The Unofficial website for Tony Robinson

Past Events
Tony appears at many events, such as Book Signings, Book Festivals and Archaeological Events. Here are a few photos from some of these: click on an image to see a bigger version.

Salisbury Arts Centre: Meet the Time Team: Sunday, 23rd July, 2000

Cheltenham Festival of Literature:14th October 2002 Lecture and Book signing with Mick Aston.

Waterstones Bookshop, Bristol: July 26, 2003: Book signing for In Search of British Heroes.

Castle Park Festival, Leicester: 25th August, 2003: Jewry Wall Museum YAC Event and evening talk in Leicester Cathedral

Silver Anniversary Lecture in association with the University of Essex: Colchester: Monday 4th April, 2005

40 years of Essex Uni, 25 years of the annual Colchester Lecture, and 10 years of Time Team…. Well, 12 years of Time team, actually, as Tony said, but what’s 2 years amongst friends.

Tony Robinson had been booked to deliver the Silver Jubilee lecture before the latest excavation at Colchester Barracks revealed the site of the Colchester Circus, but the press releases came out at the same time, so the lecture sold out immediately. The lecture theatre was packed to the roof – mayoral chains, expensively suited sponsors and immaculately turned out wives, 3 (at least) parties of sixth formers, little kids, big kids, old kids, posh people, ordinary people and dirty diggers. Behind me, some of the posh people were talking wistfully of the very best speaker they had had in the previous 24 years, who turned out to be “Farmer” Jim Prior (yes, you do know who he is, honest you do… red face, Tory ex-minister chappie), a slightly odd choice given that another speaker had been Nelson Mandela, but there you are. Did they know Our Tony’s politics?

It took about 30 seconds for Tony to have the audience in the palm of his hand – maybe 40 seconds for the lot behind me to thaw out. He bounced, danced and acted his way through his life story. He was his dad, was the snotty flying ace, was virtually the whole cast of “Oliver”, was the kid who bunked off school, and puked on his first ciggy. We shared his nightmares about work and revelled in his delight at realising he could write without the gentle support of Richard Curtis. On through Maid Marian, Blackadder and Worst Jobs. And of course there was how he came to archaeology and to Time Team.

Tony’s passion for lifelong learning is tangible. He is a natural, enthusiastic educator. He had a particular rapport with the students (of all ages), but there were subtexts that would have struck a chord with many there. I suspect few came away from that evening without wanting to find out more about something. Especially powerful was his image of how work is a perceived huge brick wall of a barrier, but is really a gateway to realising your ambitions.

A thread throughout the evening was the importance of the working man – be it his dad servicing Spitfires or the squire’s groom cleaning out the inside of his master’s armour after Agincourt. Archaeology is important to him, and us, not only in what it tells us about ordinary people and their lives, but also in what it tells us about the environment in which they lived, and thus the lessons we can learn about our own futures.

It was a great evening on a number of levels….

it was a master class in how to communicate and engage an audience, including how to use Qs/As to reinforce what you want to say;
it was an insight into his life and passionately held beliefs;
it was openly didactic about the importance of working folk, about lifelong learning, and about the importance of the environment;

and it was rollicking good fun!

PS Go and see him for yourself – I’ve left out lots and lots for you to hear for yourself! Wouldn’t want to spoil your evening.

PPS If you want to know the line in Blackadder 3 that Rowan Atkinson refused to say, definitely go and see him – and ask!!

Review courtesy of Forum Friend 'Nish'
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