Robson Green shares his love of Northumberland in new television show

Idyllic, jaw-dropping and a beautiful gem of Great Britain – this is how Robson Green describes his native Northumberland.

And the Wire In The Blood star can certainly qualify such over-whelming praise.

Robson Green at Alnwick Playhouse.

Robson Green at Alnwick Playhouse.

Not only is it the county of his birth, but the actor has recently spent his time getting up close and personal with The Secret Kingdom.

His intimate, eye-opening portrayal is captured in an eight-part series, Tales from Northumberland.

Launching on Monday, the half-hour, weekly programmes on ITV capture the beating heart of the county, as Green discovers its amazing secrets, rich history and passionate people.

“You remind yourself just how beautiful and unique this part of the world is,” said Green, 48, before a preview screening of the show at Alnwick Playhouse three days ago.

Robson Green visits Bamburgh Castle

Robson Green visits Bamburgh Castle

“Not only is the landscape breathtaking and the monuments and castles remind us of our turbulent past, but the people of this area have a definite sense of self, belonging, home and most importantly, identity, and that is as strong as ever.

“During the project, we asked people what Northumberland meant to them. A lot of people were saying the landscape, its sense of peace and the space.”

Over the course of the series, Green travels the length and breadth of the county by land, sea and air to come across things he’s never seen before and discover a side of Northumberland that he never knew.

He immerses himself in many of the unique experiences the area has to offer, from spending the night in a bothy at Haughton Green – one of the most remote spots in Britain – to stargazing at Kielder, which has the darkest skies in England.

Robson Green visits the county of his birth place Northumberland

Robson Green visits the county of his birth place Northumberland

It also gives him the chance to encounter all walks of county life, from a lord and lady to a shepherdess.

On top of this, Green explores the rich and deep history of a county which has its own flag, tartan and dialect and has been occupied by Romans, invaded by Vikings, played a key role in the founding of English Christianity and has been the setting for many bloody battles between the English and the Scots.

“It was a county that I thought I knew well until I did this series,” he admits.

“It is the great history lesson.

“Take the Romans. I didn’t know that the Romans brought zebras and ostriches to Northumberland. They brought colour and flair to this area.

“But it is not just a story of the county, but a story of Great Britain, and sometimes further afield – such is Northumberland’s influence and history.

“The Battle of Flodden for example, which was one of the most dramatic battles, happened right here, and it changed the course of British history.

“Then you have the spiritual vibe of Holy Island or the amazing wildlife at Kielder or on the Farne Islands.

“Everything that makes Britain great can be found here in Northumberland.”

The series also shows just how diverse the county is.

“One minute I am swimming with grey seals off the Northumberland coast, and the next I am in an observatory at Kielder.

“It is one of the most extraordinary pieces of television and it celebrates all that is idyllic, beautiful and jaw-dropping about the area.”

The first episode sees Green return to Seahouses where he has many cherished childhood holiday memories, and gets back to nature on the Farne Islands.

He meets William Shiel, whose family have run boat trips out to the island for nearly 100 years, and spends a night with the rangers, including head ranger David Steel.

Green experiences the wildlife first-hand, encountering thousands of angry Arctic terns and enduring a sleepless night thanks to the cacophony of birds.

He also gets to hold the Farne’s most famous resident – the puffin.

“It is just unbelievable,” he says about this important wildlife habitat. “You’ve got puffins, you’ve got guillemots, cormorants – it is just wonderful.”

David Steel said that he will remember the experience for a long time and believes the show will be popular.

“I think it will be a hit,” he said.

“Robson was great, such a good professional, and made us feel very relaxed and we had a laugh.”

He admits that Green did very well in dealing with the Farne’s experience.

“It is basic living out here and I am sure he is used to a decent standard of hotel,” he said.

“It is quite rough and ready and the building he stayed in doesn’t have anything. it doesn’t have a toilet, electricity, no running water, and he was surrounded by thousands of seabirds which kept him up during the night and I think he was knackered the next day.”

The Unchained Melody singer was even attacked by some of the Arctic terns.

“I think he was a hit shocked,” recalled David.

“He had heard about the terns and that they would peck him, but I don’t think he knew how bad it would be. One even drew blood on his hand. They gave him a good whacking.”

One thing which is evident throughout the shows is Green’s passion for not only the series, but Northumberland itself; a county in which he has recently returned to live.

“It is a project that I am incredibly proud of and I am still very proud to call Northumberland home,” he said.

“I use the analogy of the salmon. They migrate, but then some of them return to their birthplace.”

Episode one airs on Monday, from 8pm.

For more information, visit Facebook and search for Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green or follow @talesfromnorth on Twitter.