The World According To... Tony Robinson

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The Independent Culture
The actor Tony Robinson is best known for playing Baldrick in Blackadder, and now presents Channel 4's Time Team. His latest series (and book) is The Worst Jobs in History on the same channel. He lives with his partner, Heli, and divides his time between Bristol and London

What is the hardest lesson you've learnt?

Even when I'm absolutely sure I am, I'm not always right. But on the other hand, the same goes for other people too.

Tell us a secret about Rowan Atkinson...

He's got an enormous willy. I refuse to comment any more on this question.

What's so exciting about digging holes in the ground?

It's not the digging holes that's exciting, that can be quite tedious. What's exciting is what you find at the bottom of them. History can be riveting, but it's often hard to find the tangible mark of real people. Archaeology allows us to do that. The things I find really exciting are things like a Viking shoe, or a mason's mark on a piece of stone - the genuine foot and handprint of real people.

What embarrasses you?

About halfway through the afternoon, I discover there is still a bit of lunch on my top lip.

Who has the worst job in Britain?

We tend not to see them. Most of them nowadays aren't conducted by people with white faces. How many of us knew quite what a foul job collecting cockles in Morecambe Bay was until the tragedy? How many of us are aware of who is working around the back of an NHS hospital or swanky hotel?

What's in your pocket?

One tissue. When I'm out on tour doing my live show, I absolutely clear my pockets out to prevent things clinking around during the performance.

When was the last time you cried?

When I had flu and was watching a particularly poignant scene in Neighbours last autumn.

Which question would you like an answer to?

Why do so many women in lonely-hearts columns say they want a tall bloke?

What is the country's biggest failing?

That it has no coherent policy for its elderly. I feel my parents' generation has been badly let down.

Describe the weirdest thing a fan has ever done

Sent to me, completely anonymously apart from the words "from a fan", a china horse with one leg missing and a pair of pink framed sunglasses. I poked it down to the bottom of the garden with a stick because I thought there might be a bomb underneath.

`Tony Robinson's Cunning Night Out', a one-man show, is at Wyndhams Theatre, London WC2 on Sunday at 7.30pm (0870 060 6633)