This Morning- Thursday 14th November 2002
Presenters: Fern Britton (FB) and Phillip Schofield (PS)
Clip 1 :
FB: And now, our next guest first hit our screens as a hospital porter thirteen years ago. Then he won the hearts of women all over the country as a soldier, then he flaunted his bum, had a couple of No. 1's - oh... that sounds actually very rude!!
- - Laughter from presenters, crew and Robson in the wings - -
FB: He's laughing at that one! But now, he is back... you know what I mean... and now he's back on the small screen as a spooky psychologist.
- - Clip from Wire in the Blood - -
FB: Oh, ouch! Here he is - the gorgeous Robson Green! How are you?
RG: I've heard some chat-ups in my time! I'm very well, very well. Newcastle have qualified to the second phase of the Champions League, hooray! What a great game - all's very well.
PS: Good, that's good.
RG: It's Football Fern!
FB: Well - OK, so tell us all about this new... we just saw the clip. It's on tonight.
RG: It's on tonight - it's an adaptation of the crime writer Val McDermid's novel Wire in the Blood and really, essentially deals with human behaviour, and it gives a solution or a notion that if we capture human behaviour, or destructive behaviour at a very early stage, then maybe later on in life we can stop it i.e. if you spot through your socialisation process something that is going wrong in a human being's mind then we can stop it later on in life. So it puts forward something of a solution rather than being reactionary and saying these people are all nutters.
FB: What does wire in the blood mean then? That's a DNA thing or something?
RG: Well it means two things. It's actually 'the wire in the blood', a quote from a T.S. Elliot poem, don't ask me which poem, excuse my ignorance for that, but psychologists use it as a 'kink' in the genetic make-up of a person - a 'wire' in the blood. Something obstructing, something that we perceive as the norm.
FB: So something's not wired up, not quite right?
RG: Yes - something just doesn't make sense. I worked with a wonderful clinical psychologist, Julian Boon, and he said never underestimate the notion when you grandmother says: "I always knew he would grow up to be a bad 'un," and he's actually - 9 times out of 10 - it's quite right, don't disregard that. And scientists didn't capture Fred West, it was actually a cop who had half an idea that something wasn't quite right. And it's also a series that's saying we are blind to these terrible things. I mean Fred West had neighbours...
FB: Yes - close neighbours.
RG: Very close neighbours. There were terrible things going on there, and it didn't take an Oxford Don to work out that digging up the garden at three o'clock in the morning means there's something up. You know what I mean?
PS: It's as you say; in the end it was just a policeman's intuition, it's just someone saying that's just not right...
RG: It's this time in the day and it's a terrible thing to talk about but you know, one of his family were missing and a cop picked up on that. Fred West by definition was subnormal anyway and you will find that one in four serial killers are subnormal.
PS: So how much work, and it's quite obvious you have done a lot of research - you have done a lot of work, and obviously we have read the books which are terrific books.
PS: But what is Tony Hill like? What sort of person is he?
RG: I think he's a loser. I mean really, he's a person who is a loser in relationships with women and the 'norm'. Because if you have all these things working with the people who have done terrible acts of destruction, and destruction is the right word, don't lets use this biblical term 'evil' because in a way you're glorifying what these people do. If you harbour all this information then it's very difficult to articulate that to any normal being, so talking about football, or you know, a 9 - 5 job is very difficult for him, and there's a little sequence with the wonderful Hermione Norris who I team up with, he asks her about her relationship and she says: "Well my fella left me because sex with me wasn't worth a three hour drive," and she says: "What about you?" "Well - sex with me definitely isn't worth a 3 hour drive, maybe a five minute walk - if it's not raining." So in that respect he's unable to articulate himself to others.
FB: So he's a brilliant psychologist who is used to working with murderers once they're caught and charged and imprisoned.
RG: Sure. That's right.
FB: But Hermione, who plays Carol, she's the person who's wanting you in at the very beginning to get into the mind of the murderer before they've even caught him. Is that correct?
RG: Hermione's character, Carol Jordon, a very, very strong character, has a notion that there's a link between all of these murders that are going on in this Northern town. Her police cast don't believe in her and that's why she brings me in on the team and so we have this respect of each other's notions of actually something isn't quite right, and the signatures lead towards serial killing because there is a definition that once a person has killed four times you are then labelled as a serial killer, and I didn't know that until I did the series.
FB: It's four times is it? Good lord, you would have thought twice would have been...
RG: Absolutely, you would have thought there's a rabbit off wouldn't you?
FB: We've got a clip of you and Hermione together, can we play that one first? Have a look at this one.
