Follow one crying eye on


I don’t do it for the glamour or the fame. 

I most certainly don’t do it for the money.

And even more certainly, I don’t do it because of a love of early mornings or lengthy hangings-around in the freezing cold (or occasionally a massively overheated pub function room).

Sometimes, when my contribution remains metaphorically, if not literally these digital days, somewhere on a cutting room floor, I wonder why I do it at all.

But this week, my on-off career as a Supporting Artist has taken centre-stage in my personal mid-life docu-drama.  

Firstly, an appearance on prime-time BBC1, as I was to be seen lurking with an ice-cream and a bunch of gaudy Hooray chums at Henley Royal Regatta whilst a less-than-usually-sweary Gordon Ramsay discussed the various successes and failures of his latest batch of wannabes who had just supposedly plied us with flavoured vodka. [Somewhere in one of my long and rambling missives last year I captured the making of this] You can find this on the BBC iPlayer – it’s really not worth the bother unless you enjoy that kind of programme anyway. For me, of course, it was great fun to watch because, although I am only very briefly visible myself, I can identify all of my friends who were there and remember the twaddle that we were guffawing to each other at the time.

Then weirdly, later in the week, I was attending a performance of a friend’s one-woman show – Tomorrow May Be My Last – which was playing at an Islington pub theatre. Mr J and his band Bourbon Street Revival have been gigging at this pub after the Saturday night performances and we decided it was time to watch the show. We met beforehand in the downstairs bar and it was only when we were summoned upstairs to the theatre room that I had a sense of deja-vu and realised I had been here before – as part of a ‘pretend’ audience when filming a no-budget feature film back in 2020. The name of the pub, the Old Red Lion, had rung no bells with me but it was definitely the same place – which I later confirmed by looking at my old diaries.

Of course, this prompted me to check the status of the film itself. I remembered it to be called something like The Diaries of Tai Atlas. I found it. Still in production. No surprises there – it seems to take forever to make these things. Even more bizarrely though, I noticed just this morning a casting call for Supporting Artists for a similarly titled film Life of Tai: The Diaries of Tai Atlas shooting in another of the locations I had visited in 2020, and indeed it appears to be the very same film still adding material. Sadly I’m not free on the day they are requesting.

But, narcissist that I am, my search for this particular film led me to check once again the other productions in which I have played a background part in the last few years and – to my enormous surprise – there I was on a film trailer gawping at a Martian Invader on Horsell Common and then running through the wood before being spectacularly blown up. I did a day’s work in October 2019 filming this – War of the Worlds – The Attack. It was the first time I was paid anything for such work, and the first on which I was able to eat lunch from a proper film catering facility. I was massively over-excited at the time, but ever since had assumed the production had been somehow abandoned. It has however just been released and whilst it is unlikely to grace our main cinema chains, it is clearly not a complete write-off. I will watch it in full when I get a free hour and a half – I believe it can be purchased or rented from Amazon. Needless to say, the Martian Invader was a figment of our imaginations on the day (with an eyeline object on a stick as a substitute) and I don’t recall the explosion at all – indeed I still have the jacket I was wearing and there is not single scorch mark to be seen!

Here’s the trailer if you’re interested.

Fame at last – this was a short film called Miss Fortunate and my first-ever SA job (unpaid, but rather sweet of them to list all of us)

So, now I have another few seconds of screen time to add to my famous two seconds on the same bill as Ben Whishaw (yes, my name actually in the same screenshot of the credits even though I never saw him and we weren’t in the same scenes).

I think this is going to my head now. I’m already thinking what should be on my rider for future productions. 

Not having to get up too early or drive in the dark would be the first item.


…Maltesers, of course. (With no blue ones)



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow one crying eye on