Robson Green breaks silence on battle with drink and drugs: ‘Was in a very dark place’

Robson Green reflects on the fishing he’s done

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Robson Green, 56, has spoken out for the very first time about his battle with drink and drugs at the height of his career. The actor, who rose to fame in the 1990s ITV drama Soldier Soldier, revealed he ended up in a “very dark place” and went into therapy after an intervention by his dad, also named Robson.

I’m a normal actor who’s survived

Robson Green

In a new interview, he admitted finding his childhood passion for fishing once again also helped save him along the way.

“I don’t like being classed as a celebrity,” he said candidly.

“I’m a normal actor who’s survived.”

At 26 years old, the TV star was catapulted into the spotlight, as 21 million viewers tuned in to watch him portray Fusilier Dave Tucker in the hit military program.

“I was enjoying fame,” he smiled.

“I was enjoying recognition, I was enjoying all the approval. I was enjoying the awards, I was enjoying the parties, I was enjoying the drinking and everything else that went with fame.

“But, and I wish this was a more original story, my relationships were a car crash and I was losing touch with what mattered in life.”

Robson grew up in Dudley, a small mining village south of Cramlington, Northumberland, where his dad “worked down the pit”.

“I started having real problems with fame and alcohol and drugs,” he admitted.

“Dad turned up, he’d worked hard all his life and he looks at his son who he has given everything to, blood, sweat and tears, and he goes ‘Are you happy?’, and I went ‘Yeah,’ but deep down I knew I wasn’t and I realised I didn’t have anything. Because all I was doing in my life was acting.”

The sudden realisation came as a huge shock to him, as he knew he needed help.

“I was a people pleaser, always desperate for recognition, reassurance and I needed help,” Robson confessed.

“So I went to see a therapist. He said to me, ‘So tell me who Robson Green is’. I said ‘I am this guy who acts’. He said, ‘No, that’s your career. Who are you?’ I didn’t have a clue.”

After looking back at his life, the therapist suggested he engage with an old hobby – fishing.

“Getting back into fishing was a turning point for me,” Robson explained to The Mirror.

“It has been and still is my road to Damascus. If I had the chance to go to that therapist again, I would say go fishing with me and you will see that’s who Robson Green is.

“I needed something in life that made sense and, for me, fishing makes sense. I’ve learnt so much from fishing and found an inner peace that was missing.”

And it’s done wonders for his career too, as he now fronts Robson and Jim’s Icelandic Fishing Adventure on Monday on ITV, alongside pal and fellow actor, James Murray [known as Jim].

Jim also used the sport as a coping mechanism to save him from his own demons, following the tragic loss of his eight-month-old baby Ella-Jayne in 2009, whom he shared with Cutting It actress, Sarah Parish.

Jim said of the hobby: “Fishing dug me out of a deep, dark hole and has been an integral part of my life ever since.”

Robson and Jim’s Icelandic Fishing Adventure is on ITV on Monday at 10.45pm.

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