Me and my school photo: Robson Green remembers taking the lead role aged seven and working in a shipyard
22:27 GMT, 4 May 2012
Flashback: Actor, singer and extreme fisherman Robson Green,47, lives in Northumberland
Here I am aged 14 at my comprehensive school in Dudley, Northumberland. I grew up there with my two older sisters and younger brother. I live in Northumberland again now and have my own river to fish.
Fishing has been a passion since I was a kid, although my first ambition was to join the Air Force. But two weeks at an officer training camp in my teens made me realise that if the RAF and I were to survive we had to part.
My father, Robson Hartley Green, was a miner. He had a huge personality and was known as Big Rob. Like his brother, my father had a private education.
His father was a miner and his mother a cleaner and maid, but they saved up so their two boys could have a better life. But Dad, who passed away two years ago, chose to be a miner. He loved the job and the camaraderie.
My mum, Anne, who lives five minutes from me, is the most beautiful, charismatic and intelligent woman I have ever come across. Her philosophy is, ‘There are a lot of wonderful people in the world and you have to try and meet as many of them as you can.’
My first school, Dudley Primary was ruled by fear. To the headmaster, Mr Jones, it was all about the cane. I was a good lad, but there were lads who weren’t and I hung around with them. Twice I was punished with the scallywags for something I didn’t do.
But Mrs Chew, who taught me to write, was lovely, and I can’t forget Mrs Mott, who had a mole on her face with inch-long hairs growing from it. Why ever didn’t she trim it
Robson is separated from his second wife Vanya with whom he has a son, Taylor, 12
I adored my music teacher Mrs Anderson. She taught me to sing and play the guitar. I loved maths and I was good at drama. A highlight at school was taking the lead role, aged seven, in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I felt at ease on stage and was hooked on the cinema and theatre and, as young as ten, would go off to watch Shakespeare on my own.
At 11 I went to Dudley Middle School. It was no less violent. A teacher called Mrs Bates enjoyed strapping us, but there was a great teacher there called Mrs Moffit. She was the first person to tell me, ‘You have what it takes to survive as an actor.’
And my drama teacher, Howard Becket, told me, ‘You were born to perform.’ He was the musical director and I loved him because he instilled confidence in me. He and Mrs Moffit shaped my future at a school set in the middle of five pits. If you looked out the window – that was your future.
At 15 I was in a school production of The Pirates Of Penzance and Max Roberts, who was in charge of the Backworth Drama Centre, came to see it, and asked me to join the state-funded working-class drama school.
I left Dudley Middle at 16 with five O-levels, and as well as my acting classes, I worked in a shipyard for five years. The big break came at 21 in a play called The Long Line by Tom Hadaway. I played the lead and was given my Equity card – earning far less than in the shipyard, but doing something I really loved.
Robson’s Extreme Fishing Challenge, Monday, 9pm, Channel 5.