EVERY so often a sitcom comes along which is so utterly brilliant it makes future generations laugh and has the 'c' word slapped on it - classic.

Blackadder, with its clever and witty writing was one such show and a great vehicle for the consummate comedy actor who is Rowan Atkinson.

Steven Finney is appearing in the stage version for Altrincham Garrick in the Atkinson role, as a character who definitely doesn't suffer fools gladly.

What a pity then, that his servant Baldrick, who wasn't even in the room when they were giving out brains, is a prime example of one.

Steven said:"Edmund Blackadder is one of the most beloved of all British sitcom characters, up there with Basil Fawlty and Del Boy, so it's a real thrill to get to play him. He's witty and devious, but his plans are always foiled by the idiots around him, so he's great fun to play.

"You can't follow Rowan Atkinson. He is Blackadder. He's also a genius, with a complete mastery of comic timing. Anyone who even attempts the role is walking in his shadow."

* Altrincham Garrick presents Blackadder The Third from November 23-28 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from 0161 928 1677 and a two ticket for the price of one policy operates on Monday night.