'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing' — the Grantchester star reveals all that happens in his new series

A crawfish catch in 'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing'.
A crawfish catch in 'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing'. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Robson Green goes in search of the biggest, wildest and weirdest fish in British waters for his new Channel 5 series Robson Green: Coastal Fishing.

"The locations aren’t as exotic as say The Maldives or Madagascar but, you know, there really is no place like home and the 19,000 miles we have is just as beautiful as some of these other places I’ve been to,' explains Robson. "And I’ve been fortunate enough to visit over 130 countries. The adrenaline injection you get from big game fishing isn’t in this series, which is deliberate. It’s more about understanding and trying to explain that the ocean is something we need to look after, celebrate and remind ourselves how important it is to keep it sustainable."

Here, Robson guides us through everything we need to know about his new Channel 5 series Robson Green: Coastal Fishing...

'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing' air date

Robson Green: Coastal Fishing begins on Channel 5 on Saturday Oct. 16 at 7.05pm. Episodes from the series will then arrive on the streaming service My5. A trailer for the show hasn't been released by Channel 5. If one does arrive we will post it here. We will also update if the series is released internationally.

Ready for a catch in 'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing'.

All aboard and ready for a catch in 'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing'. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Robson Green on the people he meets while fishing...

Robson Green says: "This series will reminds us all how beautiful the oceans are around the country and how beautiful the creatures that live in those oceans actually are. Plus I got to meet the people who persevere day and night, against all the odds to bring food to our plates.

"I met this lovely guy called Lee in Pembrokeshire who’s a very passionate maker of fish and chips, our national staple. Once a year he serves thousands of free portions of beautiful, freshly caught fish and freshly cooked chips to workers in the NHS. People were queuing round the corner for them and everyone was smiling. It was such a life-affirming thing to do. Honestly, I’ve never tasted anything so sensational in my life. I ate five portions while we filmed that sequence."

Robson Green on his series highlights...

Robson says: "I loved catching giant skate in the Hebrides. They were monsters -bigger than the boat we were on. And in Northumberland I went to the Farne islands with an old friend of mine and we saw seals and dolphins. I think part of this journey was about reclaiming my childhood. I also loved hearing about the extraordinary lives of these men and women who go out to sea against all the elements. Also I got to eat everything we caught, sometimes only two hours later, and cooked by Michelin star chefs.  When I’m tasting this food, set against the most idyllic backdrops in the country, it’s very difficult to be unhappy."

Robson has enjoyed fishing since he was seven.

Robson (centre) has enjoyed fishing since he was seven and the passion has never left. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Robson on his love of fishing...

"At seven I caught my first fish, a mackerel, and it was an experience I never wanted to end," says Robson. "I was with mum and dad, my two sisters and my brother and it was one of those rare times all the family was together and where money problems and work weren’t the main topics of conversation. My father bought me a little rod but we couldn’t afford lures so he tied the silver paper from his cigarette paper around the end of the rod to look like bait. I caught a mackerel and we took it back to the caravan park and ate it and I just remember feeling genuinely happy. 

"I think I love it  because what I’ve done for a career for over 35 years is about suspending disbelief and pretending to be other people, so when I’m in the ocean I feel at home. I get a sense of self. Fishing is my therapy. It always has been and always will be. It got me through the worst times in my life and I still find it as wondrous and joyous today as I did when I was that seven-year-old kid."

'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing' — Robson on what happens in episode one

In episode one of Robson Green: Coastal Fishing, Robson heads to the south west coast where, in the sea near Weymouth, Dorset, he fishes for 200lb conger eels, which can grow up to 7ft long! 

‘I’d heard stories of how big they are and thought it was all Moby Dick nonsense but seeing is believing,’ says Robson.  ‘I was shocked at the size of them. They are like living dinosaurs and are extraordinary to behold.’

Then it’s off to Penzance where Robson is taught the skill of sea-fishing  on a pedal-drive kayak before travelling to Brixham. There he tries his hand at filleting plaice and also learns how to make the Devonshire delicacy, skipper’s roll.  ‘The best thing was I got to eat everything we caught, sometimes only two hours later and cooked by Michelin star chefs,’ says Robson. ‘It’s the dream. When I’m tasting this food, set against the most idyllic backdrops in the country, it’s very difficult to be unhappy.’

Robson then fishes for crawfish, which have made a comeback after disappearing from our shores for over 40 years, before getting involved in an inter-estuary race between pilot gig boats in Padstow. 

‘We used to have holidays on the south coast and a big part of this journey was reclaiming my childhood. The smell of fish and chips just brings that back,’ says Robson. ‘This series reminds us how beautiful the oceans are around the country and how beautiful the creatures in those oceans actually are. Plus we meet the people who persevere day and night, against the odds, to bring food to our plates.’ 

What happens in episode 3 of 'Robson Green: Coastal Fishing'...

In the third episode, Robson travels around the Welsh Pembrokeshire coast where he goes in search of a special and highly sort-after species, the sea bass. 

In Saundersfoot Harbour, Robson meets sustainable fisherman Berwyn, who is lucky enough to own one of the very rare sea bass fishing licences. Trawling for sea bass is illegal in Wales, so commercial fishing is done by traditional rod and line. With a half a ton of back orders on his books, will Berwyn find Robson on board a help or a hindrance?! 

Back on dry land, it’s time to see how the bass goes from port to plate in a matter of hours as Berwyn hand-delivers his catch to chef Dougie. He is a massive fan of Berwyn’s bass, claiming its quality is unrivalled, which, in turn, has a huge impact on his own dishes. Dougie shows Robson the beautifully simplistic way to cook sea bass — char-grilling on the BBQ with a little lemon and garlic butter. 

Robson then travels to Carmarthen to find out about a fishing tradition that dates back over 2,000 years — coracle fishing. Using keel-less boats constructed from a basketwork wooden frame, the Welsh sewin (sea trout) is the prize sought by the fishermen. Malcolm, an eighth-generation coracle man, believes the coracles were in his family long before archives began. The sewin can only be caught in the dark of night and after seven stars appear in the sky. 

On his final jaunt around west Wales, Robson gets on board Penaluna’s fish and chip shop’s mobile catering van as he celebrates National Fish and Chip Day by giving out free portions of the iconic British dish to the hard-working doctors and nurses of the NHS. 

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Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.