Horrible Histories: What did the cast do next?

The original CBBC series aired from 2009 to 2014 and was revived in 2015

Horrible Histories (CBBC)
Horrible Histories aired on CBBC from 2009 to 2014, and was later brought back in 2015 (CBBC)
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Horrible Histories has helped teach the subject to children for generations thanks to its funny yet informative summary of historical periods and figures.

The best-selling book series was created by Terry Deary which began in 1993 with The Terrible Tudors and The Awesome Egyptians, with 60 titles being written from 1993 to 2013. It was so popular it went on to spawn its own TV series, which aired on CBBC from 2009 to 2014 and was later brought back in 2015.

Read more: Mathew Baynton's experience on Horrible Histories helped prepare him for Wonka's musical numbers

CBBC's adaptation of Horrible Histories is beloved in its own right, and the cast have gone on to have very successful careers following their appearance on the show, with some popping up in unlikely places.

Here is everything you need to know about the original Horrible Histories cast, and what they did next.


Horrible Histories: What did the cast do next?

The main cast for the original Horrible Histories series are part of a collective known as Them There, and as a team they have created, written and starred in several productions together.

Mathew Baynton

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Mathew Baynton attends the Warner Bros. Pictures  world premiere of
Since starring in Horrible Histories, Mathew Baynton has had a successful career and will soon star in Wonka and the forthcoming A Good Girl's Guide to Murder adaptation. (Getty Images)

Appearing in the original Horrible Histories series from its inception, Baynton played several important historical figures like King Charles II, William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton amongst many others during his time on the show.

Baynton has since gone on to take a major role in hotly-anticipated musical Wonka, in which he stars as villain Fickelgruber who is part of a triumvirate determined to take down Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) before he has a chance to make his name as a chocolatier.

Wonka (Warner Bros.)
Mathew Baynton as Fickelgruber in Wonka (Warner Bros.)

Elsewhere, the actor has starred in shows like Drunk History, Inside No. 9 and BBC's beloved comedy Ghosts which was created by Them There and in which he portrays Thomas Thorne and plague ghost Mick.

Baynton's forthcoming series include BBC's new Agatha Christie drama Murder is Easy, and the adaptation of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder where he will take on the role of Elliot Ward.


Simon Farnaby

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Simon Farnaby attends the
As well as appearing in Horrible Histories, Simon Farnaby has had a lot of success as a writer for films like Paddington and Wonka. (WireImage)

Taking on roles like Death, Caligula and William the Conqueror during his time on Horrible Histories, Simon Farnaby has had a long and successful career on the British comedy scene both as an actor and writer.

The actor returned to Horrible Histories for its revival for one series. Wonka reunites Baynton with Farnaby, who co-wrote the script and also makes a cameo appearance as a zoo keeper in the film.

Ghosts S5,09-11-2023,6,Julian (SIMON FARNABY),Monumental,Guido Mandozzi
Simon Farnaby in Ghosts (BBC)

Farnaby also co-created Ghosts as part of Them There, he also stars in series. He has starred in the likes of The Mighty Boosh and the Paddington movies in the past. As well as working in the entertainment industry, Farnaby has written several children's books including The Wizard In My Shed.


Martha Howe-Douglas

Martha Howe-Douglas helped co-create shows like Ghosts and Yonderland with her Horrible Histories castmates (Getty Images)
Martha Howe-Douglas helped co-create shows like Ghosts and Yonderland with her Horrible Histories castmates (Getty Images)

Martha Howe-Douglas starred in Horrible Histories in several roles, but most notably royals like Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra.

Since starring in Horrible Histories, Howe-Douglas co-created, wrote and starred in Ghosts as part of Them There, in the series she plays Lady Fanny Button.

Elsewhere she has starred in Yonderland, another Them There production, Doctor Foster, Breeders, and Motherland.


Jim Howick

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28: Jim Howick attends the World Premiere of
Jim Howick played several big figures on Horrible Histories, he has gone on to appear in shows like Sex Education and Ghosts. (WireImage)

Appearing in the CBBC show as historical figures like Napoleon Bonaparte and Winston Churchill, the actor has gone on to work in productions like Ghosts and Yonderland as part of Them There.

The actor has also appeared in Netflix series Sex Education, Inside No. 9 and Broadchurch season 3, he is also one of the few original cast members to appear in the CBBC show's 2015 reboot.


