INTERVIEW | 60 SECONDS WITH ROBSON GREEN WHO PLAYS GEORDIE KEATING IN GRANTCHESTER
What can viewers expect from the Grantchester Christmas Special and what is Sidney’s role?
You can expect a story that celebrates what many people believe is the true meaning of Christmas. There are echoes of my favourite Christmas movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in this Grantchester special for ITV. The unlikely, unique and endearing pairing of Sidney and Geordie reminds us of the importance of family and friends and how no one is really alone.
Sidney has a crisis of self and it seems Geordie is the only friend who can get to the root of what is tearing Sidney’s heart and soul apart.
It has all the ingredients for a real Christmas event on our TV’s ….Of course there is now – there is a baby born, a Nativity Play ….oh and did I mention there is a murder. It’s a tale beautifully constructed by Daisy Coulam and affects the gallery of likeable characters within Grantchester on so many levels. There is love, laughs, tears and most importantly hope.
What was it like filming with a snow machine?
Filming with snow machines in the centre of Cambridge and Grantchester is a lot more fun for the people watching than those actually working with it! But of course it provides a stunning backdrop and spectacle for this life affirming Christmas story. Sadly James and I couldn’t have a snowball fight with paper snowballs !
How will you be spending Christmas?
With friends and family.
What’s your favourite Christmas memory?
When I was 7 years old Father Christmas delivered down our chimney a bright orange Chopper bike that had three speed gears! However, there was a bit of an issue – I couldn’t ride a bike. Eventually stabilisers were fitted and I hit the road like Newcastle’s answer to Barry Sheen! I loved that Chopper bike and how Santa ever got it down our chimney remains a mystery to this day !
What’s the best/worst Christmas present you have ever received?
Best: Chopper bike. Worst: was a set of left handed golf clubs Dad got me a few years back. I wasn’t and had never been left-handed. Bit awkward on the first tee !
What’s the best /worst present you have ever given?
A firework display for friends and family. Worst: a box of Cuban cigars for a friend who had quit smoking decades ago !
ROBSON GREEN'S FACE IN PUMPKIN FORM PROVED A WINNER
It's Robson Green winner in the Pumpkin Cup.
Asda carved the faces of Robson Green, Cheryl, Alan Shearer and Scarlett Moffatt into pumpkins for Halloween
As Halloween approaches, a supermarket chain has created pumpkin carvings in tribute to the North East’s most famous faces.
The company’s 42 stores throughout the region polled customers and colleagues to vote for their favourite local celebrity to be featured.
The top four stars that had the honour of being carved into pumpkins were actor Robson Green, Cheryl, football legend Alan Shearer and Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt.
Robson Green came out on top with a landslide victory:
Robson Green was voted as the region’s favourite figure and took first place by securing 32% of the votes, followed by Cheryl at 25%, then Alan Shearer and Scarlett Moffatt tied for third.
Former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl came in second place with 25 per cent, followed by Alan Shearer and Scarlet Moffat who secured joint third place in the vote.
The full result was:
1st: Robson Green
2nd: Cheryl Joint
3rd: Alan Shearer, Scarlet Moffat
5th: Charlotte Crosby
6th: Jade Thirlwall;
7th: Denise Welch
8th: Gaz Beadle;
9th: Vicky Pattinson
10: thSarah Millican
Robson Green, Alan Shearer and Cheryl could be sitting on your doorstep this Halloween.
Lindsay Goldsbrough, from Asda’s North East supercentres, said: “It wouldn’t be Halloween without pumpkins – and we’ve got a bumper crop this year at Asda with large pumpkins, so colleagues have been busy getting creative to show customers what you can do with a pumpkin carving kit and a bit of imagination.
“We are really proud of our region and after taking inspiration from some fantastic pumpkin carvings on social media, colleagues who work in the region’s stores thought this would be a great way to celebrate Halloween.
“We couldn’t decide who to carve and in the end asked people to vote for a top three – but ended up doing four.
