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The A To Z Of Richard Curtis
Four weddings, a funeral, a horse, a hound and a whole lot of Bernards

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When Edmund, Baldrick, Darling and George dissolved into a sea of poppies at the end of Blackadder Goes Forth there was barely a dry eye in the nation. Curtis and his co-writer Ben Elton had successfully sold a moment of genuine heartbreak to an audience weaned on witty wordplay, asthmatic ants and Boche-bashing flying fellows. "We decided that if we were going to do it", remembers Curtis of the climactic moment, "we'd have to kill everyone, [and] that set us free to be as disrespectful as we liked." The scene, shot to the crackle of canned gun fire on a specially-built, £50,000 No Man's Land set, felt worryingly banal in playback, but the addition of Howard Goodall's theme, played adagio over the fade out, made the following silence truly stop all the clocks. "It was", reflects Curtis, "the big miracle of my creative career."

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