Laurence Rickard

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Laurence Rickard attends the BAFTA Television Craft and BAFTA Television Awards Nominees Party on April 20, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA)
Laurence Rickard appeared in the original Horrible Histories series and has gone on to appear in Ghosts and more. (Getty Images for BAFTA)

During his time on Horrible Histories, Laurence Rickard has played characters like The Duke of Wellington, James VI and Henry V.

Since starring on the CBBC show he has joined his Them There colleagues in Ghosts and Yonderland, and he has worked on children's programmes like Peter Rabbit as a writer.


Ben Willbond

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Ben Willbond attends the 2023 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 14, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Rowben Lantion/BAFTA via Getty Images)
Ben Willbond starred in Horrible Histories' original series, and he has since appeared in Ghosts with his co-stars and in shows like Good Omens. (Getty Images)

In Horrible Histories, Ben Willbond took on the roles of Henry VIII, Alexander the Great and William Wallace amongst others. As part of Them There he has also worked on Yonderland and Ghosts, in the latter he plays The Captain.

Willbond has also starred in Prime Video series Good Omens, and has appeared in films like St Trinian’s and Bridget Jones’s Baby both before and after his time on Horrible Histories.


Sarah Hadland

Sarah Hadland (Getty Images)
Sarah Hadland has starred in both the original and revival series of Horrible Histories (Getty Images)

Having starred in Horrible Histories as a series regular for seasons 1, 4 and 5, and taking a guest role in season 2, Sarah Hadland has played a variety of characters including Mary I or England and Florence Nightingale.

Hadland has also starred in the 2015 Horrible Histories reboot, whilst she has starred in Inside No. 9, W1A and the Horrible Histories movie.


The 2015 revival of Horrible Histories has also become a jumping off point for many of its stars.

Tom Stourton

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 12: Tom Stourton attends the European premiere of 'Barbie' at the Cineworld Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom on July 12, 2023. (Photo by Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Tom Stourton is one of the success stories from the 2015 revival of Horrible Histories, as he has since appeared in Barbie, A Small Light and more. (Getty Images)

Joining the revival series from its inception, Tom Stourton has taken on a number of roles including George Washington, Roald Dahl and Henry VIII.

While he still appears on the show, outside of it Stourton's career has been very successful as he most recently appeared in the box office hit Barbie as Earring Magic Ken, and he is also set to make an appearance in Yorgos Lanthimos' new film Poor Things.

Gemma Whelan

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21: Gemma Whelan attends the ITV Palooza 2023 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on November 21, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Gemma Whelan has appeared in Horrible Histories since 2016, but has starred in shows like Game of Thrones and The Crown. (Getty Images)

Joining Horrible Histories from its 2016 specials onwards, Gemma Whelan has played figures like Emily Bronte, Anne Boleyn and Josephine Bonaparte amongst many others.

The actor most famously starred in Game of Thrones, in which she starred as Yara Greyjoy, a fierce, proud warrior who was also the older sister of Theon (Alfie Allen). As well as appearing in the programme, Whelan has had a busy career which has seen her appear in Killing Even, Inside No. 9, and The Crown.

Mike Wozniak

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 16:  Comedian Mike Wozniak poses for a portrait outside the Amnesty Secret Comedy Podcast during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on August 16, 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The podcast - which has a different lineup each day featuring comics such as Julian Clary and Al Murray - is recorded at the Underbelly at 1.20pm each day.  (Photo by Scott Campbell/Getty Images)
Mike Wozniak has appeared in the 2015 revival and the Horrible Histories movie, but is best known for his comedic work. (Photo by Scott Campbell/Getty Images)

Comedian Mike Wozniak starred in series 8 of Horrible Histories as Wilhelm II of Germany, and he also appeared in the Horrible Histories movie in 2019 as Owen Bowen.

He is well known as a comedian and has appeared on shows like Drunk History, and Taskmaster.

Lolly Adefope

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Lolly Adefope poses in the Winners Room at the BAFTA Television Craft Awards 2023 at The Brewery on April 23, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Lolly Adefope has appeared in projects like Ghosts, Saltburn and more since her appearance in Horrible Histories. (Getty Images)

Lolly Adefope played various characters in the Horrible Histories revival, and she has gone on to appear in a number of big name projects like Black Mirror, Ghosts and Mission: Impossible - Fallout.

Adefope has also appeared in Taskmaster and Miracle Workers, and she most recently took on the role of Lady Daphne in Emerald Fennell's film Saltburn.

Watch: Mathew Baynton shares how his Horrible Histories experience helped with Wonka