A treatment was once written for the much-loved BBC comedy Blackadder set in the Russian Revolution entitled "Redadder", Rowan Atkinson revealed at the opening session of the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival. 

“There was a plan twenty years ago that got nowhere which was called Redadder which I quite liked. It was set in Russia in 1917 and Blackadder and Baldrick were working for the Tsar. They had blue stripes around their caps and then the Revolution happened and Rik Mayall unsurprisingly was playing Rasputin.

“And after the Revolution they are in exactly the same office and they have red caps. And it was quite a good idea and it was filmic in scale.”

The Maigret and Mr Bean star, who played the title role in Blackadder, went on to say the idea never got beyond a treatment “for all sorts of complicated reasons.”

He said he was “extremely nervous” about speculating on Blackadder films because they are taken out of context and offered this bad news for fans: “There are no plans to do anything.”

In a wide ranging talk hosted by Mark Lawson he discussed his ITV role of Maigret and the challenge of not physically conforming to a character who is written as big and stocky and speaks in a “flat way”.

He revealed that the character’s constant pipe smoking could be troublesome on set and that he often "had a bottle of Listerine close by” to take away the smell.

He added that he wouldn’t be averse to playing Mr Bean in another project and continues to voice the animated series.

However he said that he believed that in terms of a comeback “I think maybe his time is passed but I still find him funny, his natural born anarchy. He is a child trapped in a man’s body and it’s fun to be childish.”

The BFI & Radio Times Television Festival is taking place between Friday 7th and Sunday 9th April at the BFi Southbank in London.