Maggie Coombes remembers working with the director Ken Russell

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So you became a production designer …

That’s the top of the pile, if you like, and that was a tremendous privilege really, because you get to work with so many creative people, I mean, writers and directors. I mean, Anthony Minghella, Charles Sturridge, John Madden, Ken Russell… I mean, I worked with those people, even now I kind of think, “Did I really?” And I did!

What was Ken Russell like to work with?

Er… quixotic. But very, very stimulating. And I think that was one of the first things that was done entirely on location, up in the Lakes. I can remember we were up there looking for locations from the early spring right through until the summer, and setting it all up – and then we started shooting, I think, about September, when the crowds had mostly disappeared with children going back to school, and then we shot right through until early December, which was again and amazing experience. It was called Clouds of Glory; it was about Wordsworth and Coleridge.

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