- - Clip from Wire in the Blood - -
FB: Yes - one of those people who's absolutely brilliant with academic stuff but on a day to day level not that bright.
RG: Sure. Absolutely, but he has an interesting notion about the way people think. If I wanted to know more about you guys and you invited me to your house - downstairs is the world you want to present to everybody. But if I wanted to know more about your mind - invite me into your bedroom. That's what they all say. There you go!
FB: Did he just say that?
PS: He did indeed. You've just got to look at today's paper to see what's going on! (reference to an article in the daily newspaper about Fern)
- - Laughs all around - -
FB: Turn that over, I don't like that there.
PS: So quite obviously for you, and you've said you've got big scenes - they are ten page scenes - quite intense.
RG: Yeah, and really ups the ante for British television. I mean you harp back to the 50's and one of my favourite films is "Inherit the Wind" by Spencer Tracy, not by Spencer Tracy, with Spencer Tracy in it, just the stuff he has to say and the intelligence behind it and in just one take, and we want to bring that intelligence and that philosophy and that high production value to our show, and I think we have achieved that. I have to say I've nearly hit 200 hours of drama and this is the finest six I think to date.
FB: Let's say - it starts tonight at nine o'clock and it's a two-parter and the next episode is Tuesday?
RG: Next Thursday.
FB: And then there are two more stories and both of them have two parts to come after that?
RG: Absolutely - two more parts. It's a block of three two's.
FB: Robson, lovely to meet you.
RG: You too.
PS: Thank you very much indeed. You're going to stop around aren't you?
PS: I don't know if Robson's actually raised your blood pressure this morning, but if he has then we will take it one step further and up the ante and give you the chance to burst a blood vessel. You can email your questions in to Robson and you never know, he may very well answer them. So drop a line right now and Robson will be back a little bit later answering your questions, after the news.
Clip 2 :: Download ::\par - - Phillip & Robson sitting at a table - -
PS: We've got loads of emails as you can imagine. Thank you very much indeed for sending them in. We will start straight away - do you see much of Jerome Flynn these days?
RG: I do, yeah, since we worked together in Soldier Soldier we've been very close ever since. I spoke to him recently and he's busy rehearsing a biopic of Tommy Cooper's life story in the West End, which I think starts January next year. Yeah, I see him a lot.
PS: Now you're not dueting with Jerome, is there anyone else you would like to duet with?
RG: The only duet going on at the minute is me and my wife Vanya. She plays a damn good tune!
PS: You've got this new album out at Christmas.
RG: That's right, this album that comes out on December 2nd was a result of me doing a film called Me & Mrs Jones in which I play a journalist who falls in love with the Prime minister...
- - Robson is served scallops by Fern - -
RG: ...the album was a result of that and it's just a series of old love songs which I like singing, and I was a singer before I was an actor and toured for many years with an acapella group. We did the Phil Spector numbers with a wonderful acapella group called the Workie Tickets and we supported acts like Billy Bragg, Paul Weller, Hank Wangford Band and the Flying Pickets, so it's something I've enjoyed doing and something I'll continue doing, and I do musicals. This is some of my favourite songs on the album and I really enjoyed doing it.
FB: When's it out?
RG: 2nd December.
FB: 2nd December - and it's called?
RG: It's called Moment in Time.
PS: Here - there you go.
- - Philip Schofield hands Fern a copy of Moment in Time - -
RG: That's me...
PS: Corina from Bristol says she thinks you are one on the sexist men on TV, and wondered if you'd ever considered doing a nude calendar for Christmas?
RG: I was offered it!
PS: Were you? Turned it down?
RG: Aye! Nah - the money wasn't right!
- - Laughs all around - -
RG: I'm hitting 40 and all that notion is pure media invention and you know, the six pack doesn't exist anymore. I can't do that chesty stuff anymore - it's all going Phillip. It's sad.
PS: I know what you mean.
FB: The computer does it all for you!
RG: The computer does it all for you? Oh well, I'll get Pirelli back on the phone then!
FB: Yeah, I'm not saying anything but there may be, next week, a naked calendar quite close to the program but I'm not allowed to talk about it.
PS: Good gracious, you'd better not then.
PS: You once said that you didn't research for your roles. How did you find researching for Dr Hill and his profession?
RG: Well, firstly actors pretend and we fake sincerity and if you fake sincerity you've cracked it. I'm not going after a show like Wire in the Blood going "I actually know what a clinical physiologist thinks". It would be wrong of me to do so and incredibly irresponsible as well and I'm not a method actor. I met Julian Boon - wonderful human being and I got certain nuances from him, and characteristics, but as far as taking work home and thinking like a psychologist- forget it.
