Sir Tony Robinson reflects on Baldrick, Time Team and turnips on visit to Sidmouth

Tony Robison visited Winstone's to sign copies of his autobiography

Tony Robison visited Winstone's to sign copies of his autobiography - Credit: Archant

Popular author, presenter and actor meets fans in Winstone’s bookshop

Tony Robison visited Winstone's to sign copies of his autobiography

Tony Robison visited Winstone's to sign copies of his autobiography - Credit: Archant

From child star to Baldrick and beyond, Sir Tony Robinson has enjoyed a stellar career spanning more than five decades - and all without a cunning plan.

The popular actor, presenter and author visited Winstone’s bookshop last Thursday to sign copies of his new autobiography and revealed why, after more than 50 years, he finally decided to pen his memoirs.

Sitting in a small backroom of the High Street store, the comic writer demonstrated an unbridled enthusiasm for knowledge as he claimed ‘there are no boring topics, there are just boring ways of talking about topics’.

He is challenging people to send him fascinating facts about each place he visits on the tour to promote his book, No Cunning Plan, and awards a ‘Turnip Prize’ to the winner.


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Perhaps most famous for playing the role of Baldrick in Blackadder, Sir Tony had his first taste of fame as a pint-sized pickpocket in the first stage production of Oliver.

He went on to write Maid Marion and her Merry Men, a comic show that he also starred in, presented archaeology show Time Team for 20 years and is a multi-award-winning children’s author.

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Sir Tony said: “It’s so lovely because we get people of all ages coming out to the book signings.

“I thought would write an autobiography on a number of occasions and got to page one and stopped, but this time Macmillan Publishers actually approached me.

“Actors by and large are quite disciplined and once I actually sat down I just did it.

“Finishing on Time Team was disappointing, but it did free me up to pursue other things. I probably wouldn’t have been able to write No Cunning Plan if I was still doing it, which is perhaps why I did not do it before.

“It was a whole spectrum of emotions writing it; some of it was fun, particularly looking back at my early teens. But some of the newer stuff was quite hard, especially dealing with the death of both of my parents from dementia. Dementia was a huge part of my life for 10 years.”

On his future plans, Sir Tony said: “I’m at a point in my career where I can choose what I want to do. It’s all about challenges for me and it’s about new things.

“I have always thought that there are no boring topics, there are just boring ways of talking about topics. If I’m asked to do something about something I have never written or promoted, that always sparks my curiosity.”

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