5 Fun Facts to Know About Actor Robson Green
We know and love Robson Green as the sarcastic, yet lovable Geordie Keating in Grantchester, but his passions and talents extend well beyond acting. Learn all about Green’s unique career and intriguing life, like what he’s up to when not filming Grantchester and a family secret he uncovered!
He's Also a Musician
Let’s travel back to 1994 for a minute, shall we? Actors Robson Green and Jerome Flynn (recently known best for his role in Game of Thrones) starred together in the TV series Soldier Soldier. Unbeknownst to them, their lives would be thrown onto a new path when the pair performed the song “Unchained Melody” on the show in 1994. They caught the attention and adoration of not only the show’s fans, but also of music producer Simon Cowell, who pursued Green and Flynn to make a deal.
“Unchained Melody” went on to become the best-selling single of 1995 on the UK chart, beating out classic hits like “Gansta’s Paradise” by Coolio, “Think Twice” by Celine Dion, “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson, and “Wonderwall” by Oasis.
The duo made a name for themselves in the 90s for their two studio albums — the self-titled Robson & Jerome in 1995 and Take Two in 1996.
Though not for any musical reasons, the former co-stars and pals reunited on-screen for an episode of one of Green’s travel series, Tales from the Coast, back in 2017, where they explored Pembrokeshire together, kayaking, cliff jumping, and more. “I spent five fantastic years working alongside Jerome on Soldier Soldier, we were great mates on screen and off, and we even had a few number one hits together,” Green told Metro at the time.
Watch the official video for “Unchained Melody” here:
He's an Accomplished Fisherman
Though Green’s role as Geordie Keating is a favorite for MASTERPIECE Mystery! viewers, it’s certainly not his only television work these days. When he’s not transporting himself back to the 1950s for Grantchester, he can be found in any number of series that he hosts, many of which focus on his great passion for extreme fishing.
The passion began back in 1971, when he was 7 years old and on holiday with his family in the seaside resort town of Torquay in Devon, England. His father took him fishing, and it was the beginning of many trips and a bonding experience with his father. Green’s father sadly passed in 2009, “ironically when I was fishing,” he wrote in The Telegraph in October of 2021. “And although I miss him terribly, when I’m out on the water I am always with him.”
Green hosted his first season of Extreme Fishing with Robson Green in 2008, traveling to locations such as Costa Rica, the United States, South Africa, and more. The series ran for five seasons, but a spin-off series called Robson’s Extreme Fishing Challenge, which premiered in 2012, ran for three seasons through 2014.
“I’ve been lucky enough to make a career out of [fishing], too,” he said. “In my other day job, as an actor, I suspend disbelief and pretend to be other people, but when I’m fishing, it’s one of the few occasions when I can be me.”
“But fishing has never been about the beauty of the place or the size of the fish; it has always been about how I feel,” he continued. “I compare it to being at home. Home is not a house or a garden – it is a feeling, and I have always felt at home on the water.”
He's Constantly Adventuring
His heart may beat for fishing, but his adventures aren’t all focused on the sport. Green has also hosted a number of travel series, exploring coastal counties, his home county of Northumberland in Northern England, and more.
Starting in 2009, he hosted Robson Green’s Wild Swimming Adventure, where he ventured to the Tyne, a river in North East England, and in part two to the famous Scottish Highlands lake, Loch Ness. In 2013, he hosted Robson Green: How the North Was Built, exploring the North of England’s industrial history. Tales from Northumderland with Robson Green began in 2013, with Green exploring his home terrain. Tales from the Coast saw Green venture to locations such as Pembrokeshire in Wales, Essex in the East of England, and more. The series was followed by Robson Green’s Coastal Lives, with a new focus on coastal homes and building projects.
One of Green’s most recent adventures is Walking Hadrian’s Wall with Robson Green, where the actor journeyed from Wallsend in the east of England to the isolated Cumbrian village of Bowness in the west, meeting quirky characters and learning the local lore along the way.
His Father Had a Secret Past
Green grew up knowing his father, also named Robson Green, was a hard-working miner and “the toughest man in the village,” he told The Guardian. Once, as a teenager, Green was punched in the face by a boy from school. His father’s response? “My dad marched round to his house and didn’t touch the lad but he head-butted his dad, stuffed him in a dustbin and put the lid on it. I thought, wow, what a dad!”
Green wondered what it was about the coal mines that his father seemed to love. “Even at a very young age I thought, well, that doesn’t look like a job designed for human beings,” he remembered. But his father did, indeed, love it. “He honestly loved working with his mates every day and the camaraderie they shared. To be a miner you have to be brave, you have to be courageous, you have to be knowledgeable and you have to be strong. My dad had shoulders on him like an ox and biceps like beach balls. Later on in his mining career, he was a deputy, responsible for the safety of 55 men.”
So when Green learned at the age of 26 that his father had another love that he’d never known about, he was surprised, to say the least. Robson’s father had been a national ballroom dancing champion. “He won loads of trophies. I’m not sure why he was so quiet about his achievements. Maybe he thought ballroom dancing wasn’t a manly thing to do. I did see him dance once on my 18th birthday and it was astonishing to watch this big, powerful man glide across the room like Fred Astaire.”
He Knows What Kind of Fish He'd Be
In an interview with MASTERPIECE during Season 5 of Grantchester, Green delved not only into his role in the series, but his life in the wild. When asked what fish each of his Grantchester co-stars would be, he thoughtfully had answers for each of them: Tom Brittney a sailfish (because of his athleticism); Al Weaver a mahi mahi (because he’s colorful and layered); Kacey Ainsworth a golden dorado (because it’s beautiful and really likable, and also happens to be the fish he likes most); and Tessa Peake-Jones/Mrs. C a grouper (because she’s dominant and there’s something hidden in her character).
But when asked about what fish he himself would be? ”I think I’d be like the salmon,” he answered. “I’ve traveled around the world, seen 130+ countries around the world. I’ve been so privileged, but there’s no place like home. Like the salmon—it travels thousands of miles when it migrates, yet it finds its home water and migrates to the very spot, within a square yard, of where it was born. So I’d be the Atlantic salmon. That’s what I’d be because there’s no place like home for me, which is why I live in Northumberland.”