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Robson Green

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Robson Green
Green on the set of Grantchester in September 2015
Robson Golightly Green

(1964-12-18) 18 December 1964 (age 59)
Hexham, Northumberland, England
Occupation(s)Actor, musician, presenter
Years active1989–present

Robson Golightly Green (born 18 December 1964) is an English actor, singer-songwriter, and television presenter.

His first major TV role was as hospital porter Jimmy Powell in BBC drama series Casualty in 1989. He then went on to portray Fusilier Dave Tucker in the ITV military drama series Soldier Soldier, between 1991 and 1995. Between 2002 and 2008 he played Dr. Tony Hill in the ITV crime drama series Wire in the Blood.

As a TV presenter he has fronted shows such as Extreme Fishing, Extreme Fishing Challenge, and Tales from Northumberland. He currently plays Detective Inspector Geordie Keating on ITV's Grantchester. He was one half of the singing duo Robson & Jerome, along with fellow Soldier Soldier actor Jerome Flynn, who had several No. 1 singles in the 1990s.

Early life[edit]

Robson Golightly Green was born on 18 December 1964 in Dilston Hospital in Hexham, Northumberland, and grew up in Dudley, a small mining village south of Cramlington.[1][2] His father, also named Robson Green, was a miner, and his mother Anne was a cleaner and shopkeeper.[3] He was named in the Northeast tradition of naming the first son after family surnames: Robson was his paternal grandmother's maiden name,[1] while his middle name, Golightly, is the surname of his maternal grandmother, Cissie Golightly, daughter of William Golightly, a miner and well-known trade union leader in the 1920s.[4]

Green attended Dudley Middle Comprehensive School. After being inspired by jets flying overhead, he decided he wanted to join the Royal Air Force, and at the age of 16, he joined the Air Training Corps,[5][6] though he decided against a career in the RAF after two weeks at an officer training camp. He also learned to play the guitar, later forming his first band, Solid State, in 1982. He also spent one night a week at the Backworth Drama Centre, and appeared in a series of productions at both school and Backworth.

Green left school aged 16 with five O-levels, and joined Swan Hunter's shipyard as a draughtsman.[4] On one occasion, he also tried his hand at professional boxing. He attended three boxing training sessions for the play Francie Nichol, in which he played a boxer. After two years at Swan's, Green decided on a career in acting. After auditioning, he began training with Live Theatre under the tutelage of artistic director Max Roberts, his previous director at Backworth. During training he continued his musical career as a member of a successful local band, the Workie Tickets.


Growing up in Tyneside, Green was chosen to be the lead in a film made by Amber Films that narrated the contemporaneous social problems faced by working-class people in Thatcher's Britain.[7] Each episode examined one aspect of living in a harsh and embittered environment. The soap opera gave Green his big break in film. It was quickly followed by offers of work.[8] Green first made his name as an actor in the BBC series Casualty but, after three series, moved to national prominence as fusilier Dave Tucker in the drama series Soldier Soldier.

In 1995, one episode called for Green and co-star Jerome Flynn to sing "Unchained Melody". Subsequently, ITV was inundated by people wanting to buy the song and the pair were persuaded by Simon Cowell to release it as a single – a double A-side with "White Cliffs of Dover". It stayed at No. 1 for seven weeks in the UK Singles Chart, selling more than 1.8 million copies and making it the best-selling single of the year and winning the duo the Music Week Awards in 1996 for best single and best album. Subsequently, they had two further No. 1 singles and two No. 1 albums, all remakes of standards.[9]

The song gave Green the opportunity to sign a long-term deal with ITV to star in several of the network's dramas, including Touching Evil, Grafters and Reckless. In 1996, he set up an independent production company, Coastal Productions, with business partner Sandra Jobling to give youngsters from the North East the opportunities he struggled for. The company has since produced or co-produced most of Green's television work, as well as local productions at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle upon Tyne. In 2002, Green starred as clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill in the crime drama Wire in the Blood.

Green's production company has brought at least four new dramas to the small screen in recent years, including the massive ratings hit Christmas Lights. The success of this one-off drama led to a series being commissioned under the name Northern Lights, which was followed by a sequel called City Lights. Coastal also produces drama series, including Hereafter starring Stephen Tompkinson and Dervla Kirwan.[10]

In 1995, Green won the Smash Hits Poll Winner's Party award for Favourite TV Actor.[11] In 1997, Green starred in the TV film, The Student Prince which is no relation to either the Romberg operetta or the 1954 MGM film.

In July 1998, Green received an honorary degree from the University of Northumbria and, in September 2006, he was voted by the UK general public at No. 35 in a poll of TV's greatest stars.

In 2000, Green starred with James Bolam, Susan Jameson, Kerry Ann Christiansen and Jamie Bell in the ITV drama Close and True. In 2001, he starred in the six-part ITV drama Take Me.

