He also appeared at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival in 19.His stand-up shows were released in two albums: Live In Belfast in 1982, and Not Just A Pretty Face in 1987.Also on stage, he performed in The Nerd in 1984-85 and in Chekov's The Sneeze in 1988-89, both at the Adwych Theatre in the West End.
He took part in various student revues at the Edinburgh Fringe from 1973 to 1977, followed by a revue in London's Hampstead Theatre in 1978 called Beyond A Joke.
That year, he was offered his own television series by ITV but turned it down in favour of Not the Nine O'Clock News, for which he also wrote many of the sketches.
For the remaining three series (in 1985, 19), Ben Elton replaced Atkinson as co-writer.
Atkinson toured with Angus Deayton as his sidekick in 1986 and again in 1991.
Other than Blackadder, his most famous creation is Mr Bean, a silent nerdish character, a version of who first appeared in the live shows.
That year, he also performed in revue with Richard Curtis at London's Globe Theatre.His growing success led to his starring in the medieval sitcom The Black Adder, which he also co-wrote with Richard Curtis, in 1983.Born in Consett, near Durham, Rowan Atkinson was educated at Durham Choristers School, and St Bees School, before going on to study electrical engineering at Newcastle University and a master's degree at Queen's College, Oxford.There he performed sketches with the Oxford University Dramatic Society and the Experimental Theatre Club, where he met writer Richard Curtis.His performance in the Secret Policeman's Ball Amnesty benefits in 1979 - where he was one of the most junior comics alongside the likes of John Cleese and Peter Cook - helped cement his reputation.And he returned for the Secret Policeman's Other Ball in 1981.