TV

10 secrets about Rowan Atkinson’s hit show Mr Bean REVEALED

And some will seriously surprise you…
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For over 30 years, Rowan Atkinson’s comedic creation, the outlandish man-child Mr. Bean, has delighted audiences.

Here are 10 little-known pieces of trivia about the much-loved quirky British comedy.

WATCH: Mr Bean’s Holiday trailer

1. How many?

Created by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, Mr. Bean aired from 1990 to 1995. However, it shocks even the most die-hard fans to learn the production was actually extremely limited – with only 14 episodes of the series ever filmed. Quite a surprise really, given how popular the character has become.

2. Easy peasy

Rowan says he came up with the character after being asked to write a sketch for a show at the Oxford Playhouse. “I just stood in front of the mirror and started to mess about with my face,” he said. “And this strange, surreal sort of non-speaking character evolved.”

3. Universal appeal

The lack of dialogue might be a problem for some shows, but in Mr. Bean’s case, it has only helped with his worldwide appeal. With limited dialogue, the show relies on a lot of physical comedy, which never gets lost in translation, just as it was intended. Before the show aired, Rowan set out to prove Mr. Bean’s humour could work outside of England by trying out the character in a live skit at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal. “There doesn’t seem to be a country in the world – or not that I have visited, or none that I have heard of – who don’t seem to get him, who don’t seem to understand and enjoy the character of Mr. Bean,” Rowan has said of his creation.

mr bean
(Credit: ITV)

4. Dream team

Rowan isn’t the only success story to evolve from the show. The actor teamed up with good mate Richard Curtis to help create and write the series. Since then, Richard went on to be writer and director of Christmas classic Love Actually, and helped pen box-office hits including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary.

5. Name dropper

Can you imagine how different the series might have been if the lead character was called Mr. White? Or how about Mr. Cauliflower? It’s hard to believe now but these were all very real possibilities. In fact, the creators didn’t settle on the name Mr. Bean until after the first episode had been produced. In the 1997 movie Bean, where Mr. Bean travels to the US on a work trip, a very quick glimpse of his passport reveals his first name is actually ‘Mr.’.

6. It’s not all laughs

While the show brings us so much joy, Rowan has admitted playing Mr. Bean sometimes feels like a burden. “Mr Bean is a bit of a one-man band, and when all the responsibility is on your shoulders it can be a bit daunting at times,” he previously revealed.

7. Art imitates life

Turns out that Mr. Bean’s legendary ear wiggle is a physical characteristic he shares with his creator and not CGI. When asked if he “can really wiggle your ears?,” a delighted Rowan replied: “Yes, I can.”

mr bean
(Credit: ITV)

8. Mini fiasco

Mr. Bean’s madcap driving adventures centred around his unmissable citron-green 1977 British Leyland Mini 1000 Mark 4 with a matte black bonnet. And let’s not forget his ongoing road rivalry with the three-wheeled light-blue 1972 Reliant Regal Supervan III. During production, there were actually three Minis painted green and black available for use during filming. The reason, you ask? Well, on-set insiders say that one would inevitably be damaged during filming while another plot line caused one car to be completely crushed!

9. Bad behaviour

While Rowan admits he felt pressure being Mr. Bean, the flipside was it allowed him to unleash his chaotic side.“It’s therapeutic, actually,” he has said. “It’s a nice kind of fantasy to live. Therefore you don’t have to behave too badly in your normal life!”

10. Give us more!

The popularity of the initial TV series lead to two movies, an animated series and even some books, including Mr. Bean’s Diary. So, could one last comeback be on the cards? There is some hope after Rowan admitted he wasn’t ruling it out. “I wouldn’t like to do him for the rest of my life,” Rowan said. “But it’s fun doing him occasionally.”

For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea!

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