Tony Robinson (born August 15, 1946) is a British television comedy actor and political campaigner. He is presenter of the popular archaeology television series Time Team, and similar archaeological and historical programmes.
Born in London, his first professional acting experience came at the age of twelve, when he appeared as a member of Fagin's gang in the original production of the musical Oliver!, including a stint as the Artful Dodger.
In the early 1970s he starred in the children's fantasy-comedy programme Sam On Boff's Island, which was about a man who falls asleep while eating his breakfast cereal and ends up transported to an island which looks just like his cereal. After being part of the Who Dares Wins comedy performers, he came to prominence for his role in the British historical sitcom Blackadder as Edmund Blackadder's disgusting man-servant/batman Baldrick. In the first series he was quite intelligent but subsequently his character evolved into that of an intellectually challenged buffoon. His catch phrase in this programme was, "I have a cunning plan".
In the 1980s he also wrote and narrated several Jackanory-style children's programs - although more energetically than the Jackanory house style, with Robinson bounding about the place acting out all the parts. Programs in this style included Tales From Fat Tulip's Garden (continued in Fat Tulip Too), Odysseus: The Greatest Hero of Them All (a retelling of the Iliad and the Odyssey), and Blood and Honey (tales from the Old Testament, filmed on location).
In the late eighties he created the children's comedy TV series Maid Marian and her Merry Men, a loose retelling of the legend of Robin Hood in which he appeared as the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Until 2000, he was vice-president of the actors' union Equity. Since leaving, he was elected to the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, a position he held until recently.
In 2004 Robinson presented the Channel 4 television programme The Worst Jobs in History, re-enacting some of the more horrible jobs of the past millennium. He then took the show on tour around the country along with an autobiographical question and answer session. This first series was followed by 'The Worst Christmas Jobs in History' in December 2005 and then a second series of 'The Worst Jobs in History' on Channel 4 in April 2006.
Tony Robinson's Cunning Night Out, a largely improvised stage show, followed in early 2005 and included a mix of the many themes from his career for which Robinson is famous. He also edited and presented The Real Da Vinci Code, a documentary for Channel 4's Weird World series which attempted to defend his Christian beliefs against the claims made by Dan Brown in his novel The Da Vinci Code.
In addition to telling his own stories, Tony narrated the abridged audio book versions of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of books. Nigel Planer, Celia Imrie and Stephen Briggs narrated the unabridged versions.
He was also active in the "Make Poverty History" campaign during early 2005, in the lead-up to the G8 summit in Scotland.
In 2006 he appeared in Tony Robinson: Me and My Mum, a documentary surrounding Tony's decision to put his mother into a nursing home, and the difficulty he had with doing so. It controversially showed his mother's death in the home. It also featured stories from other families in similar situations. It appeared as part of Channel 4's short season of programs entitled The Trouble With Old People.
Tony Robinson is also a supporter of Bristol City FC, and his allergies include cats, feathers and red wine. He stands at 5 foot 4 inches in height and has 1 son and 1 daughter.