5 Reasons Why You Might Not Root For Robson In The Gambling Man

Robson Green is a national treasure, but The Gambling Man may just test the limits of your love. Here’s why…

The Gambling Man


In the Olden Days (which is officially when this drama is set) rent collectors enjoyed about as much public affection as bailiffs and traffic wardens do today. Well, that seems to be the case in The Gambling Man anyway, where Robson's character - Rory Connor - gets the evil eye whenever he knocks on tenants' doors. Can we really root for a character whose job basically entails making small, sooty-faced urchins look sulky while their mums huff and complain in the background? Well, maybe we can, because at least Rory is a nice rent collector rather than some Scrooge-like ogre, and he tries to make things as painless as possible for the families he visits. And hey, a man's got to make a living, right?


The clue's in the name of the show: Rory is very much a gambling man. And not in the cool, confident, collected way of a professional player either. Rory may like to think he knows what he's doing, but in actual fact he's led utterly astray by his gambling. Not only does it cost him his hard-earnt money, but his passion for poker has also put him in the company of very bad men, and the murky world of illicit gambling has slowly corrupted poor old Rory. So can we forgive him? Can he still be our hero? Perhaps, if you think of him as a victim of his addiction. But that still can't quite excuse some of his fateful choices. Speaking of which...


"Nothing is only a game." That's what one wise chap tells Rory on the subject of gambling, but does Rory listen? Not a bit of it. He's so sure that poker is the path to riches that he ends up making a terrible decision... which we won't spoil here. Suffice it to say, it's not Rory who pays the initial price of his actions, but a close friend who has no idea what's going on. Even Robson Green's cheeky charm can't quite make up for this moment, and the only thing that keeps us on his side is that he's clearly eaten up with guilt over it all.


One of the best things in Rory's life is Janie, his bold and gusty beloved who stands by him through thick and thin. And that's despite the fact she well knows he's casually fibbing to her about his penchant for secret poker games. She overlooks his little foibles because she loves him, and wants to be with him. But he repays her in yet more deception, and the repercussions will threaten everything they hold dear. Do we still excuse him because he's suitably cut up about it all? Oh OK then - but only because we can't bear it when Robson Green looks sad.


Admittedly this is probably the least of his flaws, but there's no denying that Rory can throw strops that would put a teenage boy to shame. One minute he's a smiling, swaggering lad about town, the next he's hitting his head against a wall in despair. Poor Janie has to bear the brunt of it, of course. Without giving away spoilers, look out for the moment they're sharing a romantic cuddle in bed, before Rory suddenly decides to come over all panicky and guilt-ridden. The things she has to put up with, the poor lass. Still, on the plus side, he IS Robson Green. And that one fact really does make us stick by Rory through thick and thin.