Mr Bean, played by British actor Rowan Atkinson, first made his way onto our screens in January of 1990. The character is described by Rowan as being “A child in a grown man’s body”. Mr Bean struggles to handle everyday tasks and often causes massive disruption in his wake. Behind the bumbling, clumsy yet loveable being, Rowan actually completed an electrical engineering master’s degree at Queen’s College Oxford in 1975.
Whilst completing his degree, he also began experimenting in the Oxford University Drama Society, and it was here that Rowan began to develop the Mr Bean character. He performed early self-written sketches to the OUDS, the Oxford Review and the Experimental Theatre Club.
Mr Bean accumulated over 19 million viewers though 5 years of running his TV show, in addition to two movies, ‘Bean’ and ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’ grossed nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. Rowan has also been very successful in other roles; in Blackadder and his satirical comedy show ‘Not the Nine O’clock News’. However, none of these roles come close to the fame and notoriety the Mr Bean character created.
Rowan Atkinson still regularly returns to the University of Oxford to give inspirational talks both back in The Queen’s College (where he was been made an Honorary Fellow in 2006), and the Oxford Union.