“I’m not sure if they will see them, but I hope if Scarlet, Cheryl, Alan or Robson see their pumpkin tributes that they like them !”
Granchester’s Robson Green on his favourite foodie memories.
We talk to the TV treasure about his love of fishing, growing veg, and how to make the perfect Yorkshires...
Dudley-bred actor Robson Green, 51, loves food just about as much as he loves acting. Or at least, that's what it sounded like when we quizzed him about his love for grub.
Known for his role as Detective Inspector Geordie Keating in ITV's drama Granchester and for presenting TV shows such as Extreme Fishing, Robson really knows his stuff when it comes to the best way to cook a fish supper, getting the perfect Yorkshire puds and eating out in Northumberland.
Read on for a food-focused peak into the actor's life.
Who’s your cooking inspiration ?
My grandmother, Sarah Green was like a Michelin chef. Most of her sons worked down the mines and she cared for them through food, such as freshly baked bread, game like pigeon and goose that she plucked herself and homegrown vegetables.
Do you grow your own veg ?
Yes, and I cook all my meals from scratch most days.
Top cooking tip ?
Bake Yorkshire puddings in a sizzling hot oven with beef dripping and never open the door while they’re cooking. My grandmother told me the batter should look like snot !
What are your guilty pleasures ?
Wispa chocolate bars. One night I knew there was one in the fridge and I couldn’t sleep until I ate it. I also love Melton Mowbray pork pies with homemade chutney.
Best food discovery ?
I spent eight months working in Thailand two years ago on the drama Strike Back and ate everything from chicken’s feet to spicy ducks’ tongues – which were both divine.
Quick weekday supper ?
I’m a big fan of Rick Stein. I make a delicious dish of his with sea salt prawns, olive oil, sea salt, lemon rind and garlic.
Do you diet ?
I’m on a fitness regime for a TV show at the moment, so sadly my meals consist of grilled fish, chicken and protein shakes. It’s making me feel a bit edgy !
Coffee or a tipple ?
Coffee. I don’t drink alcohol but I’m a coffee addict. I can get through five triple shots a day.
Favourite fish ?
Haddock. The meat is solid because the fish swims around a lot – unlike cod, which is a sluggish creature and tends to be fluffy and light.
How do you like to cook it ?
Lightly grilled with lemon juice and salt. Any food coming from the earth or out of the ocean should be kept simple.
Dream dinner party guests ?
Isaac Newton, who gave us the principles of natural philosophy; Billy Connolly, who’s one of the funniest men alive; and Helen Mirren – I’m a massive fan.
Restaurant of choice ?
A beautiful wooden hut on the beach in Northumberland called Crusoes. The fish and chips and bacon sandwiches are exquisite.
Favourite snack ?
I make my own crisps, slicing potatoes really thin, cooking them in really hot lard and then lightly salting them.
Anything you avoid eating ?
Fast food. A good meal takes care and commitment. The last drive-thru I had was out of desperation otherwise I would have passed out at the wheel.
What would your last supper be ?
A classic tomato soup with homemade garlic bread, followed by a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and then Christmas pudding. If I’ve got to go, I’ll go out with a blast!
Actor Robson Green shot to fame as fusilier Dave Tucker in the TV series Soldier Soldier, alongside Jerome Flynn, with whom he’d go on to record a top-selling cover version of the song Unchained Melody, made famous by the Righteous Brothers.
Since then, he’s starred in the drama series Wire In The Blood as well as hosting a series of travel and leisure documentaries, the best-known of all being his Extreme Fishing series.
His latest show, Robson Green’s Australian Adventure, is currently showing on Quest. He’s also made headlines recently, after claims were made by a vicar that Green had run off with his wife.
His past career as a naval architect and an interest in engineering have led to an interest in all things mechanical – including, of course, cars.
What was your first car ?
It was an original Mini Cooper. I paid £350 for it, which I thought was a snip in 1982, but its head gasket went on the third day. But the great thing was you could take it apart and fix it.
