Tony Robinson breaks silence on why he won’t be in Time Team revival ‘It should feel new’

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Following his Blackadder success, Sir Tony Robinson, 74, began fronting Channel 4’s Time Team in 1994. The series spanned 20 years and included 59 one-off specials. After repeat episodes were shown during lockdown, fans raised funds to put towards making new shows.

Show creator Tim Taylor has since confirmed they will begin work on two new YouTube episodes, with two more in the pipeline, last month.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Tony said he won’t be returning due to other work commitments.

“I talked to them about it, I’m not going to do it mainly because of all my other commitments,” he confirmed.

“I wouldn’t be able to commit myself to do it and anyway, what’s important, is that it should feel new, it should feel different.”

He added: “Given that there’s a number of the old archaeologists doing it, I think it’s a good thing to have younger presenters.”

Tony went on to say having younger presenters could bring in a more diverse audience.

Addressing a particular memory from the show, the actor spilled what Prince Philip said to him when the team did some digging at Buckingham Palace in 2006.

The event, timed to celebrate the Queen’s 80th birthday, happened as part of archaeological investigations in three Royal gardens.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/yHkkhNRXzto

The Blackadder star recalled the moment the royal told him the team would find “b****r all” during their investigation.

On his meeting with Prince Philip and the Queen, he said: “I’ve met them both before, but with the Time Team we actually dug in the garden of Buckingham Palace once.

“I said to the Duke of Edinburgh, ‘What do you think we will find?’ And he said ‘b****r all’ and he was right.”

He added of the Queen: [She was] “brisk and professional”.

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Tim recently discussed the process of making the show again with the help of fans.

He told the Daily Mirror: “We were keeping in touch with fans and getting letters from Australia and all over the place.

“They kept asking us why we weren’t bringing ‘Time Team’ back?

“It costs less than a cup of coffee a week for fans to subscribe at the starter level. We got a fantastic burst of people excited about it and wanting to back us.

“This is the first time a heritage TV show has been brought back by the fans. When they see the programme going out they will be thinking, ‘Crikey, I helped make that’.”

He added he hoped the episodes will bring in a “new generation interested in archaeology”.

During lockdown, Tony, created in collaboration with Checkatrade, wrote a new short mini-documentary, which explores how Roman innovations underpin modern-day trades like tiling, roofing, plumbing, glazing and painting.

The documentary is available to view here.

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