Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes on BBC2 is a love letter from Grantchester star Robson to England's North East where he was born and bred. Even with a 30-year TV career under his belt, Robson Green has never forgotten his roots, which is why he’s delighted to be showcasing his beloved home turf.
The 15-episode series, to be shown on weekdays on BBC2, sees Robson joined on a series of two-day breaks by some of his celebrity friends, such as Shakespeare & Hathaway actor Mark Benton, Steph McGovern and his Grantchester co-star Tom Brittney, Hairy Bikers star Si King as well as England Lioness footballing legend Jill Scott and many others.
There’s a focus on mental well-being too, as Robson escapes all the usual day-to-day stresses by embracing the great outdoors with some cold water swimming, paddleboarding and fishing.
"The series is a love letter to the North East. It's a love letter to people I've grown up with," says Robson. "All of the guests are family members, good friends of mine, or people from the North East, who are passionate about the area like me!"
Here's everything you need to know about Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes on BBC2...
Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes release date
Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes is a 15-episode series running weekdays over three weeks on BBC2 starting from Monday, January 23, 2023 at 6.30 pm.
The series will also be available as a box set on BBCiPlayer from that date.
Is there a trailer for Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes?
Yes there's a trailer released by the BBC which shows the fun trips out Robson has been making this series. Do take a look below....
The BBC hasn't yet released a trailer for Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes but if one arrives we'll post it right here.
Interview: Robson Green on locations visited, celebrity travellers and what he gets up to
Why did you particularly want to make Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes?
Robson says: "Well, it’s called Weekend Escapes but it’s actually about getting away from your mobile phone and the anxiety of the news and looking after your mental well-being, which is really important at the moment. As we show in the series, sometimes just going for a walk, immersing yourself in nature, getting up in the morning to see the sunrise or going for a cold water swim is really good for you. All the people we had on the show said they hadn’t looked at their phones for nearly two days, which was so nice to hear!"
You have some great guests. What lovely things do you get up to with them?
"I do an episode with Mark Benton and one with Tom Brittney, who are two lovely actors and dear friends of mine. I think the only person in the series who didn't really have a tie to the North East was Tom, even though I’ve brought him up here to go fishing quite a few times! So Mark showed me around Teesside and took me to places like Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Staithes, which were just so beautiful and peaceful. Then with Steph McGovern I went to Druridge Bay, and I took Jill Scott paddleboarding and to Helmsley Walled Garden in North Yorkshire. Obviously, we talk about the Euros, but we also talk about gardening as therapy because I love gardening. It’s about nurturing life, which is very good for the soul!"
What was your personal highlight?
"Growing up in a culture where your beacon of hope was football, being alongside Jill Scott and [ex Newcastle United player] Les Ferdinand was just an absolute highlight for me. I’d not met either of them before and I just became a jibbering idiot, I was so nervous! It’s funny with footballers because they’re like gods and with Les Ferdinand we had to have security because he was absolutely mobbed! But it was lovely to get beyond that and just talk to them both about where they grew up, their careers and how they got to where they are. They’ve both had such an impact on my life and my family’s lives!"
Was there an activity you enjoyed most?
"Well, the person who first really got me into the outdoors and into fishing was my father's brother, my uncle Matheson. So me, Matheson and my brother David did Go Ape in one episode. We’re in this forest walking across rope bridges, climbing trees and going along zip wires and it felt like reclaiming my childhood. It was amazing! It was also a reminder of how much I love my brother and my uncle and being in their company. At the end of that episode, we also go fishing as the sun sets. It’s just idyllic!"
In the series, you talk about how your dad coped with life’s pressures by cold water swimming. Is that something you like to do, too?
"Yeah I’ve always done it and Mark [Benton] and I have a go in the series. It’s that real sense of doing something joyous and magical but life-affirming as well. My dad worked down the mines and the one thing he did to escape was swim in the sea – bare-chested, bare-legged and in trunks! I think it was incredibly liberating for him. It’s funny because swimming was really popular when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s but people have latched onto it again recently as something that’s really good for your mental health."
