TV star Robson Green has sent a special message of support to key transport workers in his native North East England.
The actor and television presenter, who is from Tyneside and still lives in the region, has recorded a video message for workers on the Tyne and Wear Metro, the cross-Tyne Shields ferry and local bus networks.
Nexus, the public body which operates Metro, said the message from Robson Green was a huge morale boost for its workforce during the ongoing crisis.
Scores of public transport staffers remain in frontline roles amid the coronavirus lockdown in order to keep the region moving for other key workers, including many NHS employees.
In the video, Green, 55, said: “A big thank you to you guys who keep the Tyne and Wear Metro, the ferry service and the buses running.
“In these times of coronavirus revolution, thank you. Thank you for your commitment, your dedication and your devotion to getting people where they need to be.
“And in these really challenging, difficult, and strange times, you guys remind us all about the vital, crucial and essential role you play in our everyday lives, for which I know everyone in the north east will always be eternally grateful. Thank you.”
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “This message of support from Robson Green will mean a great deal to our frontline teams and wider workforce at this time of national crisis.
“It’s a big morale boost as staff continue to carry out their roles during the lockdown, ensuring that our local public transport services keep other key workers on the move.
“We have a small army of engineers, controllers, train crew, customer service advisors and cleaners at work night and day.
“This video message a precious thing for us to share and I can't say thank you enough to Robson Green for taking the time - and having the thoughtfulness - to record it. Robson has a long-standing connection with Metro, from when he appeared in a film we made for young people back in the 1980s, before he became a household name.”
In the late 1980s Robson Green appeared in a corporate video for the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive where he played the role of a ticket inspector.
This role allowed him to get enough money to get to London where he subsequently got his big break playing the role of Jimmy the hospital porter in Casualty.
Robson Green started out in Casualty in 1989, then went on to portray Fusilier Dave Tucker in the military drama series Soldier Soldier between 1991 and 1995.
He later played Dr Tony Hill in the crime drama series Wire in the Blood and has performed alongside James Norton in Grantchester.
As a TV presenter, Green has also fronted shows such as Extreme Fishing, Extreme Fishing Challenge and Tales from Northumberland.
He was one half of the singing duo Robson & Jerome, who had several No 1 singles, including Unchained Melody and I Believe in the 1990s.