PS: What about movies? Would you like to go into film?
RG: It is the natural progression. I signed a deal with ITV which was for quite few hours, 32 hours, and was unable to do a Billy Friedkin movie; Billy Friedkin, director of Exorcist and French Connection, because of the contract I had with ITV I was unable to do that. But now that I'm out of that contract I'm doing a wonderful series for BBC called Trust and there's a European movie coming and there's offers from America which is all very nice.
FB: Wow, Robson!
RG: And I think that's the result of doing good work and not the aspiration to go there. I think that's a mistake a lot of people make you know. You think, "right, that's where I want to get to" rather than than going "let's start with a script, let's get really good writing" and there's your audition piece. I think it's best to be invited over rather than go over and see what happens.
FB: Yes, I think you're probably right. What has happened to your lovely Geordie accent? It's not quite as broad as it was.
RG: It's alright! It was broad last night I tell you, when Bellamy stuck the 3rd one in - I woke Taylor up jumping towards the air! It's funny because you know, when I talk to me mum and me dad, and I've got a lovely friend in Northumberland called Gordon Evens, and when we talk like that you know we're all broad and nobody knows what I'm talking about. But you know, if you want to get south of the Tyne and make everyone interested in what you have to say you have to work with it...
FB: Is it a conscious thing or its just happened?
RG: It just happened you know and there's nothing wrong in that.
FB: Mixing with all different groups? No, nothing wrong with it, but a Geordie accent is a good one too.
RG: It's lovely, it's got a lovely note to it and it's one of the hardest to do for any actor actually.
PS: It's also very fashionable now. Hugely fashionable.
RG: Is it? Marvellous!
PS: Thank you.
FB: It was lovely to meet you.
RG: You too.
FB: And his eyes really are as blue as they are on screen, they are incredibly blue.
- - Robson flutters his eyes and smiles - -
FB: Have you got lenses in or anything?
RG: I have not, no. They're from me mam!
FB: Wire in the Blood starts tonight at nine o'clock on ITV1 and concludes next Thursday.
Jonathan Ross Interview
JR: Let's get our final guest out this evening shall we ladies and gentlemen? Here he is - Mr. Robson Green!!
- - Robson walks on to "Fog on the Tyne" and "whey aye pet" - -
Clip 1 :
RG: O - Lord.
JR: That must take you back home does it?
JR: Good Lord - you're a good looking man.
JR: Those piecing eyes. I feel as if they can look right into my very soul.
RG: You need to get out more John.
JR: Yeah. Just look how blue they are! Just look at that...
- - Camera zooms in on Robson's blue eyes while he flutters them - -
JR: And they nearly match! Robson, well it's so nice. Thank you for coming on the show.
RG You're welcome. It's an honour - Nay, privilege!
JR: Where have you been? You've been away ages it seems like.
RG: I've just actually come back from the States. I took a break so I could spend some time with my son. I did the Disney World thing so my wife Vanya could have a rest, and ya know I made the mistake of not realising that Mickey Mouse to a two and a half year old is a 6 foot rat. There's Mickey Mouse - Taylor - ahhhhhhh.
JR: When you were out there, this was a holiday? I know you've been out there before; presumably you've been there for business? For movies? Is that somewhere you're keen to work?
RG: Well I signed what they call a golden handcuffs deal with ITV and that meant I only did ITV work. I went out there last year and was offered a movie by Billy Friedkin, director of French Connection and The Exorcist. Unfortunately, because of the deal I'd done with ITV I wasn't able to do it but...
JR: So how delighted were you with that deal at that stage then? You must have been so thrilled with your relationship with ITV?
RG: Well you know, in the end I think, I'm a lad from Newcastle and when someone offers you a squillion quid - I mean money does corrupt the mind.
JR: Robson, you know that Tom Selleck was the first choice of the guys who made Indiana Jones movies? He couldn't do it 'cause he was signed up to do Magnum PI! Pierce Brosnan was going to be Bond years and years ago - he was tied with Remington Steel.
RG: Yeah, Yeah! Remington Steel.
JR: You could have been ET or something if you hadn't have had that deal.
- - Laughs from audience - -
JR: You know - I was reaching! I didn't have an idea in mind...
RG: The thing is with the Brit thing - you see a lot of Brits out there as baddies and all the movies you're offered - it's all baddie parts and it's not really my bag. Doing horrendous things in a lot of the movies.
