Howay The Lads

THERE’S a familiar ring about the name when Robson Green takes on a new identity inspired by his Geordie roots.
You’ll remember he played Colin Armstrong in 2004 festive film Christmas Lights, which then turned into the hit Manchester-based series Northern Lights.
Well, as I revealed in the MEN last July, the new series has been re-named City Lights, with filming switched to London.
As viewers will see, brothers-in-law Colin and Howard (Mark Benton) are forced to move to the capital after being placed in a witness protection scheme.
That also means a change of identity for both men, as well as Colin’s wife Jackie, played by Rochdale-born Nicola Stephenson, and Howie’s wife Pauline, portrayed by former Cutting It actress Sian Reeves.

You don’t have to look very far to spot the inspiration for Newcastle United fan Robson’s new ID, as Colin becomes Brad Shearer.
If you’re not a football fan, we’re talking Toon legend Alan Shearer (pictured right), now a pundit on Match of the Day.

And I make no comment about the decision to give “Howie” Scott the name Wayne Carr.
Crew working on Northern Lights were angry at the switch to London after the first series attracted audiences of six million.
The second series had been due to start filming in Manchester, with exterior scenes shot at Weeton Barracks, near Blackpool.
But Robson told me that ITV were happy about the move. “They like the notion of them being outside their environment.”
City Lights opens in the north before the action switches south, as the series moves into “thriller territory”.
An ITV spokeswoman told me: “Series one gave us a group of characters that audiences took to their hearts.
“Part of its charm was how much they loved their lives in Manchester.
“However, to surprise and stimulate our audience, we wanted to keep the show fresh and bold.
“Taking our characters out of their comfort zone seemed an ideal starting point for this.
“We’re very excited about the bombshell our writer Jeff Pope has invented which catapults our families into new lives in London.”
What do you think about the move from Manchester to London? Scroll down and leave a comment below.
Robson Green: The Website