You don’t get to play Hamlet when you’re my size

You don’t get to play Hamlet when you’re my size

I’d done some Shakespeare, but you don’t get to play Hamlet when you’re my size. I remember Victoria Wood saying to me in the lunch queue at the BBC: “You and I could be Romeo and Juliet. The only reason we’ll both have to do comedy is that I’m a big girl and you’re a little bloke.” 

Probably for every person who is slightly outside the constituted norm there will always be part of them that has a chip on their shoulder, but that itself can be useful and give you a bit of extra drive. 

People come up to me and say their lives were transformed by watching Time Team. All of us who were on the show were passionate about taking this subject that we all loved, archaeology, but that was so arcane that nobody could even spell it, and allowing everyone to have a slice of it, not just those who went to university.

Still, when people ask me, “What has given you the most satisfaction over the years?” and expect me to say Blackadder, Maid Marian or Time Team, the answer is my kids. 

People get old in a different way today. Paul McCartney wrote about being 64, and that was nearly eight years ago for me. I still feel about 32. I still bounce from experience to experience. And I do feel I’m just about the luckiest person I know. 

Battles that Changed History with a foreword by Sir Tony Robinson is published by DK, £20

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