I could go on for ages about my time working with Craig, but I think quality is better than quantity.
I first met Craig when we were asked to have a horse on TDBM, as my husband and I supply horses for film and TV. I had to teach Craig to drive a horse in harness, which I have done for actors on a few occasions, but usually they are more worried about looking good themselves rather than learning how to do it safely. Not Craig. He was absolutely wrapped to be doing it and very keen to learn as he had had a bit to do with horses when he was younger. He was an absolute pleasure to teach and was happy to do it the way he was taught, with no ego attached. Needless to say, we had an awesome day and spent the time laughing and joking.
I then went on to work on TDBM in the Unit Dept. In case you don’t know, the Unit Dept. supplies all the amenities for the shooting day, including make up, costume trucks, and green room trucks where the cast can relax during a break. This is quite a hard job due to the long hours and very early starts, and by the end of each 16 + hour day, we are exhausted. Part of my job was to drive cast to and from set, meaning I got to spend a lot of time with Craig and saw him at his most exhausted both physically and mentally as he was required in most if not all scenes so he rarely got a break.
Not EVER was he anything less than a pleasure to be with even when he could barely keep his eyes open. He would still be polite and have a laugh on the drive. I remember him telling me on one of the seasons that he was promised a 2 week hiatus so he could go and see his son overseas, but that the company had reneged and he wasn’t going to get it. Although he was bitterly disappointed, he was a true pro and got on with the job.
I’m not on my own when I say that working with Craig was one of the biggest things that kept me going most days, and he made our time on the show an absolute pleasure. And, we would look forward to the day because of him. It didn’t matter whether you were a producer or like me in the Unit Dept., he was grateful for anything that was done for him and would go out of his way to make you feel appreciated. Sometimes, if we were shooting not too far away, my daughter Ebony (I think she was about 10 at the time) would come and visit. Craig would stop whatever he was doing, even if he was on his way to set, to give her lots of hugs and spend some quality time with her. She adored him and still does. She taught herself to play a pink ukulele and the guitar and loves to send songs to Craig. The most recent one was us 3 singing happy birthday to him with Ebony playing the guitar.
He replied immediately, so grateful and complimentary to Ebony of her musical effort. Every year he sends her a birthday ‘ditty’ as well. I also remember a day where my husband brought my daughter and our grandson to set. They are similar in age, and again Craig held things up while he took time out to make them both welcome and have a gag with them. Some artists would get annoyed at visitors to set taking up their time, but not Craig, he loved it. My elderly aunt was very excited at the fact that I worked with Craig and would always wait to hear what we’d been up to. When I told Craig a few weeks ago that she was dying at 96, he wrote her a special song which she found most exciting. A couple of weeks later she died, and when I told Craig, he was genuinely sad that she had passed.
I used to make Craig fudge on the weekends because he has a bit of a sweet tooth. I would leave it in his green room fridge for him to find when he came in on Monday morning. He loved it, and soon our routine was on a Friday before he left I’d ask him to pick what flavours he would like the next week, and he would. But, if I missed him, he would text them to me lol. He did tell me that a lot of the fudge ended up being eaten by Vanessa if he took any home on the weekend lol. I will conclude by saying, I spent a lot of time with Craig and loved every minute. Never once was he rude or too tired to have a chat. And, certainly NEVER did he make me feel anything but comfortable and happy to be with him, either alone or with other people around. I have even named my French bulldog after him, ‘Lucien’, and Craig loves it when I send him pictures of Lucien.
To sum Craig up, he loves a gag as he loves to see people laughing, and he is just a beautiful human that I’m very grateful to be able to call a friend.