‘All Creatures Great & Small’ – Make Up Artist, Maggie Thomas

Maggie Thomas Make-up Artist

The First Series Of ‘All Creatures’

Christopher Timothy, Peter Davison and Carol Drinkwater were with us all the time, since most of the storylines required them to be ready for their scenes all day. My main responsibility was Chris and Carol. How lucky was that? They soon became my dearest friends and keeping Chris’s period haircut neat was really the most make-up I needed to do for him. We were really aiming for the totally natural country look and with Carol it was a matter of controlling her beautiful natural curls into a slightly more old- fashioned look. So, apart from hats on and off and making sure that wind-blown pieces of hair were in the same place for continuity, the actual make-up job seemed pretty minimal, until we realised that every storyline had an injured animal in it and that my Designer and I would, as far as possible, be doing them!

What we didn’t know was that every animal injury in the storyline would require a lot of attention from the Make- up Department. It soon became very clear that we were going to have our work cut out to achieve some believable looking animal injuries and other problems that I will now relate to you. Another lovely job that came our way was mud – on and off at all relevant times, i.e. when an artiste slipped over in a cowshed or an animal had a sudden and unexpected movement that made the artiste get dirty. So, at the start of every day we had to mix up our bucket of artificial mud that went everywhere with us, just in case! That was not the worst thing we had to produce. Every day the script would throw up things like puss in the horse’s hoof which had us propositioning the catering wagon for a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise which we then put into the hole in the horse’s hoof that the real vet Jack Watkins had cut out in readiness and then we put some of the horny hoof bits back over it so that when Chris (Mr. Herriot) started to use the hoof implement the puss would ooze out.

Excerpt from ‘Dishing the Dirt’ by Maggie Thomas, available from Amazon, authors on line

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2 Comments

  • I have read Maggie’s book Dishing the Dirt and found it gave a very good insight to the other side of television and all the hard work the viewer doesn’t see!Very interesting.

  • What an amazing story teller and what a fantastic career !!

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