Tony Robinson: I see no reason why Time Team can’t return

The presenter and Blackadder star is also working "behind the scenes" on setting up a Time Team dig in memory of archaeologist Mick Aston

Get excited, Time Team fans… Your favourite show may have life in it yet.


Despite being axed in 2012, presenter Tony Robinson has hinted that he’d like to see the series make a return in the future.

“I see no reason why in three or four years or so it shouldn’t come back in another guise in exactly the same way Tomorrow’s World came back,” he told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

His comments followed on from a discussion about a Facebook campaign for a special dig to commemorate the show’s archaeologist Mick Aston, who died suddenly in June this year.

Talking about the likelihood of the dig coming to fruition, Robinson said, “I’m part of it behind the scenes. Who knows? There are always political problems; certainly as far as televising the dig is concerned, I think Channel 4 might be uneasy about bringing Time Team back to life because they might feel that they would be subject to even more flack than they got when they cancelled it in the first place.

“From my point of view, I think it would be a wonderful thing to do. Mick, as most of you will know, left Time Team in a bit of a grump – he left every organisation he ever worked for in a bit of a grump so it’s quite extraordinary he spent 20 years with us before he did. I would love to see one final Time Team conducted in the very best way it possibly could be and let’s hope the Time Team campaign succeeds.”

The actor, arguably best known for his role in Blackadder, also recalled the moment when Channel 4 commissioned a separate production company and presenter to televise the dig for Richard III in a Leicester car park in September 2012.

“It was the time when I realised that Time Team was on its way out. I realised we were no longer the fashion of the week. In all fairness, we were the fashion of two decades so I can’t feel too bad that they moved onto other people and other companies.

He continued, “Everybody assumed that I was going to be involved in it. In a way, to be truthful, I was quite glad that I wasn’t asked to do it because all the way up to the time of the discovery, I would have been saying, ‘I don’t think there is a cat’s chance in hell of it being Richard III’. But what they found would seem, beyond all question as far as current science is concerned, to have been Richard.”


Although, Robinson did expose a glimpse of his own scepticism: “I’m slightly confused about the humpy back he’s got because all my understanding is that that hump was a later gloss created by the Tudors who hated Plantagenets. I’ve seen portraits of Richard looking like this and if you look really closely, you can see that the hump was painted on later. So that puzzles me… Nevertheless, they found him and I didn’t.”