Roman brickies point up outstanding attributes to show Robson the way
Walking Hadrian's Wall, My 5. By Barbara Goulden.
Robson Green - best known in recent years for Extreme Fishing and in the past for Soldier, Soldier - offers a humorous and informative trek along Hadrian's Wall in the latest celebrity-hosted documentary streaming on My 5. If you want to rediscover what the Romans did for us then simply follow in Robson's 73-mile footsteps as he encounters some surprising landmarks - not least the dozens of wistfully enlarged 2,000 year-old soldiers' "appendages" carved into various sections of the wall, all beneath an X marking the spot. The designated World Heritage Site stretches from what is now Cumbria to Northumberland and naturally attracts thousands of ramblers every year. Of course, the Romans were too busy heaving stones and carving graffiti to bother installing the rustic self-service kiosk half-way along where today you can find tea and coffee and an honesty box to pay for it. Robson and his camera crew enjoy all the refreshment breaks they can get enjoying pints and chats with others along the famous route. Towards Solway Firth the stone gives way to banked up turf walls. But before that the actor comes across what looks suspiciously like an engraved computer "emoji". This is so high on the wall it's only visible to us tv viewers or actual rock climbers wearing helmets and harnesses. Fortunately it turns Robson has done a bit of climbing in the past, as well as a spot of flying in the air cadets in hopes of becoming a pilot. This was all before he: "Ended up putting on make-up and ponced about in front of a camera." (His words, not mine). Naturally, the engaging Geordie can't avoid doing an advert for his local tourist industry by stopping off in Carlisle to learn how to make Cumbrian sausages during an innuendo-loaded spot of slapstick. But he also interviews amateur and professional archaelogists and historians who provide evidence of the Syrian and North African soldiers who once formed part of the mighty Roman legions. And there are also encounters with beekeepers - honey was very important to the Roman diet. There's even a chance to get an overview from a flimsy gyroplane and a meeting with one man with a walking stick that doubles as a flute and another who recently found a jasper stone fashioned into the shape of an Imperial eagle. It seems this jasper intaglio must have dropped out of the ring of a centurion as he supervised the building of the turf section of Britain's best known monument, some 2,000 years earlier.