CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: No sweat! Robson’s found a job for Prince Andrew

Robson Green: Walking Coast to Coast

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The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles 

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Call the palace. Robson Green has found just the job for that awkward member of the Royal Family, the one who has been at a bit of a loose end recently.

Prince Andrew can become a beekeeper.

The actor and erstwhile crooner was trekking the length of Hadrian’s Wall in Robson Green: Walking Coast To Coast (C5). As he passed the halfway mark, he rose at dawn to meet a couple who bring their hives to the Cumbrian heather moors, where the sweetest nectar is to be found.

‘In my profession this is what we call Stupid O’Clock,’ grumbled Robson, hiking through the half-light. But he was rewarded by a breakfast treat of honeycomb eaten with a dripping spoon and washed down with sparkling mead. That would set you up for the day.

He wasn’t happy handling bees, though. Even in his protective clobber, he was petrified about being stung. ‘Don’t sweat, the sweat attracts them,’ his guides advised, but that just made Robson clammier still.

Robson Green (pictured) really got into his stride in the final episode of his three-part adventure Robson Green: Walking Coast to Coast. The weather cleared up, and he found several chatty archaeologists to point out surprising sights along Hadrian's Wall

Robson Green (pictured) really got into his stride in the final episode of his three-part adventure Robson Green: Walking Coast to Coast. The weather cleared up, and he found several chatty archaeologists to point out surprising sights along Hadrian's Wall

Robson Green (pictured) really got into his stride in the final episode of his three-part adventure Robson Green: Walking Coast to Coast. The weather cleared up, and he found several chatty archaeologists to point out surprising sights along Hadrian’s Wall

You can see what I’m thinking. Andrew, in the course of a Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis in 2019, assured the nation that he was incapable of perspiring, owing to an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands.

The veracity of his claims cannot be doubted, so he’d be the perfect apiarist. In the gardens of Buckingham Palace, the Prince could tend a couple of dozen hives, and he wouldn’t need gloves. I’m sure we’d all be delighted to see that happen.

Robson won’t want to be his apprentice. He’s not at ease around any sort of animal. An eight-week-old spectacled owl called Pedro who was just learning to fly left him weak at the knees, as it perched on his wrist nibbling a bit of chicken.

But he’s fearless in other ways. Taking a ride in a gyroplane, a microlight aircraft with rotors that appear to be powered by rubber bands, he was swooping over the sensational countryside with his arms stretched out like Kate Winslet in Titanic.

This was the final episode of his three-part adventure, and he really got into his stride. The weather cleared up, and he found several chatty archaeologists to point out surprising sights along the wall.

There are 57 large male appendages carved into the stones — a Roman symbol of good luck to ward off evil spirits, according to the historians . . . though the legionaries might just have had a dirty sense of humour.

Full marks to Robson for taking his own tent with him. Anne Hegerty, Mark Labbett and Shaun Wallace had no intention of camping out, in The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains And Automobiles (ITV). As their driver pulled up at a ‘glamping’ site with a wigwam and a canvas igloo, Mark was straight on the phone to his agent — who advised him to turn the air blue.

The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles (ITV), is a tacky exercise in humiliation humour: the stars endure an hour of mockery, sometimes gentle but with an occasionally nasty edge, as they tackle various intelligence tests and find themselves outsmarted by children and animals. Pictured: Mark Labbett and Anne Hegerty in the show

The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles (ITV), is a tacky exercise in humiliation humour: the stars endure an hour of mockery, sometimes gentle but with an occasionally nasty edge, as they tackle various intelligence tests and find themselves outsmarted by children and animals. Pictured: Mark Labbett and Anne Hegerty in the show

The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles (ITV), is a tacky exercise in humiliation humour: the stars endure an hour of mockery, sometimes gentle but with an occasionally nasty edge, as they tackle various intelligence tests and find themselves outsmarted by children and animals. Pictured: Mark Labbett and Anne Hegerty in the show

The trio started swearing like navvies, and promised to keep it up all night if necessary.

The crew was forced to turn off the cameras and find a hotel. I suspect the producers were genuinely surprised. This show is a tacky exercise in humiliation humour: the stars endure an hour of mockery, sometimes gentle but with an occasionally nasty edge, as they tackle various intelligence tests and find themselves outsmarted by children and animals.

Though barely touched on here, there’s an interesting idea to be explored that high intelligence can be a real social disadvantage.

‘My father’s IQ was 161,’ said Anne, ‘and he was an idiot. He had no life-coping skills at all.’

More thoughtful and revealing reflections like that, and less sniggering, would be welcome.

Link hienalouca.com

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