Glenda Wood recalls the day-to-day work on a drama

So I presume there was a team of make-up artists.

There was the person who was the principal, and then you would have all your assistants, and you’d worked it out, how many assistants you’d need. Generally it was only two, but when you had a big crowd of extras. I used to work it out that you’d need 10 extras to one make-up artist, because you’d only have an hour. But if it was something that they needed their hair cutting.  Do you remember A Family At War? Because they all had to have their hair cut dead short. In those days, it was the 70s and their hair was down here, and I used to love that because we used to argue with them like mad, because they wouldn’t have their hair cut! “Tuck it under my hat,” they’d say. I’d say, “You’ll look stupid like that.” Who cares!

What would you do about continuity?

Well, at the beginning, of course, there were no Polaroid cameras, so we used to draw little pictures – sort of her hair is hanging here… – and then we went onto Polaroid cameras – and what a godsend they were! But I believe now that they use a proper camera and put it on the computer, I think that’s what they do. And write notes and things. And make a big note of the weather. You know, if it was very windy… I was watching something last night, and it was terribly windy – it was an American thing – and then it cut to them in the car and their hair was perfect. Well, you couldn’t do that – you would have to do it better than that, you would have to mess their hair up.

So as make-up artists, you presumably worked very long days?

Oh, my God! That was one of the reasons I was going to go, the hours. They were terribly long hours. But if it’s a terrible job, and you hate it… while you’re there it’s great. You’d be knackered at the end of the day, but it didn’t matter! I would moan and say, “I’m so tired!” but you knew that tomorrow you would feel better. …

Many, many years ago, I think it was the late 60s, we did a thing called The Caesars, and every one of those women had all the false eyelashes on, all the backcombed hair – I mean, I’m criticising myself here – all the backcombed hair, all the thick make-up… and they looked beautiful. But when you watched the programme, they looked ridiculous! But it’s what they wanted. I learned after that, you don’t do that. You don’t let them have their own way.

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