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The new Robin Hood?
It could have been so different if the BBC hadn't pulled the Robin Hood plug - a local lad could have filled the outlaw's shoes.
Since Robin Hood returned to our screens on BBC television lovers of the legend have had their patience sorely tested.
Most dramatic was the death of Maid Marian at the end of series two. Then they were faced with the loss of Robin Hood.
Jonas Armstrong, the latest actor to portray the man in Lincoln Green, hung up his bow at the end of series three.
The BBC's decision not to re-commission the Saturday night adventure came as a big blow to one man who was ready to take up the Robin Hood challenge.
Born to play the part
Clive Standen was born in Ireland but grew up in Leicestershire. His first paid job, however, was at the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre in Nottinghamshire.
"I was a small tour guide known as Wolf Little, the son of Little John," he says.
"I'd start showing around visitors then suddenly someone would appear shouting 'it's the Sheriff and Guy of Gisborne, run for your lives'.
"The American tourists used to really panic and I'd be taken hostage. Then Robin Hood would appear in front of the Major Oak with a big shaft of light behind him and save me and everyone would cheer."
Clive Standen as Archer with half-brother Guy
Man with the sword
Maybe it was the trauma of being stage kidnapped every day that encouraged 27-year-old Clive to take steps to look after himself.
By his late teens he was a National Thai Boxing champion. When he got into acting he made sure he honed his choreography and fighting skills by gaining an advanced gold certificate in sword fighting from the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat.
Ready for the challenge
All those skills were put to good use by Clive's latest screen character, the mysterious Archer.
He was the half-brother of both Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne who had spent most of his life sailing the world as a buccaneer.
"Archer belongs nowhere and has no home and no loyalty to anyone except himself.
"Unlike his half-brother Robin, Archer's never had a sense of belonging and never been loved and revered. He's not a Locksley and has no real identity and doesn't even have a surname."
The new leader?
The hope was that Archer could have become the new Robin Hood. With Jonas Armstrong set for pastures new, Archer, with his family ties and fighting skills, could have become the new leader of the outlaws.
It wasn't unheard of. Back in the 80s Michael Praed gave up on Robin in television's Robin of Sherwood. A mystical storyline saw a new Robin with Jason Connery playing the part of Robert of Huntingdon (Praed had been Robin of Loxley).
If the change had gone ahead Clive would have had to have brushed up on his archery skills.
On set in Hungary he fired a bow and arrow for the first time.
"Bela Unger, the stunt coordinator, took me to one side to give me an archery lesson. He fired his arrow and nearly got a bull's eye.
"Then I fired my first arrow and nearly split his! Everyone watching went 'wow' but then I had to do it again and it flew straight over the target and ended up impaling the set."
last updated: 10/07/2009 at 14:12
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