No fear! Why Robson Green is hanging on to Grantchester

Robson Green
Robson Green

GRANTCHESTER star Robson Green has told of the terror behind his latest documentary series.

Tales From The Coast saw the popular actor and presenter throw himself into a series of challenges.

He was attacked by an angry seal, took a high dive into a watery quarry and climbed 400ft up a sheer rock face.

And the latter, the Devil’s Slide on Lundy Island, was where he faced his greatest fear.

“When I was in the middle of doing it I did think I might have bitten off more than I could chew,” Robson, 52, told iN10.

“I was genuinely frightened. There was no fraudulent presenting – I was really scared.

“I was on a 400ft cliff, staring into the abyss and the only thing that was keeping me from certain broken limbs was the rubber on my soles.

“I had no traction with my hands on that final stretch. It’s something I would never, ever do again.”

As a qualified diver Robson says he loves all-action challenges, whether they be for a documentary or an acting role.

He’s is fine physical shape, something not lost on the many fans who tuned in to the series.

When he stripped to the waist for an impromptu open-air shower under a waterfall, they took to social media to brand him “the hottest man on earth”.

Mention that and I get a swift response.

“Firstly, I have to say I admire the Twitter users’ taste – and secondly I, would suggest they should have gone to Specsavers!”

It’s typical of the affable former Soldier Soldier and Wire In The Blood star who is never less than good company.

Coming from just a stone’s throw from the Scottish border in Northumberland, he’s keen to chat about how any IndyRef2 is likely to turn out.

And he’s delighted that shows such as Tales From The Coast and Tales From Northumberland have prompted a bit of a homegrown tourism boom from those keen to follow in his footsteps.

But he’s back on acting duty as DI Geordie Keating again this week with Grantchester.

This is now the third series of the 1950s-set crime drama about the unlikely crime fighting duo of Geordie and vicar Sydney Chambers, played by James Norton.

Happy Valley, War And Peace and Grantchester have all helped Norton reach heartthrob status. And Robson says on-set ribbing had made it on-screen, too.

“I joke about his 6ft 2in hunky figure and how his looks will fade, and the writer Daisy Coulam picked up on that and made a thing of it,” said Robson.

“Daisy uses the relationship we have. That’s always nice to play.”

The characters have really developed over the previous two series and Robson says that changes are afoot in this new run.

“At the start Geordie is basically destroying all that’s precious in his life, his wife and four children, because his focus is elsewhere.

“He seeks approval from Sydney about the way he is behaving.

“And he tries to seek approval from me about being with a married woman who has a child with someone else.”

Morven Christie, so effective in recent Glasgow-shot thriller The Replacement, is Sydney’s forbidden lover Amanda and Tessa Peake-Jones plays housekeeper Mrs Maguire.

While series such as ITV’s Second World War hotel drama The Halcyon have been axed despite solid viewing figures, Grantchester – which attracted more than six million viewers – has happily survived.

And Robson is more than happy to stay involved as long as the high standards continue.

“I’m very fortunate,” he adds. “I’ve made many mistakes and done some terrible shows in my time.

“The secret is not to be terrible in them.

“But when you get quality like this you have to stick with it.

“If Daisy is at the forefront and you have such a great cast and production team then you’re on a winner.

“You really don’t want to let those things pass.”

Grantchester, ITV, today, 9pm