Living the Dream – How my TV career started

The Beginning

People have often asked me “How did you start out in the Film and TV Industry?”

Well It began for me nearly 30 Years ago.  As a young impressionable 10 year old.  I lived with my parents as you do when you’re 10.  My father ran a trout farm and my mother was a teacher.  One day my father got a call from BBC Manchester out of the blue. Their usual supplier had let them down and they were after some live trout for a then unknown TV show called ‘Red Dwarf’.  My father was used to stocking lakes and reservoirs, not filming in the studios.  But to my delight my father accepted the job.

So one evening we prepped the fish tank with oxygen for the trout and off we went to BBC Manchester.  The Studios were in town back then, long before any TV exec had thought about Salford.

Red Dwarf – Series1

I was and still am a huge Sci-Fi fan, so i’m sure you can imagine at 10yrs of age walking onto (for me) seemed like a real space ship.  I was in hogs heaven.  I got to sit in the chair (pic above) and pretend to push all the buttons.

They had just setup to do a scene with Danny John Jules aka The Cat, when he sits down for dinner. “i’m going to eat you chicken mergango…”  My mum had to put her hand over my mouth as I couldn’t stop laughing.

Confidence & Paranoia

Soon after we moved onto the scene, where the fish would be required.  Dave Lister is hallucinating that its raining fish in the sleeping quarters.  My dad’s fish were the live ones, flipping about.

Well one thing was for sure… I was hooked….  Nobody could tell me different.  Now almost 30 years on, I attended the Series 11 Premiere at Bafta, and I had the joy to share my story with the cast and audience, to tell them what am inspiration they had been to me, as a young impressionable 10 year old.

My special thanks to Danny-John Jules for organising the group photo you see here below.

James Mellor with Cast & Creator of Red Dwarf. 2016

Here’s to the next 30years…

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