Casualty Saved My Life – interview with Janice Rider

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This interview with costume designer, Janice Rider, is about the 2004 documentary ‘Casualty Saved My Life’.  The programme told the stories of viewers who used information they’d learnt from the medical drama ‘Casualty’, and put it into practice, saving the life of themselves or others.  The documentary used first hand testimony, reconstructions, clips and behind the scenes footage from ‘Casualty’.

Janice worked on the reconstruction of a motorcycle crash, which resulted in the rider losing his leg.

The directors on the documentary were Mark Scott and Paul Vanezis, the researchers Sophia Wollschlager and Caroline Ossowaskia.  Sarah Costigan and Jo Gray were the production assistants, and I was the producer.

Vanessa Jackson

Small Town Gardens

Copyright remains with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

‘Small Town Gardens’ was a garden design series which ran for three series, from 2001-3.  The first series was produced by London and presented by Rachel De Thame, the programme was then handed over to BBC Birmingham.  The second and third series were produced at Pebble Mill.

I really enjoyed being the series producer, they were great series to work on.  The producer/directors included Mark Scott, Kate Dillon & Paul Vanezis. Sarah Wilkin, and Emily Rusted were researchers, Sarah Costigan and Joanne Gray were PAs.

The second series was presented by garden designer Joe Swift, with the final series presented by James Alexander Sinclair.  The premise of the show was to re-design small urban gardens, employing professional garden designers, taking them and the garden owners on inspirational visits, and shopping trips.

The first photo is of Joe Swift with garden designer Annie Guilfoyle, who designed a garden in Brighton for the series.

The second photo shows garden designer Andy Sturgeon with one of the contributors and Joe Swift.  The garden Andy designed was in East Sheen, in West London.  Both photos date from 2002.

The series went out on BBC 2 at 8pm on Friday nights in autumn 2002.

Vanessa Jackson

Small Town Gardens – Vanessa Jackson

Photos by Vanessa Jackson, no reproduction without permission.

There were three series of  the garden design show, ‘Small Town Gardens’.  The first was made in London, the show then transferred to Birmingham, with me series producing the second and third series at Pebble Mill 2002 -3.  I was delighted to be asked to make the show by Owen Gay.  The London series was presented by Rachel de Thame, Joe Swift presented the second series and James Alexander Sinclair (shown in these photos) presented the third.  Mark Scott and Paul Vanezis were the producer/directors, Sarah Wilkin and Emily Rusted researched on it, with Sarah Costigan and Jo Gray the production co-ordinators.  Martin Dowell and Ant Smith were the editors.  There were eight episodes in the second series and six in the third.  The series were transmitted on BBC 2 on Friday nights before ‘Gardeners’ World’.

The idea of the series was to show how small town gardens could be transformed into creative, innovative spaces.  We teamed up well known garden designers with contributors,  they went on inspiration and shopping trips to discover what they wanted for their gardens.

It was a brilliant series to make – a lovely production team, great experts, presenters and contributors (well with a couple of exceptions), wonderful locations and a decent budget!  And we knew we were lucky at the time.

The photos shown here are from a shoot in Kennington, London, series 3.  The garden was a converted farrier’s workshop, with a tiny courtyard garden.  The contributors were great, and I seem to remember that when the garden was finished they held a party, and rather the worse for wear tried to bathe in the water feature!  The couple shown in the photo are the garden designers, not the contributors!

James always wore his trade mark hat, in fact he had about seven different ones, in various states – some tatty ones reserved for gardening.  I think we were lucky enough to have the use of his second best hat!  We used to have to check for ‘hat hair’, if we were filming inside and he took his hat off, as his hair would get all squashed and have to be sorted!

James Alexander Sinclair