Actor Robson Green will front two brand new factual series which draw on his northern roots for ITV.
Robson returns to his home turf in Robson Green’s Northumberland [WT], which sees him guide viewers through a unique part of Britain close to his heart.
And in Robson Green: How the North Was Built [WT] he tells the story of how industry profoundly shaped the country from his home county in the east across to Lancashire in the west.
Shiver has been commissioned by ITV to produce 8 x 30 mins primetime series Robson Green’s Northumberland, while Silver River produce 2 x 60 mins Robson Green: How the North Was Built.
Both series were commissioned by ITV’s Factual commissioning team.
Robson Green’s Northumberland will reveal why the county of his birth, to which he has recently returned to live still remains for him a magical and mysterious ancient kingdom. He immerses himself in many of the unique experiences it has to offer, camping wild in the most remote spot in Britain, stargazing into the darkest skies in England and exploring the rich and deep history of a county which has its own flag, tartan and language along with iconic locations such as Holy Island and Hadrian’s Wall, which are key to the nation’s ancestral roots.
Northumberland also boasts more castles than any other county as well as vast expanses of unspoilt, rugged countryside, allowing Robson to encounter all walks of county life from a duchess to a shepherdess.
In How the North Was Built, Robson tells the incredible story of how industry has shaped both a place and its people as, in the wake of the industrial revolution the North became the workshop of the world.
The story of how the North was built is intimately connected with Robson’s own family history. His father was a fourth generation miner in the pits of Dudley which towered over the houses where he was brought up.
This series looks at how the rugged northern landscape, along with the climate and the hard working people of the North, contributed to the industrial revolution which changed the face of the world. He explores the impact of the major heavy industries of coal mining, cotton, steel and ship-building as well as focusing on life away from work; how a new culture evolved around industrial life, from working men's clubs, pubs, and holidays to music and sport, education and politics.
Jo Clinton-Davis, ITV Controller of Factual, said: “Both projects offer an enriching approach to Britain’s Northern heritage and Robson Green’s passion for and authentic experience of both subjects makes him the perfect person to mine this rich seam of our history, culture and landscape.”
Shiver’s commission follows the move earlier in spring bringing ITV Studios’ factual slate under the Shiver label, following the consolidation of ITV Studios factual content led by Shiver Director, Alexander Gardiner.
Mark Robinson, Creative Director of Shiver, said: “We have previously brought to ITV viewers the beautiful lakes of Cumbria and the green fields of the Yorkshire Dales but this is a very different part of Britain with almost mystical coastlines and castles dotting the landscape.”
Emma Hindley, Executive Producer at Silver River, said: “Robson’s first foray into social history for ITV is anchored by his own passionate and personal connection to the history and culture of the industrial North as well as to the stories of the incredible people who worked in it.”
Executive producers for Robson Green: How the North Was Built are Dan Goldsack and Emma Hindley. Producer / Director is Francis Hanly.