Buxton Festival’s Time Team reunion show is breaking new ground

Sir Tony Robinson will be appearing at the Buxton International Festival this weekend.
Sir Tony Robinson will be appearing at the Buxton International Festival this weekend.

Hollywood archaeologist Indiana Jones has nothing on Channel Four’s Time Team, actor Sir Tony Robinson will say during a special reunion as part of Buxton International Festival.

The host of the show, who is equally well-known as Baldrick in the BBC comedy Blackadder, is making good on a promise he made to return to the town after running out of time to answer questions about the show when he appeared to talk about his life at last year’s festival.

Frances Pryor will be appearing on stage with Tony and John.

Frances Pryor will be appearing on stage with Tony and John.

In the first public re-union of its kind, he will be on the Buxton Opera House stage on Sunday, July 15, 7.30pm, with fellow Time Team mates Frances Pryor, lead archaeologist, and John Gater.

They will be sharing the secrets behind the Channel Four show which had an unheard of success for a factual, specialist programme. It spent two decades as the public face of its subject and became a national institution, propelling archaeology into the public conscious as never before.

Sir Tony said: “The whole thing about Time Team was that it was essentially about process and characters, and us trying to achieve a goal.

“In a sense, seeing us fail was as interesting to the viewers as finding the tips of the pyramids sticking out of the ground in Derbyshire.”

A national treasure in his own right, Tony enthralled the nation when the programme raced against the clock to investigate claims of buried archaeological treasure, from Neolithic mounds to downed Second World War aircraft in fields, under people’s gardens and even beneath the sea.

Tony’s favourite find was a complete Roman floor mosaic which he was given the honour of excavating.

“Everything around each individual finds is as important as the find itself,” said Tony, who says the Hollywood archaeologist Indian Jones usually ends his films by destroying everything surrounding whatever mystical object he was searching for.

“It’s Indiana Jones in the sense that it’s a wonderful discovery, but not in the sense that you smash up everything around you as well.”

• Tickets for Digging Up the Past, priced £17-£21, are available from the opera house.