In 2002, Green starred with Caroline Goodall in the TV movie Me and Mrs. Jones. In December 2002, he released his first solo album, Moment in Time, which was composed of cover versions (including the song "Me and Mrs. Jones"). However, unlike his releases with Jerome Flynn, the album was a commercial failure, peaking at No. 49 in the UK.

In 2003, Green starred in the ITV mini-series Unconditional Love and in the BBC television series Trust. In 2005, he starred in two series, Like Father Like Son, and Rocket Man in which he played a widower trying to build a rocket to send his dead wife's ashes into space.

Green presents his own series Extreme Fishing with Robson Green and the spin-off Robson's Extreme Fishing Challenge, where he travels over the world investigating and participating in the sport, coining fishing catchphrases such as "get in" and "we're in". During 2009, while promoting the second series on BBC Breakfast, Green claimed that 90% of all coarse fish caught by anglers die. This rapidly caused an angry response from coarse fishing anglers in the UK who believed this comment to be unsubstantiated and potentially damaging to the sport.[12]

In December 2009, ITV presented the documentary Robson Green's Wild Swimming Adventure, a tour of swimming locales around the UK.

In 2010 Green had a major role in the television film Joe Maddison's War. Directed by Patrick Collerton, it presented a view of World War II through the eyes of shipyard workers and World War I veterans who served in the Home Guard during the Blitz.

In July 2010, Green began filming the seventh series of BBC drama Waterloo Road appearing from May 2011 to July 2011.[13]

In 2011, Green starred in the third series of the BBC Three show Being Human in which he played a werewolf named McNair.[14]

In 2013 and 2015, Green starred in the fourth and fifth series of the war-drama series Strike Back, as Lt Colonel Philippe Locke, a former SAS operative.

In October 2013, Green began presenting Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green on ITV, a factual series about his home county of Northumberland.[15] A second series began airing in February 2015 and a third in February 2016.

Since 2014, he has portrayed Geordie Keating in the ITV drama series Grantchester,[16] starring alongside James Norton and later Tom Brittney. A second series began in March 2016 and a third in April 2017.[17][18]

In March 2016, during an appearance on The One Show, Green confirmed he would present a new series for ITV called Tales from the Coast with Robson Green, which began airing in January 2017. In April 2016, he presented a one-off documentary The Flying Scotsman with Robson Green. He also presented a one-off documentary Robson Crusoe: A Surprising Adventure and a six-part series called Robson Green's Coastal Lives, both for ITV.

In 2020, Green began recording Hadrian's Wall with Robson Green a 3-part documentary following him walking the 80 miles from Wallsend west to Bowness. The series was commissioned by Channel 5 and made by Firecracker Films.[19]

It is being rumoured as of 2022 that Green alongside Mark Benton will be reuniting as Colin and Howie for another series of Northern Lights.


Green is a supporter of higher taxes on the wealthy and protecting the NHS, saying "Anybody who tells me they’re not going to pay tax… we’ve got an NHS system on its knees… I tell you what, my son was in real trouble when he was young and we took him to the hospital, there were four specialists waiting for him. That’s why you pay your taxes. We’ve got a police system who protect us, we’ve got firemen who put out fires. We’ve got defence, man. That’s what tax is for." He then went on to claim "I’m proud to be a 50 per cent tax-payer". He has also been an outspoken critic of Jimmy Carr for using a tax avoidance scheme in 2012. He said of Carr, "Wanker. I mean, just wanker. No, he’s not getting away with it for me".[20]

Personal life[edit]

Green is a life-long Newcastle United fan.

Green was introduced to occupational therapist Alison Ogilvie by his close friend, television director Andrew Gunn. Green and Ogilvie married on 22 June 1991, but separated eight years later. Green met his second wife, former Page 3 model Vanya Seager, while recording "Unchained Melody" at BMG Records in 1995. They later had a son, Taylor Seager-Green (born 2000). In 2001, the couple married at Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire after a family celebration in Mauritius. On 30 October 2011, the couple issued a statement saying that their marriage had "irretrievably broken down" and that they were separating. In April 2016 it was reported that Green was involved in an affair causing the break-down of a marriage between a vicar and his wife.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1988 Shields Stories[22] Derek
1989 A Night on the Tyne[23] Dudley
2002 Me & Mrs Jones Liam Marple


