Ali Lochhead : text

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Parting Shots
My cameraman was a bit nervous on the way to interview the british film director Michael Winner and when we walked into the bedroom in the London Ritz Hotel, where they were filming his latest movie and his concerns seemed to be justified.

"Who are you?" The movie man stormed.

I didn't know what to say or where to look. My eyes were tempted to wander to the actress Felicity Kendal who filming a scene in a bubble bath but the film director seemed to be demanding some attention.

"Don't you know who she is?" Chris Rea saved the day. "That's Ali Jack from Sky News!"

From then on in all went well, my cameraman managed to shoot at an angle that pleased Mr Winner and I was naturally thrilled and delighted to discover I had such an awesome fan. The singer had met Michael Winner on a beach in Barbados and landed the lead role in Parting Shots, which was to be his acting debut.

I thought they were maybe mucking around a bit when I got a call from my agent the next day saying they'd asked me to play the part of a TV newsreader in the movie but as I'd always wanted to appear in a film it was another dream come true.

I managed to smuggle my little sister onto the set and it was brilliant fun. We had our own trailer and every time I stepped outside a lad appeared with an umbrella as it was raining! I was in make up with Felicity Kendal and she was just as lovely as she looks. She did explain that in theatre you have to make big actions, in television less so and in movies less than that but it didn't sink in.

When it came to my turn I just did my usual thing, in television I'd been taught to be be animated, and i set about my task with great gusto and great enthusiasm, wiggling my head around from side to side as I read the script to camera.

The next day I was swapping notes with my colleague Bob Friend as he'd just appeared in Mission Impossible at the request of Tom Cruise.

"It's so difficult, isn't it?" Bob mused.

"What?" I asked

"Well to say small," he replied. "I mean on television if you raise an eyebrow it just moves a few centimetres but in cinema it leaps up about a foot in the air!"

I stared at him horrified. Oh why hadn't I had this conversation before filming?

Luckily, in the final edit, someone had the bright idea to cover up most of my section with a montage of newspaper cuttings!