Gillian Bailey

Gillian Bailey

A Message from
Gillian Bush-Bailey

I was actually quite experienced as a child actor when we began DDs. I went to Arts Educational School at the age of 11 - it was and still is one of the better schools which focused on dance mainly. I wanted to be a ballet dancer, and my first job was in the children's corps de ballet with Festival Ballet at Festival Hall in London - a few weeks watching those ballerinas deal with bleeding toes and aching limbs and I thought - maybe acting might be for me! A few weeks later a director from BBC had to re-cast a young actress for a three part TV serial for Schools - I got the job - "Castors Away" all about the Napoleonic Wars - this director suggested me for the BBC TV serial of "The Railway Children" - I played Phyllis and Jenny Agutter (famous for the film version) played my elder sister Bobbie - funnily enough they made the film of Railway Children at Elstree when we were making DDs - although I was furious not to get the part in the movie (Sally Thomsett played it) If I had - then I wouldn't have been free to do DDs which I wouldn't have missed - I also quickly realised that we were having a lot more fun on our set! I have recently been in touch with Jenny Agutter again and she is just filmimg a new TV version of Railway Children - this time she's playing the mother!

So..after that..I was still 13 at this point! - work carried on - I did a TV play - played Jane Seymour's sister in "Six Wives of Henry VIII" odd appearances in running series - and then...DDs - I have to admit to you that I can't remember everything after that - but here's a list of things I do - most of them will only be known to English viewers though

Janey "The Witch's Daughter" BBC serial
Lavinia "Thursday's Child" BBC serial
Callie "Follyfoot" Yorkshire TV serial
Jinny "Poldark" series 1 BBC
Cottia " Eagle of the Ninth" BBC serial
Eve Curie "Marie Curie" BBC
Charlotte Bronte "Brontes of Haworth" BBC
Julie "Together" soap Southern TV
Maureen "County Hall" BBC serial

All the above were fairly substantial series/serials - many of them adaptations of children's/adult novels - I also did lots of odd episodes here and there in other stuff - I remember doing one episode of "The Adventurer" with Gene Barry which was filmed over here - I think the episode was called The Lowest Bidder - don't know whether it was screened in the states, but certainly a US film company - In between these TV credits I worked quite a bit in the theatre - but only sang and danced in one show - DDs were my finest hoofing days I guess.

It was on one of the odd episode type jobs that I met my husband Richard Everett in 1972 - we then were cast together again in a stage play - and got married in 1974 - we have one daughter Rebecca who is now 21 and studying Drama at university - I worked quite a lot when she was little and by this time richard had begun writing (plays and scripts for animation ) and so he'd look after her when I was filming. It was around 1990 when we moved from London to the country that I began to realise that I was less and less interested in acting. I had already been working as a script reader for various theatres - and then did some for TV after my first degree - but really my interest (and the opportunities) seemed to be opening up in the academic sphere - so here I am -

Re memories of DDs - there are so many - I remember it being very hard work! as well as a lot of fun - I was always rehearsing a song or dance number when I wasn't filming - I have a couple of favourite episodes - the one when we made the movie - I loved the cowgirl stuff - actually most of my favourite moments relate to the dance numbers - (probably because I liked hogging the camera and the attention!!) I remember the dance with Robbie the robot as my best number - the choreographer Arnold was just the sweetest guy and he played Robbie - The laugh in was good too - and I think the show when the boys dragged up for Fat Ladies song must go down in the annals of childrens TV - you wouldn't get away with that today! Actually you wouldn't get away with a lot of things we did on today's TV.

Funny moments: I remember filming in the streets around Elstree when we were chasing Tiger in the hovercraft - Can't remember why - but some of us had to wait in a street and when we got the cue via a walkie talkie we had to run like mad after the hovercraft as it passed the end of the road - so we were obediently waiting in the street and this man came up and starting asking us why we weren't at school!! We tried to explain - and then the walkie talkie started yelling Action!! we had to go - and this guy was furiously shouting after us that he'd get the police to find out who we were and take us back to school!

I also have some episodes on video - not all though - as it was shown in the Birmingham area on saturday mornings and a friend videod them for me - I think the chances of them releasing a set of videos is slim - as they would have to pay us!! They don't like doing that very much.

Best Wishes


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