Where Are The Cast Of Horrible Histories Now?

Does the term Gorgeous Georgians ring any bells? What about Frightful First World War? Yes, it's time for "Horrible Histories"! This children's series ran on the CBBC from 2009 to 2013 and covered five series of the awful, gory aspects of history, generally of the British and Western world, according to Laurence Rickard. (They did jump over to America or back to Egypt once in a while, though!)

Based on the Terry Deary books of the same name, the television series maintains the books' style and content, as well as a cheeky but accurate tone, brought in by stuffed black rat presenter Rattus Rattus (voiced by John Eccleston). Some sketches parody current television shows or presenters, while others use fictionalized technology for the sake of the humor. For example, think of Neville Chamberlain using social media to brag about "peace in our time."

Helmed by a group of six British comedians now known as the "Horrible Histories" troupe, the series trawls its way from the Stone Age to the period just after World War II. Animations, quizzes, comic skits, and music videos make up the series' half-hour runtime, writes the Guardian.

After five series, the producers felt they were starting to run out of content, and specials were put on the table after the series ended, according to Express. "Horrible Histories" was revived in 2015, but the six original members of the main cast didn't return. Other cast members also moved onto other projects, but what did they work on afterwards?

Mathew Baynton

Mathew Baynton was a regular cast member on "Horrible Histories," known for portraying Charles II and William Shakespeare (via IMDB). Charles II's rap song "King of Bling" is particularly well-known and popular. Married to film historian Kelly Robinson, Baynton has two children (via Radio Times). His son Bo portrayed a young Mary, Queen of Scots in a "Horrible Histories" episode.

Baynton's six-person comedy group has been working together for over 10 years. In a Den of Geek interview last September with fellow cast member Jim Howick, Baynton said that he thinks the group has been able to work together for so long without members quitting because they keep each other honest. The entire group wrote the upcoming third series of their hit British comedy "Ghosts" together on Wednesday nights via Zoom. Baynton said, "It's been a tonic in an otherwise relatively difficult and quite miserable time to have been able to jump on Zoom and make each other laugh with ideas for these characters that we love."

In the same Den of Geek interview, the pair generally discussed the upcoming third series of "Ghosts." Baynton remarked that he's happy to have covered both sides of what it means to be a ghost, including the stark concept that these characters really are dead, as opposed to just focusing on the comedy aspects.

Baynton is currently executive producing an American version of "Ghosts" for CBS this fall, according to Variety. The rest of the comedy group are executive producing as well.

Simon Farnaby

Simon Farnaby is known for playing Death in "Horrible Histories," where Death interacts with a historical figure who recently died in a particularly silly way (via the Times). Said recently deceased might be famous, or not, just being notable for how they died.

Farnaby has become a writer for both on-screen projects and off. He co-wrote the successful film "Paddington 2" with Paul King, which was released in 2017, but has stepped down from penning a third film (via the Telegraph). Farnaby branched out from film and TV scripts with a biography of golfer Maurice Flitcroft (written with journalist Scott Murray) in 2010 (via The Guardian). He also recently jumped into children's books, with a series about a Dark Ages wizard who has been banished to the 21st century, the second of which is coming out in 2021, according to Hachette.

Farnaby is married to actress Claire Keelan. They have a daughter, Eve, born in 2014 (via Scottish Sun).

Farnaby's been playing the character Julian Fawcett on "Ghosts" since 2019, with a third series written. He's also worked on "This Time with Alan Partridge," playing the character Sam Chatwin, according to IMDB. A second series is set to premiere in 2021.

Jim Howick

Jim Howick often played heavier characters on "Horrible Histories," including George IV and Richard III, according to IMDB. He also played presenters for skits and has been referred to as a character actor.

In an interview with Lindsey Bowden, Howick discussed his work on popular Netflix series "Sex Education," mentioning how excited he was to begin work on the upcoming third series, where he plays teacher Mr. Hendricks. The show "manages to handle a multitude of difficult themes so deftly," he said.

He joined the rest of the "Horrible Histories" troupe in "Ghosts," playing Pat Butcher, the ghost of a scout leader. In an interview with Den of Geek, Howick shared that the three hours a week the comedy group met on Zoom to write series three of "Ghosts" was a blessing for all of them. Howick mentioned that when drafting in pairs, the cast members would switch into character voices for the members who were absent, which helped generate the energy needed for a long writing session. He also played video games in his spare time to keep his energy levels up.

Howick is more recently known for his role in the British sitcom, "Pandemonium," featuring a family navigating pandemic lockdown. 

