Actually, just back from the east. At rather short notice I got cast in a short film being made by students at the University of the Arts in Norwich. Aside from the fact that it was a paid job (not princely, but honourable), I was keen as Colman’s mustard to return to the city where I went to university – I was at UEA from 1982-85, and have spent far too little time there since. It was nearly a very short visit, however. Arriving on location on the Tuesday morning, at the director’s family home in Old Catton, I learned that the lead actress, whose father I was to play, had scabbed out on the deal. Actually, the way she put it in her email, she’d been taken ill and couldn’t make the journey from London – but my feeling is that someone forced to pull out against their best intentions would make a point of calling, not simply trust an email to maybe/maybe not reach the person I was dropping in the shit. Fortunately there were alternatives close to home. Daniel, the director, put in a call to my alma mater, and by the second day we’d got a sub: Aimée De-Ritis, a first-year student on the UEA drama course. With no advance preparation she threw herself headlong into the role of the daughter trying to break down the emotional barriers put up by her grieving widowed father (that’s me). She was really extremely good, and I couldn’t help but feel that her backsliding predecessor may have done us all a favour. Aside from all that, there were three excellent dogs, two on the shoot (a cockapoo and a grumpy border terrier) and one at my digs (a golden retriever called Toffee).