Interview with The Jury Room member Trevor Rapson
By James Whittington, Thursday 8th June 2017

New and exclusive to CBS Reality, The Jury Room continues on Sunday at 10pm. This gripping series  focuses on old cases and delivers evidence and accepted facts to a new jury. One of the members of our Jury is Trevor Rapson and here he talks about his time on this series.

CBSR: What is your day job?

TJ: I retired from the fire service where I spent 27 wonderful years, I miss those days, although it's changed beyond recognition, it was the best job in the World for me back in 1977 when I joined. I now have a small business, I stage manage at music Festivals and manage a band called Charley Farley Sunday Four who are also Al Murray's house band. I also work as a model, extra and play small parts acting for films and TV.

CBSR: Have you always had an interest in the workings of Court rooms?

TJ: I certainly have often wondered how a Jury comes to a verdict, the process of the Courts and thoroughly enjoyed being on the show.

CBSR: Have you had experience of being on a jury before?

TJ: I haven't but my partner Annie was a while back and she found it fascinating, she wasn't over excited to start with but really got into it.

CBSR: What made you decide to be on the series?

TJ: I really loved the whole concept of the show and applied immediately, I thought it would be a great experience and when I was approached and interviewed on the phone by Tammy, from first look TV, she was so excited about it that I was crossing my fingers that I'd be selected.

CBSR: Did you have to prepare for each case or did you go into each one cold?

TJ: On some of the cases we were briefed for a few minutes before we went into the studio but we knew no more than the audience gets to see over the hour long programme.

CBSR: What was a day in the studio like and how nervous were you?

TJ: It was a first for everyone, including the producers and film crew, nobody knew if it would even work as a programme, it all hung on how the 12 people selected interacted on camera, they had said in the audition that they didn't want people who showed off or didn't let anyone else speak as they wanted everyone to put their views forward but of course what they dreaded was total silence. However, we all really got into it so it could be difficult at times to get a word in some times and of course there was a strict schedule due to studio time. A day on set was from about 10am until 5pm. We all got on very well and there was a lot of good natured humour with new friends made. It became evident to us that Will and his team were delighted with the results of the programmes as things progressed, which made for a great atmosphere as the days went by. We were looked after very well and as the series goes on we all started to relax as the process became familiar to both us and the crew. I think everyone of us had butterflies, especially on the first day but we relaxed a little as the series evolved.

CBSR: How did you control your emotions during recording or did you speak your mind all the way throughout?

TJ: What I decided to do was concentrate as though the cameras weren't there, behave as though this was a real case and digest the evidence put before me and comment on it. It could be frustrating when I couldn't get a point in before we moved on but there were 12 of us all in the same boat. I spoke my mind but was respectful that friends or relatives of the people involved in each tragic case could be watching.

CBSR: Was it nerve-wracking?

TJ: I didn't find it particularly nerve-wracking, we were looked after very well as I said but it was a serious programme about real murders. I would say it was exciting to be involved as Jury pioneers of the first ever series.

CBSR: Would you appear in another series on The Jury Room?

TJ: Yes, I would love to, it was a great seeing each programme improve day by day and I would love to take my experience onto series two. Hopefully make up will leave my hair alone next time, my friends just fell about laughing.

CBSR: Trevor Rapson, thank you very much.

The Jury Room continues Sundays at 10pm.

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