Here is a photograph of me and a group of stuntmen Â covering many years of the British stunt business.
From the left to right we have Gerard Naprous, Tony Smart, Myself, Jimmy Lodge and George Leech.
Gerard and Tony are from my era and we all started around the same time. Jimmy Lodge is the Gentleman that got me started as a stuntman in 1965. George Leech is my Father in Law and one of the first stunt men in the UK back in the day.
Jimmy was a very good amateur steeplechaseÂ jockey and was the number one horseman in the film business in the 60′s. When I met him he had just come back from Spain where he was working with Yul Brynner on “The Long Duel”. Jimmy used to come and exercise my fathers racehorse to keep himself fit and one day he asked me if he could borrow one of our horses for a movie called “ARABESQUE” of course I said yes. Jimmy was doubling Gregory Peck in this big chase sequence and the horses they had from the usual horse hirer just could not jump the fences that were required. Jimmy new the horse that he wanted to borrow from me could jump anything you put in front of him. The next day Jimmy called and said we need another rider do you want to do it, so I said “you’ll have to give me about two seconds to think it over”. Â I went to work for Jimmy and got the fantastic amount of Â£20 a day as a riding stunt double which was a Kings ransom in those days and actually more than the average persons weekly wage. The rest is history as they say, I just loved the work and luckily at the time they were making a lot of “horse operas” as they were nick named like “Mary Queen of Scott’s” Macbeth” “Young Winston” and being one of the only young stunt guy’s in those days I worked on them all. I soon branched out into other aspects of stunts such as fights, falls and driving and got an impressive resume very quickly.
The bottom line is I owe it all to Gentleman Jimmy Lodge, he taught me how to handle productions and how to negotiate and how to stand firm for what was safe and right and the many things a successful stuntman has to know, he also introduced me to his tailor because I was always in awe of Jimmy’sÂ immaculateÂ dress sense and later on when I could afford it I had my clothes made by the same tailor Bernard Wetherill of Windsor.