What started your love of cars ?
We had a lot of guys in the village, a lot of miners who were engineers and they could do stuff and fix things. Sadly I’ve lost that ability now. I’m fascinated by engineers; I’m a big Isaac Newton nut and I just like seeing his laws of motion being applied.
What was your first crash – if you’ve ever had one ?
It was in the Cooper in Carlisle. It was horrible. One of the front subframe fixings broke and the engine dropped out. I was doing about 30 on a track and the engine dug into the dirt, flipped the car, and we rolled down a bank and ended up upside-down in a river. A girl in the back went to hospital but she was OK. All I remember as we were tumbling down was that everything went black and white, and I was shouting for my mother. I kept going “Mother, Mother, Mother !” It was amazing.
Which car do you own now ?
I drive a Lexus RX450h hybrid. I bought it not only because of the environmental issues but also because they’re cheap to run, once you pay that first down-payment. I also have a Land Rover Defender, the brand new one. I do a lot of fishing and travel off-grid, so I needed a car like that. But I’d had it only about six hours and removed the roof entering a low car park. Five grand. I had to ring the garage, and say: “Hiya, you know that Defender ? I’ve just found a great way to make them convertibles.”
Which car do you most regret selling ?
I had to sell the Mini because my earnings weren’t keeping up with what I was spending. I sold it for like £50, totally repaired from the crash. But I had huge sentimental attachment to it and I’d love to still own it.
What’s the worst car you’ve owned and why ?
A Range Rover Sport. It’s not designed for off-road because of the low-profile tyres. What a ridiculous design, for a superior structure and engine. I kept getting punctures; I’d go off-road and I got stuck loads of times.
What’s your most memorable experience in a car ?
When I was a kid we had a Hillman Imp, but then my dad moved jobs in the early Seventies, and he got a redundancy payment, so he decided he’d buy a better car for the family. So he bought a bronze E-type Jaguar. Taking into account he had four kids and a wife! But oh man, what a vehicle. I just remember going round this pit village with dad in this E-type. It had an amazing engine and was a real head-turner.
What was the highlight of filming in Australia ?
Camel mustering. There are more camels in Australia than anywhere else, and there’s this group of helicopter pilots and rally drivers, who are at the top of their game, who shepherd them.
What was your favourite form of transport in Australia ?
The off-road vehicles the camel musterers used. They were designed and made just for that job and they’re just incredible. But I also enjoyed my time in a little minibus, with a postman who travels a round trip of 1,200 miles. Just being alongside him, with his knowledge of the land and the scenery, was incredible.
Robson Green’s Australian Adventure, his latest series, is on Quest on Fridays at 9pm
My first car - Robson Green : 'Dad bought a Jaguar E-type as a family car'
Actor, singer, and extreme fisher Robson Green on why fireworks bring out the 'theatrical beast' in him
I’ve always loved fireworks. I think it is because I was denied them as a child. Dad saw them as weapons or explosives that can hurt you. The truth probably being they were too expensive. But I always come away from fireworks displays feeling better.
My son got me on a firework-making course for my 40th birthday. We learnt about the burning temperatures of minerals and metals, how to put in fuses, and the burn speeds and temperatures. Rice husks coated with gunpowder give fireworks the spread.
I go bonkers on bonfire night. It’s my biggest extravagance. I send leaflets to warn neighbours with pets. The locals just look at the sky and say, ‘Oh, Robson’s gone off on one again.’ A display is science and spectacle coming together. It appeals to the theatrical beast in me. I’ve even done them at friends’ weddings. I don’t come cheap, mind.
My son also got me Buzz Aldrin’s autograph because I’m a space nut. I know exactly where I was on July 20, 1969. We all watched the moon landings on a neighbour’s black-and-white telly. I was five, in my pyjamas, and I will never forget it.
I would love to go into space on Richard Branson’s Spaceship One. I built a replica from scratch and sent it up 1,500 feet. But sadly the parachute didn’t deploy, so it smashed when it landed.
