histories and has played a wide range of characters including Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Sam (from the news), Cleopatra VII and Boudica. She also plays the receptionist Donna in the BBC daytime soap opera Doctors and Debbie Maddox in Yonderland. She was trained at RADA and has experience across tv and radio. She even appeared in a Christmas special episode of The Office.
2. Simon Farnaby (38 episodes, 2009-2015)
Simon III occasionally played George III, also the Grim Reaper in Stupid Deaths, the Emperor Caligula, Walter Raleigh and Robert the Bruce. He was a long term supporting actor in The Mighty Boosh. He has also appeared in a number of films, including Paddington. His television credits are numerous.
1. Mathew Baynton (39 episodes, 2009-2013)
Top of the list is Matthew Baynton who plays Dick Turpin, Charles II, George II and William Shakespeare. The Charles II song has been one of the most popular Horrible Histories sketches of all time. He featured in Gavin and Stacey and wrote wrote and starred in The Wrong Mans with James Corden. He is also a co-creator and writer of Yonderland. He is a former member of the band Special Benny. He has numerous television credits.
So, these above are the Top 10 Best Horrible Histories Actors 2017. Horrible Histories is without doubt a classic and is loved by children and adults alike. The actors involved became very close both personally and professionally and many of them came together to work on the subsequent hit show Yonderland. It has been questioned whether another Horrible Histories series will take place. The likelihood is probably now slim but stranger things have happened.