Is there any famous person you’d like to join you on a weekend away in the future?
"Obviously, there were a couple of people who couldn’t make it to this series. Brian Johnson, lead singer of AC/DC, was really up for it but the timings didn't work out. We were also trying to get Alan Shearer on the show and hopefully he’ll come on board if we get to do a second series!"
Talking of fun, would you like to do more travelogues or fishing shows?
"I’ve actually just come back from a beautiful island off the Philippines and I was also in the Seychelles where I was venturing about looking at some locations for my fishing shows. I’ve also just had an email asking whether I’d like to do a fishing show in Melbourne for 10 days, which is just incredible. I feel so lucky to survive in this incredible industry and make shows like this. Long may it continue!"
Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes episode guide
Here's our brief episode guide to Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes which we'll be updating as the BBC2 series progresses, so do check back...
Episode 1: Monday, January 23
Robson meets former Newcastle United, QPR and England football star Les Ferdinand as the pair paddleboard in the North Sea.
Episode 2: Monday, January 24
Robson shows actor and friend Mark Benton around Mark’s home patch of Teesside, with lots of surprises along the way.
Episode 3: Monday, January 25
Heading to North Yorkshire, Robson meets Euro-winning Lioness and Queen of the Jungle, Jill Scott as the pair go fishing.
Episode 4: Monday, January 26
Robson meets up with comedian Lost Voice Guy (Lee Ridley) as they spend time in the lovely countryside of Weardale.
Episode 5: Friday, January 27
Robson’s uncle Matheson and nephew Daymon join him as he heads to Rothbury in Northumberland for a family weekend escape.
Episode 6: Monday, January 30
Robson heading once again for the roads less travelled to meet a real-life Dragon in the form of Dragon's Den star Sara Davies.have a walk around the cobbled streets of Barnard Castle, before heading to the Raby estate.
Episode 7: Tuesday, January 31
Robson and fellow actor Tom Brittney star alongside each other in the ITV drama, Grantchester. Tom rarely gets to head North and Robson invited him for a weekend away in and around the cathedral city of Durham.
Episode 8: Tuesday, February 1
It's time for a trip to Northumberland with presenter Steph McGovern as they head for the coastline once more to one of his favourite beaches in Britain — Druridge Bay! Steph hurtles along this outstanding stretch of coastline in a buggy that is pulled by a giant kite! Harnessing the power of nature, kite buggying is the perfect way to take in the beautiful surroundings while giving your sense of satisfaction in life a much-needed boost!
Episode 9: Thursday February 2
Robson is joined by fellow North East actor and Bread star Melanie Hill for a weekend escape to The Durham Dales - Weardale and Teesdale. The pair head to the mightiest waterfall in the UK - Teesdale's High Force, and take in the incredible natural sight right on their doorstep.
Episode 10: Friday February 3
Please check back for information
Episode 11: Monday February 6
Robson, his brother David and uncle Matheson continue the quest to find ways of relaxing in the great outdoors by attempting landscape painting and fishing.
Episode 12: Tuesday February 7
Podcaster Rosie Ramsey and Robson attempt to build a shelter during a bush craft lesson. Robson meets the Heavy Horses whose company can reduce anxiety.
Episode 13: Wednesday February 8
On the East Durham Coastline, former Emmerdale actor Charlie Hardwick joins Robson to try beach art and outdoor singing as a means of relaxation. Robson also tries forest bathing.
Episode 14: Thursday February 9
Robson is joined by crime author LJ Ross as they explore the history of Northumberland’s Holy Island. Robson is then joined by his partner and takes to the skies in a microlight.
Episode 15: Friday February 10
Robson and Hairy Biker Si King try a beachfront drumming circle after spending time in the company of ancient wild cattle in Chillingham. Robson also tries cold water swimming.
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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.
- Hannah DaviesWriter
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