Robson Green on James Norton, the future of Grantchester and his new Australian adventure
The versatile star reveals exclusively to BT TV how he got injured in the Outback for his latest show and admits to having doubts about his presenting abilities.
Until a few years ago, Robson Green was still arguably best known for playing Dave Tucker in 1990s drama Soldier Soldier and for the string of hit singles he enjoyed alongside co-star Jerome Flynn.
Now he’s an adventurer and presenter as well as an actor, and no sooner has the second series of Grantchester finished on ITV that Robson is back on our screens this week in an altogether different setting.
Robson Green’s Australian Adventure sees the 51-year-old taking on a whole range of tough, dangerous and back-breaking jobs across the Outback as he discovers what it takes to survive in this remote and difficult environment.
“I meet some extraordinary people who live a genuinely happy life in a very brutal environment,” says Robson in an exclusive interview with BT TV.
“They live by the law that you don’t own the land, you belong to it. And if you look after it, it’ll look after you.
“It’s quite a wonderful tale. They’re people who have courage and tenacity, knowledge, skill and craftsmanship and by telling that story hopefully the audience will not only learn a lot about an area that they think they know a lot about, but also might learn something about themselves and the life we lead.
“Everything’s available for us – be it a telephone, be it food in a supermarket. We’re connected. But for them those things are difficult to come by. So you have to look and hunt for your food – you have to do the things that we used to do a few hundred years ago.”
Among the jobs that Robson does during the four-part series are opal mining, snake catching and cattle rustling.
“I think the toughest was probably one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever done on TV - camel mustering,” explains Robson, who says that he “craves” adventure.
Hit play below to see Robson tackle one of Australia's deadliest snake !
“I don’t know if you’re aware but Australia has more camels than anywhere else in the world and they export them to the Middle East. So believe it or not, shepherding camels is big business, and they do it with helicopters and jeeps –basically it was camel mustering, Mad Max style. It was dangerous but it was such a highlight.”
Coming face to face with camels wasn’t half as terrifying as his encounter with one of the most deadly animals in Australia. Although when he got up close to a crocodile in the Outback it wasn’t actually the crocodile that caused him injury…
“In Darwin, crocodiles pose a problem to the inhabitants and there have been a lot of fatalities. There were four people taken by crocodiles in one year, and so they had to deal with that problem of enabling this large reptile and human beings to get on.
“We went out and discovered one that had been trapped in a cage, but the cage had a gap in it and this 11-foot crocodile decided to go for my foot when I was standing there. It was never going to get me but it was probably the fastest I’ve ever moved !
“I jumped, but sadly onto a bow and it was so quick I hit my head and bust my forehead. There’s me screaming like a Jessie – ‘What am I going to do ? My career is at an end !’ – but I kind of sobered up very quickly and realised it wasn’t that bad !”
Despite presenting numerous fishing shows, including Ultimate Catch and Extreme Fisherman, Robson is still adamant that he wouldn’t be able to survive if he found himself lost in the wilderness.
“Let’s be honest – I really couldn’t survive anywhere,” he chuckles. “I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in certain areas of the Outback if I hadn’t been alongside the people. That makes you think – maybe I should start learning a bit about that ? How to eat well and live well, you know ?”
It would be easy to think that Robson would regard himself now as both a seasoned actor and presenter, and so it’s a bit of a surprise to hear him say the opposite.
“I don’t think I’m a great presenter,” he admits. “I think I’m a half-decent actor. I think presenting is a huge skill but people offer me work and that’s very, very nice. It’s just storytelling and it’s about listening.
“I haven’t got that skill mastered yet in any shape or form as I don’t listen enough. If there’s a gap I fill the gap rather than just allowing the space to breathe and allowing that person to tell the story. That’s a real skill in itself, but I am learning and I do like presenting. In fact, I love the balance.”
