Yes, it was good times. But it kind of led to other things, and one of those things was being asked – because Oral actually had been asked to do 28 Up and they needed a second editor on it, and because I had been his assistant and we were mates, he said, “Why don’t you join me on 28 Up?” And I had an interview with Michael Apted and he was absolutely fine, you know, he thought I’d do fine, I had done World in Action’s… and that was 1983, I think (actually transmitted 1984) and that was my first 7 Up. And Oral and I decided which characters we would edit, and the highlight of my share was Neil Hughes who has really become the most interesting of the children from 7 Up. And of course that’s been my, you know, if one is to describe one’s life’s work in in one programme, 7 Up has become it for me, and I’ve done 33 years on the project now. And of course the others as well, I’ve done the Russian 7 Up, all of them bar the last one. I’ve done a couple of the South African ones, and… so anyway, that was working with Michael for the first time, and that was an absolute joy. That was the only time that I’ve actually worked with him in in this country because the subsequent Ups have all been cut in America by me, and…
So that was 28 Up and that did particularly well, another Emmy award-winner, BAFTA award-winner. So I was I was sort of flying high then.
So 28 Up, working with Oral Ottey, the two of us, and thereafter 35 Up… it was decided that there was only one editor needed, and Oral had already left, and I was the editor who had last done it, and Michael said, “Well, I’d quite like you to do it again. This time though, we’ll be editing in Los Angeles, is that okay?” And I said, “Well, I think it is.” And so off to LA I went for 35 Up, still on film, and the reason that… it wasn’t just going to the States, there was a reason why it had to be the States. Because Michael has always worked – he has a Hollywood career, so outside of 7 Up, in between the seven years, he’s a feature film director. So the start of his American features career was The Coal Miner’s Daughter, that was his first film, and a good few other films along the way. I had to cut 28 Up after it had gone out for the Americans to be shown in the cinema, and I had to create a continuous film, and I had to go out to Shepperton where Michael was doing Gorillas in the Mist, so every time I had worked with Michael, Michael’s working on his latest feature film. And I always get the opportunity to see the set, see Michael work, so it’s been brilliant. 35 Up, he was doing a film with Val Kilmer called Thunderheart, and doing at the same time a documentary on the same subject, which was to do with Native American… it was a crime the film was based on, and I think Robert Redford narrated the documentary whilst I was working with him at the same time, so he had these two other projects going.
So that was 35 Up, and then subsequent programmes have all ended up being edited in the States. And you know, in between times it’s been Michael’s… you know, there was one occasion I went to a premiere that had Gene Hackman in it, and sat at cinema with Gene Hackman, and you know, John Carpenter called by, the director, and you know, Michael would take you out to restaurants, and you know, there would be… I think Barbara Streisand was sat at one of the tables on one occasion. So you really felt you were seen here and you were being allowed to see a little bit of kind of Hollywood, and yes… and it’s continued to be that, you know? And Michael comes over, obviously does all the filming, and I usually start the edit over here, and he gives me notes. And that’s the other thing – I kind of… I like the way that he likes me to work. And he trusts me to work on my own, because he has already given me direction. And it’s… you know, you do the work, Michael sees it, he gives me notes, and that’s kind of the way that it’s gone. But as George Turner has probably told you, we are like a family, and so, apart from the subjects of the film all kind of knowing one another.
And you’ve all grown old together.
We’re all… I’m one of the younger ones, I think! Next is a few months older than me. And Michael is like, 75 or something, and there’s Claire Lewis, I’m not going to mention her age! But yes, we’re all pals, and we know… George obviously knows them all because he films them, and obviously being editor I only get to see them when we have screenings and stuff, but I’m pally with all of them when I do see them, and I’ve just literally been to one of the girls’ 60th birthday parties, which happened last weekend, I think. Yes. So I do see something of them from time to time.
So what is the next one?
It’s 63 Up.