Ben Willbond

Ben Willbond is best known for playing Alexander the Great and Henry VIII, as well as characters of German origin, on "Horrible Histories" (via IMDB). He wrote several episodes as well. Willbond co-wrote "Bill" in 2015 with Laurence Rickard, a comedy film based on the early life of William Shakespeare.

Willbond is an avid cricket player, according to Damien Lewis. He is married and has two children and earned a degree in French and Russian from St. Catherine's College, Oxford, prior to becoming an actor (via Healthy Celeb).

Willbond also played the ghost of the Captain in "Ghosts." In a 2020 interview with WhatsOnTV, he said he had a military upbringing and so was used to details like the Captain's uniform, which was part of the reason why he took the role in the first place. On the series' success, he said, "I feel very fortunate. We worked really hard [on series one] and we did what we felt was right and we are very happy it paid off." With the second series, Willbond said that the comedy group made a point of showing more about the ghosts' pasts. 

The actor has also recently been seen as next-door neighbor Chris in "There She Goes," according to TellyMix, a BBC comedy series about the "real life experiences of writers Shaun Pye and Sarah Crawford, whose daughter was born with an extremely rare and, to date, undiagnosed chromosomal disorder." The series also stars well-known British actor David Tennant.

Martha Howe-Douglas

The only woman of the main cast and the comedy group, Martha Howe-Douglas has played several queens (or the appropriate equivalent) during her time on "Horrible Histories," including Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, and Victoria, according to IMDB.

Like the rest of the "Horrible Histories" troupe, Howe-Douglas is in "Ghosts," where she plays Lady Fanny Button. She actively promotes the show on her social media, including sharing the announcement that the writing team received two 2021 BAFTA nominations (via Twitter).

According to her Twitter, Howe-Douglas recently joined London's Sculpture in the City as an audio guide for the art history found along their new Family Trail. 

She also co-created, co-wrote, and co-starred in fantasy comedy "Yonderland" with the rest of the troupe, playing the protagonist Debbie Maddox. According to a 2014 interview in Female First, it was a lot of pressure, but she also didn't want to let the rest of the troupe down. She has also appeared in "Eastenders" and "King of Thieves" (via Metacritic) since her time as part of the "Horrible Histories" troupe.

Laurence Rickard

First hired as a writer for "Horrible Histories," Laurence Rickard soon created the iconic character of Bob Hale, who announced the news. Rickard then stepped up as an actor, according to Den of Geek. The writers wrote long, elaborate monologues for Hale that Rickard executed well, so it seemed pointless to give the role to anyone else.

Rickard is still primarily a writer, having worked on the documentary series, "All Over the Place," and Sacha Baron Cohen's 2018 political satire, "Who Is America?" (via Laurence Rickard).

According to his website, after "Yonderland" and "Bill" both wrapped (both of which Rickard co-wrote) and when the "Horrible Histories" troupe realized they needed a new project that would keep the troupe together for a few more years, they started brainstorming. As a group, they came up with the idea for "Ghosts" on the first day of brainstorming together, and it made them all laugh. Though they came up with other ideas afterwards, "Ghosts" was the one they decided to pursue since it had been the first they all liked.

Rickard is a fan of dogs, classic VWs, and film (via Laurence Rickard). His website also lists a few projects in development, including a sitcom titled "We Are Not Alone" from 2019 and an animated series based on the popular YouTube channel, "Simon's Cat." The "Simon's Cat" project is listed from 2017, so whether it will actually move forward is unknown.

Sarah Hadland

Sarah Hadland was a supporting cast member for series one and two of "Horrible Histories," then she returned in series four, according to IMDB. She has played Queen Mary I and voiced a skit on "Dodgy War Inventions," among others.

Hadland will star as Monica, the sister of Sian Gibson's character, Gemma, in "Murder, They Hope," a short series of three comedy murder mysteries, according to British Comedy Guide. The series is set to premiere this 2021.

Her most well-known role is playing Stevie on the comedy series "Miranda" that ran on the BBC from 2009 to 2015 and follows a "socially inept" joke shop owner. She believes that sitcom paved the way for women's comedy, she said in an interview with the Cambridge Independent.

Recently, she has also been working on the cartoon series "Love Monster," voicing the Tiniest Fluffiest Bunny. Hadland has done voice work on children's shows, as well as for video games. She also returned to act in "Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans" (via IMDB).

Katy Wix

Katy Wix is known for playing various minor characters in "Horrible Histories" throughout series one, two, and three, according to IMDB. In 2007, she joined the cast of "Not Going Out" as a recurring character, Daisy, and stayed until 2015.

