Tony Robinson is receiving a Doctor of Science

Posted on 4th November 2011

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to fostering the public understanding of archaeology and national heritage.

Tony Robinson was born in in 1946 in Hackney. He studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama, moving into repertory theatre. His first professional appearance was aged 12 in the original version of the stage musical Oliver! This was followed by a number of shows, films and TV appearances as a child actor. He spent several years in rep, and secured an Arts Council Bursary to work for two years as a theatre director, before moving on to the Chichester Festival Theatre, the RSC and the National Theatre where among other projects he worked with the Peter Hall/Tony Harrison version of The Oresteia.

He has made a number of television and film appearances and went on to have lead roles in numerous television series including Channel 4's cult sketch show Who Dares Wins and ITV's sit-com My Wonderful Life. He is best known for his role as Baldrick in Blackadder in the 1980s, his creation of the 1990s TV series Maid Marian and her Merry Men and from 1994 onwards for his work with Time Team, which has played such a pivotal role in popularising archaeology and history across the country and he is President of the Young Archaeology Club.

Tony has also made many TV documentaries on subjects including The Peasants’ Revolt, the Roman Emperors, Macbeth and Robin Hood, and three programmes on the place of myth in the 21st-century including The Real Da Vinci Code and The Doomsday Code, two series of The Worst Jobs In History and a documentary about the elderly entitled Me and My Mum. He has also made a Channel Four series set in the British Museum called Codex.

As a writer of children's television programmes he has won two Royal Television Society awards, a BAFTA and the International Prix Jeunesse. He has written 18 children's books, including Tony Robinson's Kings and Queens, and in 2005 The Worst Children’s Jobs in History. His three most recent books for adults are The Worst Jobs in History, Archaeology is RubbishA Beginner's Guide, co-written with Professor Mick Aston, and In Search of British Heroes. He is also recording the entire works of Terry Pratchett for audiotape.

He was Vice-President of the Equity trade union, representing British actors, from 1996 until 2000 and a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party from 2000 until 2004.