Coventry to star in new Horrible His­to­ries se­ries

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS - By FIONNULA HAINEY News Re­porter

HIT kids show Horrible His­to­ries is bring­ing Coventry’s past to life.

TV crews were in the city for a new se­ries of the CBBC show, which will fea­ture sketches and songs filmed at St Mary’s Guild­hall, Drap­ers’ Hall and The Char­ter­house.

The team spent two days in the city film­ing sketches based on Lady Go­diva and Mar­garet of An­jou as well as a song for Ira Aldridge, af­ter con­ver­sa­tions with the team from the Coventry City of Cul­ture and His­toric Coventry Trusts.

BAFTA-award win­ning Jess Ran­som will star as Lady Go­diva and Queen Mar­garet of An­jou, Javone Prince plays Ira Aldridge and Tom Stour­ton will also fea­ture as Sir Henry Beau­fort and other char­ac­ters.

The pro­gramme will ex­plore the leg­end of Lady Go­diva, who is known across the world as for rid­ing naked through the streets of the city in protest against her hus­band, the Earl of Mer­cia’s high taxes.

Queen Mar­garet of An­jou was the wife of Henry VI and played an ac­tive role in na­tional af­fairs, in­clud­ing choos­ing Coventry as the home of the royal fam­ily and ef­fec­tively mak­ing it the cap­i­tal city dur­ing the 15 Cen­tury.

Ira Aldridge, an an­ti­slav­ery cam­paigner, was the first black ac­tor to play Othello and man­aged a the­atre in the city in 1828.

Richard Bradley of Lion Tele­vi­sion, which makes Horrible His­to­ries, said: “Lion TV is de­lighted to be work­ing in Coventry and dis­cov­er­ing more about its hid­den sites and rich his­tory.

“Coventry has been at the heart of so many im­por­tant chapters of our na­tion’s his­tory - we so ex­cited to be giv­ing some of those stories the unique Horrible His­to­ries treat­ment.”

Jac­qui Ib­bot­son, Great Place Pro­ject Man­ager at the Coventry City of Cul­ture Trust, said: “We are ab­so­lutely thrilled that Coventry is to have its own Horrible His­to­ries sketches.

“It is one of the most pop­u­lar chil­dren’s TV pro­grammes of the past decade, at­tract­ing mil­lions of view­ers and pick­ing up over fifty na­tional and in­ter­na­tional awards.

“It is one of those rare shows for kids that man­ages to en­ter­tain and ed­u­cate in equal mea­sure and this is our chance to show­case Coventry’s rich his­tory to a whole new au­di­ence. Many of the show’s sketches are nor­mally filmed in stu­dio so to have Horrible His­to­ries on lo­ca­tion is a very spe­cial op­por­tu­nity.”

Ian Harra­bin of His­toric Coventry Trust said: “Invit­ing Horrible His­to­ries to film in The Char­ter­house and Drap­ers’ Hall - both of which are ben­e­fit­ing from ma­jor cap­i­tal in­vest­ment ahead of 2021 - will be a great way to at­tract young peo­ple and fam­i­lies to the venues when they open.

“It is es­pe­cially ap­pro­pri­ate that a new song has been cre­ated by lo­cal com­poser Richie Webb for Drap­ers’ Hall as this per­fectly matches the vi­sion for the fu­ture of the build­ing, as a cen­tre for de­vel­op­ing the mu­si­cal tal­ents of Coventry’s young peo­ple.

“The sketches look like they are go­ing to be lots of fun - in­clud­ing an Ira Aldridge song with a 2Tone feel to it! And we are par­tic­u­larly pleased as Richie Webb - the fab­u­lously tal­ented com­poser of all our songs is a lo­cal boy!”

The show is based on the best­selling Horrible His­to­ries books writ­ten by Terry Deary, il­lus­trated by Martin Brown and pub­lished by Scholas­tic.

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