Wix recently published a memoir, "Delicacy: A Memoir About Cake and Death," where Wix writes about several close losses throughout 2019 and the pain that nearly led her to give up on comedy (via iNews). The book ultimately saved her, she said, because it was a practical thing to do to hold back her grief. Lockdown gave her time to deal with it, Wix said.

Wix was recently a panelist on series nine of "Taskmaster" in 2019. She has also starred in "Anna and Katy," a sketch comedy starring Anna Crilly and herself. She's been in "Ghosts" in the past few years, as well as "Stath Lets Flats," which will be filming its third series soon, according to British Comedy Guide. She's interested in doing more serious acting gigs in the future, she told iNews, but for now she's excited about current projects.

Alice Lowe

Alice Lowe was in series two, three, and five of "Horrible Histories" and was known for playing Lady Jane Grey and Joan of Arc, according to IMDB.

In a 2019 interview with the Guardian, Lowe discussed film projects "Sometimes Always Never" and "Prevenge," both which touch upon grief and miscommunication. Miscommunication is a British trait, she said, but one that also has the tendency to be really funny, which is where her comedy shines through.

According to Red Online, Lowe wrote and directed "Prevenge," which also featured her 10-day-old daughter, Della, who was born while Lowe was filming. She told the Guardian that she felt freedom with the project, since it was her project as the director and writer.

Other recent works include television shows "Hitmen" and "Back," and dark comedy "Sightseers (which she co-wrote), as well as several short films, according to SciFiNow. Lowe is currently filming "The Almond and the Seahorse," a film about an archeologist and an architect who suffer traumatic brain injuries, according to the film's IMDB. The film also stars Rebel Wilson and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Dominique Moore

Dominique Moore played various roles throughout series two through five of "Horrible Histories," including Malorie Blackman, Mary Seacole, Rosa Parks, and the presenters for historical bake-off skits, according to IMDB. Originally from London, Moore started on the stage and acted in several West End productions, including "The Lion King".

Though her "Horrible Histories" role was in comedy, it's clear from her work that Moore is open to branching out. She has done voice work for children's television and was in the "Four Weddings and a Funeral" 2019 television remake as Rosie, according to Bustle.

Lately, she's played assistant Yasmina in "Finding Alice," which has been renewed for a second series (via Entertainment Focus). Moore enjoyed working with the cast and crew on the show, she wrote on Instagram (via Bustle), which centers around the life of a widow, who has to confront some shady secrets after her husband's death.

Moore also considers herself a mentor for other actors, particularly fellow Black actors (via IHeartRadio). She promoted her TV film "Anthony" on Instagram, which was recently nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Single Drama. The film ponders what Black teenager Anthony Walker's life could have been like if he hadn't been murdered in a 2005 racially motivated attack (via the Guardian).

Lawry Lewin

Lawry Lewin has played various roles throughout series two through five of "Horrible Histories," including Oliver Cromwell and the presenter for the Amazing Scientists sketches (via IMDB). He returned for the 2019 "Horrible Histories" film. He also played Ben Earlston in the medical soap opera "Doctors".

Lewin joined "John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme" radio sketch show in 2021, whose ninth season is set to start this May. Unlike previous series, each episode will feature only one character and scenes from their life in reverse. The first features Lewin as Russ, set between attending a Christmas Day Zoom in 2020 and a 1986 funeral, when he was six (via Chortle).

Lewin is also known for roles in the "Doctor Who" special "The End of Time," and the 2014 television series "Mr. Sloane" (via Deadline). Like most of his fellow cast members, Lewin has stuck with comedy throughout his career.

Lewin recently recorded audio for a series of "Doctor Who" stories for Big Finish (via The Digital Fix).

John Eccleston

John Eccleston voiced and puppeteered Rattus Rattus, the presenter of "Horrible Histories" and "Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans," writes Den of Geek. The character leads the show from one section to another and wraps up sections with actual historical information. Rattus Rattus also fills in the answers to quizzes.

Eccleston is also a professional puppeteer, largely known for his work on "Farscape," though he has done other voice work. It's noteworthy when he's able to use both talents in the same role, such as when Eccleston reprised his roles for the 2019 "Horrible Histories: The Movie" (via Den of Geek).

Recently, Eccleston's been working as a puppeteer on Netflix's "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance" and "Rogue," a war film with Megan Fox, according to the Hollywood Reporter. "Rogue" released last September.