Year Title Role Network
1989–1992 Casualty Jimmy Powell BBC One
1991–1995 Soldier Soldier Fusilier Dave Tucker ITV
1995 The Gambling Man Rory Connor
1997 Reckless Owen Springer
Ain't Misbehavin' Eric Trapp
The Student Prince Barry Grimes BBC One
1997–1999 Touching Evil D.I. Dave Creegan ITV
1998 Reckless: The Sequel Owen Springer
1998–1999 Grafters Joe Purvis
1999 Rhinoceros Michael Flynn
2000 The Last Musketeer Steve McTear
Blind Ambition Richard Thomas
Close and True John Close
2001 Take Me Jack Chambers
2002–2008 Wire in the Blood Dr. Tony Hill
2003 Unconditional Love Pete Gray
Trust Stephen Bradley BBC One
2004 The Afternoon Play Oliver Barrett
City Lights Colin Armstrong ITV
2004–2008 Northern Lights Colin Armstrong
2005 Like Father Like Son Dominic Milne
Beaten Michael BBC
Rocket Man George Stevenson BBC One
2007 Little Devil Will Crowe ITV
2008 Clash of the Santas Colin Armstrong
The Aptly Named Father Feely Fr John Feely
2008–2011 Extreme Fishing with Robson Green Himself Channel 5
2009 Robson Green's Wild Swimming Adventure Himself ITV
2010 Joe Maddison's War Harry Crawford
2011 Being Human McNair BBC Three
Waterloo Road Rob Scotcher BBC One
2012 Mount Pleasant Chris Sky Living
2012–2014 Robson's Extreme Fishing Challenge Himself Channel 5
2013 Robson Green: How The North Was Built Himself ITV
2013–2015 Strike Back Lt. Colonel Philip Locke Sky One
2013–2016 Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green Himself ITV
2014 Robson Green: Extreme Fisherman Himself Quest
2014– Grantchester Geordie Keating ITV
2015 Robson Green's Ultimate Catch Himself Quest
2016 The Flying Scotsman with Robson Green Himself ITV
2017 Robson Crusoe: A Surprising Adventure Himself
Tales from the Coast with Robson Green Himself
Robson Green's Coastal Lives Himself
2018 Age Before Beauty[24] Teddy BBC One
2020 Walking Hadrian's Wall with Robson Green[25] Himself Channel 5
2021 Robson and Jim’s Icelandic Fly Fishing Adventure[26] Himself ITV
Robson Green: Coastal Fishing[27] Himself Channel 5
2023 Robson and Jim’s British Fly Fishing Adventure[28] Himself ITV4
2023– Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes[29] Himself BBC Two
2024 The Amazon with Robson Green[30] Himself Channel 5

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "BBC Drama Faces – Robson Green". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  2. ^ "Robson Green on TV.com". Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  3. ^ McGarrigle, Clyde (26 February 2016). "Robson Green: my family values". The Guardian.
  4. ^ a b "Robson Green: How The North Was Built". ITV.
  5. ^ "Famous Cadets". Air Cadets. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Who Is Robson Green?". RobsonGreen.com.
  7. ^ Shields Stories Archived 5 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Amber Films. 1988.
  8. ^ Award-winning start? There is no explanation on the website why two awards were won in 1987, and therefore before the release date.
  9. ^ "Robson Green live on Breakfast". BBC. 4 December 2002. Retrieved 28 October 2006.
  10. ^ "Profile:Robson Green". uktv.co.uk. Archived from the original on 10 October 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2006.
  11. ^ Smash Hits Poll Winners Party. Hosted by Andi Peters and Dani Behr. 3 December 1995. BBC One.
  12. ^ "Anglers' fury about actor's ignorant comments". Martin James Fishing.
  13. ^ "Green, Benton join 'Waterloo Road'". Digital Spy. 20 July 2010.
  14. ^ Fulton, Rick (20 January 2011). "Robson Green: I stepped out of my comfort zone to play werewolf in Being Human...and loved it". dailyrecord. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Tales from Northumberland – Shiver". Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  16. ^ "ITV drama Grantchester unveils cast". Digital Spy. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Cameras roll for second series of ITV's 'Grantchester'". 15 October 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Grantchester: James Norton and Robson Green film second series of ITV drama in Cambridge (Pictures) | Cambridge News". Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  19. ^ "Walking Hadrian's Wall with Robson Green". robsongreen.co.uk. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Robson Green: Tax avoiders should be ashamed".
  21. ^ "Vicar questions faith after wife's affair with TV's Robson Green". premierchristianity.com. 17 April 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2023.
  22. ^ "Shields Stories (1988)". Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  23. ^ "A Night on the Tyne (1989)". Bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 23 May 2020.[dead link]
  24. ^ "BBC – Casting announced for new BBC One drama Age Before Beauty – Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk.
  25. ^ "Walking Hadrian's Wall with Robson Green". robsongreen.co.uk. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  26. ^ "Robson and Jim's Icelandic Fly Fishing Adventure". robsongreen.co.uk. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  27. ^ "Robson Green: Coastal Fishing". channel5.com. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  28. ^ "Robson Green and Jim Murray on fly fishing in Scotland – and how the hobby got them through dark times". thecourier.co.uk. 3 March 2023. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  29. ^ "Robson Green's Weekend Escapes". bbc.co.uk/mediacentre. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  30. ^ "The Amazon with Robson Green". radiotimes.com. Retrieved 16 May 2024.

External links[edit]