‘Pulled apart!’ Robert Glenister compares ‘tensions’ in new BBC show to ‘Brexit divisions’

Robert Glenister discusses new series Sherwood

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Robert Glenister has likened the painful community divides in new BBC drama Sherwood to that caused by the Brexit Referendum in 2016. The Hustle actor appeared on The One Show today to promote Sherwood alongside Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt.

Robert, 62, explained to The One Show presenters Jermaine Jenas and Alex Jones how the “same sort of divisions” are present in the new BBC drama as they were at the time of the Brexit vote.

Sherwood is inspired by the tragic events that occured in the village of Annesley Woodhouse back in 2004. 

Two brutal murders shook the small Nottinghamshire village at the time, and the ways in which they affected the community are explored in James Graham’s gripping new show.

Speaking to Jermaine today, Robert explained how the piece was “partly inspired by two tragic killings”, pointing out that the crimes occured in a traditional mining village.

“The fugitives disappeared into Sherwood forest; it was the biggest manhunt this country’s ever known,” he reflected.

He told the presenters how, because Nottinghamshire police “couldn’t manage” on their own, they had to call for reinforcements, which included the Met Police. 

“Consequently, it created huge tensions going back to the miners’ strike of 1984, when the Met came up to help police the picket lines,” he said.

Robert stars as DI Kevin Salisbury opposite acclaimed actor David Morrissey, who plays DCS Ian St Clair in the dark mystery.

During the interview, Robert went on to compare the community’s reaction to the country’s response to Brexit in more recent years. 

“This story is really about community and how events can divide communities, can divide families,” he said.

“I mean, there is sort of a link to Brexit, if you like, because it caused the same sort of divisions. 

“It’s about the people – people who were once close, who have been pulled apart,” he revealed.

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“And these two tragic events rekindle a lot of old animosity and unpleasant memories.”

The show, which also stars Lesley Manville, is inspired by events that took place within weeks of each other 18 years ago. 

In July 2004, Robert Boyer shot ex-miner Keith Frogson with a crossbow on his doorstep, hacked him to death with a sword and set fire to his home with the victim’s daughter and her husband still inside. 

Later that month, Terry Rodgers shot his daughter Chanel four times at her home in Huthwaite just weeks after her wedding.


Writer James Graham drew on his own experience of living in the mining village to write the story. 

The talented playwright has also written plenty of other high-profile dramas including Quiz, Coalition and Brexit: The Uncivil War.

The One Show returns tomorrow at 7pm on BBC One. 

The first episode of Sherwood airs Monday 13 June at 9pm on BBC One.

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