I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought it was part of my producer’s role to save the director money. My heart was in the right place, but my head wasn’t.
Let me explain. This week I’ve been working on a new TV programme being made to commemorate the 100th anniversary next April of the sinking of the Titanic.
The production is quite large and so they decided to fly one of the actors from James Cameron’s movie blockbuster Titanic, Mark Lindsay Chapman, in from LA to co-present the show with me.
Now, about three weeks ago I bought a beaten-up red Ford Fiesta for £450, with a year’s MOT but nothing else going for it.
It has no heating, it leaks oil all over the place, it smells of dogs inside and you can’t actually get in the driver’s side – you have to haul yourself over the passenger seat. So why on earth did I ever offer to pick up an actor and the programme’s director, Tara Pirnia, in it?
Most of our filming took place in Southampton and, with our first interview scheduled with the lovely Fred Dinenage at Meridian’s studios in Whiteley, I suggested they get a train to Fratton station where I would pick them up.
Both of them took the sight of my old banger rather well, although they couldn’t conceal their dismay as we bombed up the motorway with sounds coming from beneath the car like the bottom was about to fall out.
Fred was an absolute dream to interview, as I knew he would be, and then we set off for the rest of filming.
After what was a very long day doing scenes all over Southampton, I drove back to Portsmouth to drop them at the station.
Mark, bless his soul, looked up and, in what he desperately tried to make sound like a breezy tone (while rubbing his near-blue fingers), said: ‘Any chance you can turn up the heating Cheryl?’
I’ve never rambled and waffled on so much in my life as I tried to distract the poor man.
As he all-but passed out in the front, I looked in the rear view mirror at my director Tara for moral support – only to find she too had finally succumbed to the cold.
Needless to say, the next day we hired a driver and a car!