Clip 2 :
JR: You'd be the leading men type I think. You've got the following with the ladies and some of the gentlemen as well I'm sure. And the older ladies love you.
RG: Yeah, they do. There was a lady recently who went "Eeeeee - look who it is and I haven't got my teeth in."
JR: That would be a bonus then wouldn't it?
RG: Fillings, fillings! She also said "I've got your CD. I got it free with a chicken in the supermarket." She now uses it to keep her fridge steady!
JR: This is the stuff you used to do with the fella with the big chin - Robson & Jerome.
RG: He's friend, he's a friend.
JR: I have a clip of you singing on Top of the Pops. This was the biggest single that year. Let's have a look - this is Robson & Jerome in action...
- - Clip of Robson & Jerome singing Unchained Melody on Top of the Pops - Christmas 1996. Robson curls up laughing - burying his head in the sofa at one of his singing parts - -
JR: You must have made a lot of money from those songs didn't you?
RG: Well, unapologetically - I don't worry talking about it. Yes - I think in four months we netted 6 million each.
JR: Sweet baby Moses!!!
RG: But I paid 40% tax on that.
JR: Even so man - that's a good Christmas isn't it?
RG: Yes, it is. It made the record company.. the guy in control of it - Simon Cowell...
JR: Simon Cowell? Satan?
RG: Hmmmm, yeah...
JR: You made money for Beelzebub?!!!
- - Laughs from audience - -
Clip 3 :
JR: Have you been watching Pop Idol? What do you think of that show?
RG: I think, and I don't want to sound patronising, the young boys and girls who are really talented but the one thing they don't do is actually surround them with helpful advice, like getting yourself a decent lawyer. When I embarked on the music I had a great lawyer, John Kennedy, and we did a great deal. What people don't realise is you're paying for everything. From the recording fees, the transport and accommodation, but what they feed on is this unlimited abundance of people wanting to be famous, and they sign the dotted line before the penny drops - when they actually realise. I hope they make a lot of money because they deserve to, they are incredibly talented.
JR: We like Gareth in my house best.
RG: Yeah... Why?
JR: We have to.
RG: Do you?
JR: My daughter has his posters all over the walls. If I had my way I would ******* strangle him.
- - Robson waves his hand across is neck - signalling a cut - Laughs from audience - -
JR: Drives me nuts all the time. But I'll say it again. I love Gareth - he's marvellous!
Clip 4 :
JR: Where's Jerome now? What's he doing right now? The last time I saw him on TV he was Badger the Pet Detective, which I kind of liked in a weird way.
RG: He's a friend.
JR: No, no! I like Badger the Pet Detective. I wanted some of those pets investigated.
RG: When I spoke to him last he was rehearsing a biopic of Tommy Cooper's life in the West End, to be seen next year. He'll do it really well and I think he'll play it in a way that you'll care about the character and not just play the cliche.
JR: Did he have to audition or did he get it 'just like that'?
- - Laughs from audience - -
JR: What? That was an innocent mistake, it was a mistake! I apologise.
RG: Bravo, Bravo.
Clip 5 :
JR: Let's talk about the new thing you've got over on ITV and then we'll talk about the new thing you have coming up here on the BBC.
JR: ITV, a new series called Wire in the Blood - is that right?
RG: Yeah it is, it's an adaptation of the wonderful thriller writer Val McDermid. We adapted three of her books and the first series is a six-parter and it deals with human behaviour and I think we put forward, in this notion of entertainment, I think we put forward maybe a solution that if we catch destructive behaviour at an early stage then maybe we can stop the corrosion.
JR: Let's have a look at a clip. This is from Wire in the Blood, it starts on ITV pretty soon I think?
RG: Yes, next Thursday.
- - Clip of Wire in the Blood - -
JR: You look like Cracker who's been on the Slim Fast!
- - Laughs from audience - -
JR: You've got a new show on the BBC next as well, I believe?
RG: A new show created by Simon Block called Trust.
JR: I spoke to the controller of BBC and she said she thinks it's one of the best things you've done - much better than anything on ITV.
- - Laughs from audience - -
JR: She may be biased I don't know - that's not for me to say! But it sounds good.
RG: I took a break deliberately because of the scripts that were being offered, and at this stage of work with Wire and Trust, I've nearly hit 300 hours of drama. And I think it's probably the best I've ever done.
JR: I'm looking forward to seeing it. Will you stick around? I want you to meet our music guest tonight.
RG: Yeah! Can't wait.
JR: But for now, ladies and gentlemen - Mr. Robson Green.
- - Applause from audience - -