SIR Tony Robinson has ­criticised the Westminster Education Secretary for suggesting Blackadder was being used as a propaganda tool by "left-wing academics".

The actor - who played Baldrick in the BBC classic, which included one series, Blackadder Goes Forth, set during the First World War - said Conservative Michael Gove's comments amounted to "slagging off teachers".

Sir Tony said: "I think Mr Gove has just made a very silly mistake; it's not that Blackadder teaches children the First World War. When imaginative teachers bring it in, it's simply another teaching tool; they probably take them over to Flanders to have a look at the sights out there, have them marching around the playground, read the poems of Wilfred Owen to them. And one of the things that they'll do is show them Blackadder."

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Mr Gove said that the left insisted on peddling myths about the First World War, which have served to "denigrate virtues such as patriotism, honour and courage".

He wrote: "The conflict has, for many, been seen through the fictional prism of dramas such as Oh! What a Lovely War, The Monocled Mutineer and Blackadder, as a misbegotten shambles - a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite. Even to this day there are left-wing academics all too happy to feed those myths."