It’s clear that maintaining that balance is crucial for Robson, who reveals that he recently turned down a job on a BBC show in Manchester in order to do more presenting work.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer,” he explains. “I get cabin fever when I do drama. I’ll do, tops, two dramas a year. Especially a series – they’re long. And you spend a lot of time in a caravan. The acting’s free – you get paid for waiting around.”
One role that fans will be more than eager for Robson to reprise is that of Geordie Keating. Alongside James Norton, the pair have made Grantchester one of the must-watch dramas on ITV.
“It has the light and shade and I think that’s why it’s very popular and a hit,” reflects Robson, now that the second series has wrapped up. “It’s well-written and very likeable – and James Norton is amazing to work alongside – one of my favourite actors !
With over seven million people tuning in each week, surely a third series must be on the horizon ?
“I don’t know,” says Robson, earnestly. “It’s a minefield. It’s done well – but who knows? I know how important viewing figures are and they seem very happy with them. But I’m just so happy to be working – honestly I am !”
Soldier Soldier's Robson Green: I live a life of solitude
AS A star of the ITV drama Soldier Soldier, Robson launched a successful singing career alongside Jerome Flynn.
He went on to star in Wire In The Blood and host Extreme Fishing With Robson Green before joining Sky 1’s Strike Back. He’s currently acting alongside James Norton in Grantchester, as well as presenting two travelogues – Tales From Northumberland With Robson Green and Robson Green’s Australian Adventure.
Robson, 51, is single and lives in Northumberland.
What made you want to take on a 5,000-mile trip across Australia for your latest travel show ?
It was a no-brainer, really, getting paid to take on this journey to the outback of Australia – one of the most extraordinarily dramatic landscapes on the planet – to meet people who can not only survive, but thrive, in a very harsh environment. I experienced something honest, true and indigenous, but also learned something about myself along the way.
And what was that ?
To just get off the iPhone and the internet sometimesand connect with what surrounds me that is alive and true. That can really give you peace of mind, contentment of heart and make you happier.
It sounds like heaven…
It was and it suited me down to the ground. I live a life of solitude anyway, on my own in Northumberland, and I am very happy with that. If I meet like-minded people who get that, it is always nice to be alongside them. I am not a city dweller.
I need land and rivers and space where I can walk vast distances and appreciate what surrounds me.
You manage to combine acting and presenting. Do you have a favourite ?
You’ve said it – it’s just keeping that balance. Otherwise, I get cabin fever. I am at that stage, that last third of my life, where I don’t want the cabin fever.
I am doing something that most actors, presenters and professional adventurers dream of. People come up to me and say, “I would love your job,” and they mean it. I’m living the dream.
Other than wanting your job, what do people talk to you about ?
They say, “You’ll not catch any fish in here.” They say it to me pretty much everywhere I go – even on a plane! But it’s very nice.
And where are you off to next ?
I will be going from Orkney and the Hebrides to the Scilly Isles to Burgh Island then to the Isle of Man, meeting amazing people for a series called Tales From The Coast.
Do you have any plans to travel further afield ?
I’m going to the Philippines to tell the story of the man Robinson Crusoe was based on – the true story of Alexander Selkirk. He jumped ship and survived for four years on his own on an uninhabited island.
Robson Green’s Australian Adventure is on Quest from Friday at 9pm.
Robson est mondialement connu pour ses exploits de pêche : "ma thérapie"
Robson et Jerome Flynn ont vendu des millions de disques pendant leur apogée au milieu des années 1990
Robson en tenue avec son équipe de football de l'école
…the shoulders on my dad
He was a miner and that job crafts a certain type of hard, powerful man. His very appearance demanded respect and, boy, did he get it.
He was never physical with my sisters and brother and me, but I was fearful of him and he got into a few fights outside home. When I was nine, a young man tried to rearrange my face with his foot. When my dad saw what had happened, he went over to his house and rearranged the father’s face and stuffed him in the dustbin.
But he had another side to him: he was a national champion ballroom dancer, a real natty dresser and a brilliant singer. He was the warm-up act for a lot of the great acts that came to the north-east clubs. He’d always end with 'Blueberry Hill' and bring the house down.
