This happened again on something that I did for the B.B.C. called, I believe, 'For The Greater Good.' and shot just up the road in Slough near the Mars factory. We started the day as protesters outside a factory (don't ask me why or what for.) We were supposed to stand near the fence and bang the wire and then as cars went in and out of the gate, chant and wave our fists. Then, at lunch time we had to have a change of costume, into police riot gear. The full uniform including riot shields, helmets with visors etc etc. For one scene we were put in the back of a furniture lorry and when it drove up, the back was thrown up, on one of those sliding arrangements. As soon as the back was opened we had to charge out, jump down off the back of the lorry and up a fairly steep incline towards the fence which was actually at the other side of this incline. We were in heavy boots and what with the riot shields and helmets with visors it was quite an effort to run up that incline. You had the added danger that the sliding door of the lorry wasn't going to remain open and slide back down as you got out of the lorry as well as actually being able to see where you were going. After around half-a-dozen takes we began to get extremely tired and on the way home driving was hard work because the muscles of my legs began to get very tired and the pain was considerable. I believe this programme was directed by Danny Boyle, who has gone on to make some very successful films including 'The Beach,' and the Oscar-winning 'Slumdog Millionaire.'
It was either on 'Inside Story' or another Anglia drama series called 'The Chief' that myself and a lot of other Walk-On's' were supposed to be police, so we were put in costume and driven quite a way up to the Norfolk coast, somewhere near Sheringham or Wells-Next-The-Sea. They spent a lot of time getting us looking authentic, including giving us Doc Marten's to wear. As a result I found them to be incredibly comfortable and would have liked to have been able to keep them. I even went out a purchased a pair for myself after doing this day's work and have always found them to be the most comfortable shoes you can wear because of the special soles. Anyway, we were supposed to be going in to remove protestors outside a piece of land which was earmarked to be built on for a theme park or something, being part of the plot of this series. They had set the scene up with other Walk-Ons who were instructed to be as difficult as possible, to sit down and not move, so when the 'action' was called and the cameras ran, we were supposed to go in and remove them, but we didn't know which ones were going to be uncooperative. They used hand-held cameras, to give a more authentic feel, rather like an actual protest and it would look like footage from a genuine television news item. We had to do several takes and after around three or four takes, very similar to the day I had on the show mentioned at the beginning of this post, it became very exhausting, what with running about and having to attempt to lift the protestors, or at least try and get them to move!