Mr. Bean turns 30 today with the national treasure first stumbling his way onto British TV screens in 1990.
A grown man who didn’t speak, drove a lime green car and a teddy for a best friend regularly found himself in all sorts of hilarious situations.
Previously named in a British Council international survey as more famous than Princess Diana, he has gone on to have huge international success and has spent 30 years in continual distribution.
As Mr. Bean celebrates his 30th anniversary, actor Rowan Atkinson who brought the character life has reflected on his time with the show.
He said: “I always believed that Mr. Bean had a very good chance of being successful and having longevity, partly because the comedy is mainly visual and partly because Mr. Bean is essentially a child in a man’s body.
"Across all races and cultures, the behaviour of children tends to be the same and so is easily identified and laughed at. Childish, anarchic behaviour will always be funny.”
However he confessed that filming the show was "stressful"
Atkinson explained: "I’m sorry to say that I find all filming stressful but Mr Bean filming especially so, because of the burden of responsibility I feel to make it funny. Of course you have support from other excellent actors but whether the jokes work or not tends to be down to me. And that’s stressful.
"However, I enjoy it when it’s over (!) and can I enjoy whatever success we have. If an audience finds it funny, then it’s been worth it.
And talking of that success, Atkinson revealed: "There was a very crazy video signing session in Amsterdam, Holland in the mid Nineties; there were police on horseback trying to control the crowds and I was bundled out of the back door of the store into a police car."
Meanwhile, speaking about his personal favourite moments, Atkinson shared: "Probably the Christmas episode. I also like the Church sketch in the first ever episode."
Mr Bean has amassed a loyal fan base across digital platforms and social media, with a YouTube Channel established in 2009 with the Official Mr Bean Facebook page in 2010.
And to celebrate this birthday Mr Bean fans will have the chance to get their hands on a range of Anniversary collectible products from a limited edition knitted Teddy plush available online only, on pre-order from Teespring to a Mr Bean commemorative coin (watch out for the limited edition ones signed by Rowan Atkinson).
Corgi has released a die-cast of Mr Bean’s infamous lime green Mini in a 30th Anniversary special packaging (available at retail and online now) and it will release a DIY special edition of the Mini with the Mr Bean figure in November 2020. A brand new Mr Bean Top Trumps card game from Winning Moves is also available now.
Find more information on the official Mr. Bean website.
Picture: © Tiger Aspect Productions Ltd 2020