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Published on February 21st, 2011 | by Patrick Riley

Rhodri Morgan as a Tree

Former Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan is a big name in politics, but apparently not big enough to be recognized by a member of the Doctor Who make-up team!

Here’s an excellent anecdote directly from the keyboard of Morgan himself about one night when he was mistaken for a Who cast member, which presumably took place during production of The End of the World, via WalesOnline:

I had just become First Minister when the remake of Doctor Who was getting going. I arrived at BBC Llandaff one evening for an interview. The “meeter and greeter” was very new. She escorted me to make-up. I patiently waited for the make-up lady (and they always were ladies). To my amazement, in walked a man with a suitcase, not a compact case.

When I checked my watch and asked “How long is this going to take?” he told me not to worry: “Only about two hours”. “Impossible!” I said, “I’m on in five minutes!”

When the confusion was resolved, it turned out he had come down on the train from the Big Smoke to make up an unspecified actor on Doctor Who into a tree. He had taken one look at my bushy hair style and concluded I was obviously the right man. Sadly I didn’t play my cards right and I didn’t have my Equity union card (politicians sub-section) on me. So I missed my big chance of stardom.

It won’t happen to Carwyn, because all those specialist make-up artists now live in Wales.

That story becomes doubly amusing when you consider, as Morgan points out in his article, that Upper Boat Studios is located in Treforest, whose name, er… reminds one of trees.  Okay, maybe that’s not so amusing.  I tried.

Read the full piece, which mostly serves as a tribute to Menna Richards’ success at bringing BBC productions to Wales, at WalesOnline.


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About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

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