An evening with Mr Bean

Best on the Box for January 10th.

Tonight ITV spend an evening with Mr Bean, starting off at 7pm with the very first episode of the hit comedy from January 1990. It’s followed directly by episode two, before the channel pop open the corks with a celebratory documentary looking back at the 30 years since comedy legend Mr Bean landed on our screens.

In 1989 Rowan Atkinson and writers Ben Elton and Richard Curtis had said farewell to the BBC and Blackadder after four successful series. Moving to Tiger Aspect and Thames Television a new idea was born, from a character Atkinson had been performing in theatre since the 1970s.

Rowan had become a television personality thanks to Blackadder (pictured) and Not the Nine O’Clock News before Bean.

On the 1st January 1990, ITV broadcast the first episode, a stand-alone one-off called Mr Bean, starring Rowan Atkinson as the title character. Mr Bean ingeniously demonstrates the frustrations of everyday life but with disastrous consequences. This hapless character of a child trapped in a grown man’s body had been the creation of Rowan and his friends who met at university many years before.

The documentary this evening explores the magic behind this unlikely hero and how just 14 episodes of the live-action TV show went on to become a global sensation that is still making us laugh today. There have since been two top-grossing feature films, three animated series and an online phenomenon. Mr Bean has a staggering 150 million followers and has over 11 billion lifetime views.

Rowan is interviewed for Happy Birthday Mr Bean, his first major TV interview for many years.

With classic clips and interviews from key creators, including Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, ITV share the real story behind this iconic character.

Find out how he was almost called Mr White and how a famous scene from Four Weddings and Funeral, written for Hugh Grant, was originally conceived to be a Mr Bean sketch. Rowan, in his first recorded TV interview in many years, is candid about the pressures of playing and filming as his idiosyncratic alter-ego, who has made him one of the most recognisable faces in the world.

There’s also a hint to a possible future of ‘Old Bean’ the miserable, frustrated older but none the wiser Mr Bean.

Full of laughs we relive the best and funniest clips of the show, including the iconic turkey on the head sketch and Mr Bean at the dentist – ITV

Mr Bean the first two episodes, from 7pm, Happy Birthday Mr Bean from 8pm on ITV, UTV and STV.

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