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Going outside of my comfort zone to be an extra in the film ‘Great in Britain’

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

great in britain on set photo

Sometimes you get an invitation that places you completely out of your comfort zone. I am always saying that we should be open to trying new things over 50, and so when I was asked by friend in the film industry if I would be an extra in a film he was shooting in London I found myself saying yes. All I had to do was show up at a jazz club in London at 8am dressed in a cocktail dress and then follow direction!!

It was a fascinating day seeing how much effort went into a relatively short piece of footage.  After having my make up done I was asked to sit at a table with one of the lead actresses and sip champagne while listening to Right Said Fred serenade us. Easy.  There are far worse ways to spend a day !

Right Said Fred were lovely, really enthusiastic about the film project and their involvement in it, and the song they sang  ( I’m not too old for love, just too old to cry) continued to spin around in my head for days afterwards.

Main cast members included Peter Bowles, Jason Flemyng and Hannah Waddingham.

The film had the working title of Meet Pursuit Delange, which has since been changed to Great in Britain, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to a showing of the film along with the cast members at a film festival. There was a stunning dance scene filmed at Kew Gardens with Tom Chambers playing a younger version of Peter Bowles – Jason Gardiner was the choreographer. I have to say that having chatted to Jason for a while he was lovely- not at all like Mr Nasty on the Dancing on Ice judging panel. I think he was probably relieved not have me , with my total lack of coordination and two left feet as an extra in his scene!!

This was a while ago.

Five minutes of Fame?

So, I was surprised to be told this week that the film was finally going to be seen by the public. Did this mean I would get my five minutes of fame? Apparently not. The film has been reworked, new scenes added, title changed and  the actress I sat next to had her part written out, so all that remains of my role is a glimpse of the back of my head as the camera pans the nightclub. C’est la vie – I don’t think ‘back of Ceri’s head’ is likely to have a credit!!

Even so, it was fun to be part of the project – even if just for one day.

The film is not being rolled out to cinemas but is being showed in village halls. It may be coming to a village hall near you!  As I have not seen the final cut , I may just have to pop along to a showing and see if I can spot my head for myself.

You can see where and when its playing here



Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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