Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green

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Research to assess the impact of the show on visitors to Northumberland


Between October and December 2013, the TV series Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green was broadcast nationally at peak time on ITV. Robson Green presented the eight part series in which he journeyed through his home county of Northumberland visiting places which inspired him as a child, meeting some remarkable people and exploring some of the county’s magical landscapes and attractions. The series had the potential to contribute significantly to Northumberland’s growth targets for the visitor economy. Subsequently, Northumberland County Council commissioned Public Knowledge to evaluate the impact of the series on viewers’ interest in visiting the county, whether it encouraged them to make a visit in the future, or whether it encouraged them to extend a visit they had already planned or booked.


We conducted online interviews with viewers by utilising our in-house online research panel, Panelbase.com, targeting a sample across the UK (excluding Northumberland itself of course!). In total we conducted 409 interviews.

Profiling: Respondents were pre-identified as having watched the series. We utilised a short poll with self-selected panellists to initially identify relevant respondents. This method is a fast and effective way of reaching the panellists we wish to target.

Questionnaire design: A questionnaire approximately 8 minutes in length was designed in collaboration between Public Knowledge and Northumberland County Council. As well as asking viewers for their opinions about the content of the show the questionnaire also allowed us to gauge the potential effect on Northumberland tourism.

Key findings

  • 91% of survey participants agreed that Northumberland is a great place to visit for a short break.
  • 85% of survey participants agreed that Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green encouraged them to find out more about Northumberland.

Top 5 places participants would be most interested in visiting as a result of watching the series:

  • 1: Northumberland Coast - 50%
  • 2: Holy Island of Lindisfarne - 42%
  • 3: Hadrian’s Wall - 40%
  • 4: Bamburgh Castle - 39%
  • 4: Alnwick Castle - 38%


As a result of the programme’s success in raising the profile of the county and the findings of our research, a second series of the programme has been commissioned.

To find out more about the hidden gem that is Northumberland, visit: Visit Northumberland