…the sense of community in Dudley, Northumberland
It was self-policing—if anyone misbehaved, all the other person had to say was, “If you do that again I’ll tell your dad.” Everyone looked out for each other and knew where other people’s kids were.
Northumberland is a beautiful county; I still live there and have never been comfortable in cities. I find all that concrete too grim.
…being told, “you’ll never be an actor, you’re a fool and you’ll always be one.”
So said one of the masters at school, but it was the women teachers who inspired me.
My drama teacher Mrs Wheeler said, “You have the ingredients for being a very fine actor.” I bumped into her a couple of years ago. She gave me a big hug and said, “I’m so happy for you, Robson, you handsome man.”
She was gorgeous, that Mrs Wheeler.
…leaving school at 16 and going to work at the Swan Hunter shipyard
I couldn’t believe how many people worked there - tens of thousands. Three times a week after work I’d go to Backworth Drama Centre. After I’d been at Swan Hunter some four years, Max Roberts, the resident director at Backworth, offered me a lead role in the play The Long Line—a proper, professional job. I’d have to leave the shipyard.
When I told my parents there was utter confusion. My dad said, “What do you mean you’re going to be an actor ? That’s a hobby, not a job.” He was in a panic about how he was going to tell his mates - he had the false perception that being an actor meant I must have liked other fellas…
I said, “The only person who will suffer if I fail is myself,” and off I went. Inside I knew I’d survive.
And I’ll never forget my mum and dad at the opening night of The Long Line. I watched as my dad refused the complimentary tickets and paid for them with his hard-earned money.
…Simon Cowell pestering my mother
When I was in Soldier Soldier, Jerome Flynn and I sang 'Unchained Melody' in a wedding scene. That was in 1993. No one had heard of Simon Cowell back then—certainly not my mother, who kept getting calls from him asking me to ring to talk about recording a single.
This went on for about a year until I said, “If you ring my mother one more time you’ll be talking to my lawyers, not me.” But Simon taught me that money corrupts the best- laid plans.
He offered Jerome and me a life-changing amount and we recorded the song in 1995. It sold some two million copies and was number one for seven weeks. Then we recorded two albums - it was an amazing time.
…thinking I was going to die
We were filming on an 82-foot trawler in the Brooks Peninsula in Canada for Extreme Fishing with Robson Green when the storm we hit turned into a Force 10 hurricane. Now, I’m not a religious man, but for 36 hours I talked to The Almighty and begged him to get us home safely.
I thought I’d never see my son Taylor again.
I was so sick it felt like I’d brought up every organ of my body. It was a living hell; nothing will ever come close to that horrendous experience. Some of the crew who worked on that boat have never stepped back on board.
…catching my first fish
I’ve made a lot of fishing programmes over the last few years and had so much fun doing so. But I’ll never forget the beautiful morning my uncle took me to the River Coquet when I was seven.
We left home at 4.30am and spotted a barn owl, two mating hedgehogs, otters, kingfishers—it was idyllic. My uncle put a little fly on my line, made from hair from a hare’s ear, and taught me to flick it out on the river.
Although I had no rhythm, I got a bite and that all-consuming feeling went through my body—the gasp of surprise, the thrill !
My uncle was so happy and said, “That’s a big fish, Robson! People dream of catching a fish that big.” It was a four-pound brown trout and is—to this day—the best fish I’ve ever caught.
...laughing a lot
I laugh all the time with James Norton when filming Grantchester. We bonded immediately and we’re so relaxed in each other’s company that I think it must be quite annoying for the crew.
Sometimes when I do my lines he looks at me questioningly as if to say, “You’re actually going to commit that to camera?” and that’s it—we’ve got tears running down our faces. James had a great audition.
When they asked him, “What can you bring to the character of this charismatic member of the clergy ?” he replied, “I’ve got a first-class degree in theology from Cambridge.” As for me, "I've got a magnifying glass. And that's it. Sorry !"