Monday, July 30, 2007

My Dad's Famous!

My Dad is a Star...

It's Official.

Here he is! ----->

And I don't just mean he's a star because he's the Best Dad in the Whole Wide World (not that I'm biased in any way, of course!) As well as being the Dickinson family knight in shining armour - my sister and I call him 'Sir GallaDad' - he is also a TV and Film Star! He's worked with A-listers, on prime-time TV shows and now on two feature films... He is a Supporting Artist (don't call them 'extras'!) and has been appearing on national and international screens for the past four years.

Most recent appearances have included: Life on Mars (series 2, episode 1 - Dad is the body on the double-decker bus!), Crimewatch (Dad was the guy who got attacked with a skewer - eeuuww), Blue Murder (Dad was in the episode featuring Tom Bell, as a family member claiming they killed someone - he was wearing a green fleece!), Doctors (lots of episodes) and Casualty (quite a few appearances in the waiting room)...

He was a passer-by in The Libertine, with Johnny Depp, and has most recently worked on the upcoming film version of Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl - with Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana - as a nobleman at the Boleyn family table!

What is so wonderful about this for me is that he deserves it all so much. Dad worked for 40 years in a job he really didn't like and wasn't valued in, just because he was determined to provide for his family. He got 'given' early retirement at the age of 56 and felt like he'd been dumped by the company. My sister and I never wanted for anything - even when often it was a struggle for Dad and Mum to do all the things they wanted for their family. Dad was always content to carry on being undervalued and ignored at work, just as long as we were all cared for, fed and clothed. And every situation my family faced was always approached with my parents' trademark sense of humour, fun and creativity.

Dad has been involved in amateur dramatics for over 40 years - in fact, my earliest memories are of him and Mum learning lines, going to rehearsals and performing in plays. And Dad is a KILLER on stage... Somehow, when he has lines to say and an audience in front of him, my unassuming Dad becomes this amazing acting phenomenon. He has timing to die for and an expressive style that wins audiences at every single performance. He comes alive when he's on the stage and he's always loved being able to "get up there and sock it to 'em.."

So, when he got the opportunity to work as a Film and TV extra, he cautiously accepted. And he hasn't looked back since!

One funny thing about Dad is that he rarely knows who his co-stars are - he'll get home from a day's filming and say, "Do you know who Natalie Portman is?" or "I'm working with this guy and I'm sure I know him from somewhere - do you know Jonny Vegas?" One time, he worked with Jonathan Wilkes' mum (Robbie Williams' mate) and had a great chat with her about "Robert"!!

Dad has a blog, where you can read all about his exploits in the TV and film industry - as well as other really funny stories about his life. You can see it by pasting the following into your browser:

Trust me, it's well worth a visit!

So, next time you watch a TV programme or a movie, watch out - you might just see my Dad!

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