Don Jones remembers his mum’s and dad’s work as extras

Almost from when I first started at Granada, both my parents were working as extras on Coronation Street and other shows, so I used to meet my mum and dad, or one or the other – sometimes they were both there together – either in the canteen or in the old school, for lunch. And people used to say to me, how did you get your mum and dad into that? And I said, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with me whatsoever. My dad had been a professional singer in his younger days, he’d been in the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, and my mum was a ballet teacher and a choreographer. So they both had Equity cards, and in those days you couldn’t work as an extra unless you had an Equity card. So they both found this work completely unconnected to what I did, but I used to meet them regularly. They used to work at Yorkshire as well, so I’d sometimes see my parents on television in the Rovers Return and then sometimes I’d see them in the Woolpack or they’d be in the corner shop. So for quite a few years in my Granada time, I’d quite often meet my mum and dad at work, and sometimes I’d meet them in a corridor, and they’d be dressed in period costume, or… I remember when they were shooting King Lear in Studio 12, my dad would be around for days on end dressed as some peasant! Or he’d be in Crown Court playing the usher, or he’d be on the jury, or I don’t know… They did lots and lots of stuff, and it had nothing to do with me but it was really nice to meet up with them at work. You know, my mum would ring me and say, we’ve just gone down to the canteen, have you got ten minutes? And we’d go and sit in the canteen. So I used to see this other side to it as well, that was quite interesting.


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