Elizabeth Estensen - 21st Anniversary Interview

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To celebrate the twenty first anniversary of T-Bag first being broadcast in the UK, I asked Elizabeth Estensen (Tallulah Bag) some questions about her time on T-Bag. Elizabeth kindly replied answering all the questions and even sending me a photograph of 'Revenge of the T. Set' with a personal message on the back. You can see these below (click on the images for a larger image).

The Revenge Of The T. Set Elizabeth's note on the back of the photograph

Many thanks to Elizabeth for her reply, I'm extremely grateful to her for taking the time to complete this interview, it is very much appreciated and makes a great read.

The interview is below, in her own words...

How did you first get involved with T-Bag? Were you cast as T-Bag due to your involvement in Danger: Marmalade at Work the previous year, also with Marjorie Sigley as executive producer?

I went along for an interview, as far as I can remember, and was offered the part of T. Bag. Originally T. Bag wasnít meant to be a central character particularly, but was so popular that subsequent series made her central to the show. I really donít know if it was because of ďMarmaladeĒ I had an interview. Possibly.

What did you think of your costumes for the show? Did you ever have any input into the costumes?

I loved the costumes, Raymond Childe designed them all and he was brilliant. I donít know how he did so many wonderful costumes so quickly.

What do you think made T-Bag so popular?

Maybe because she wasnít entirely evil. She was funny too and had a slight vulnerability about her. She always got her comeuppance and sometimes you could almost feel sorry for her!

Was extra work required from yourself and the other actors to complete a series and how often?

I donít know what you mean by Ďextra workí. Each episode took a week, 4 days rehearsal and one day in the studio recording. Then at the end of the series and extra studio day for any scenes that had been left out due to lack of time.

What are your memories of working with John Hasler? What are your memories of the girls from the series: Jennie Stallwood (Debbie), Diana Barrand (Holly-Anna Jones) and Kellie Bright (Sally Simpkins)? Also what are your memories of working with producer Charles Warren and director Leon Thau?

I loved working with John Hasler, he was in every series with me, so I got to know him better than any of the girls Ė though I enjoyed working with all the girls too.

No memories that jump out of Charles or Leon Ė It ran smoothly in production.

What are your fondest memories of the show, any particular episodes or series you enjoyed?

No, I donít think so; itís so long ago now that I canít remember anything in particular. It was a very happy working experience.

What made you decide to leave the series after five series? Did you decide to leave the series before, during or after filming your last series of T-Bag? Was it sad filming your last episode? Were you given a Ďleaving surpriseí or not? Did you have any regrets leaving the series?

I have no regrets. It was a very happy time, but five years is long enough and I wanted to do other things, I think I decided at the end of the series. I wasnít given a leaving surprise but I donít know how many knew that I wouldnít be back. Was it sad? All goodbyes have a sadness.

You had a great on-screen relationship with John Hasler (who played T. Shirt) when you left did you miss him and all the other members of the T-Bag cast and crew?

Yes of course, but things change all the time and the nature of acting means you have to keep moving

Have you got any keepsakes (costumes or props) from the show?

No.

How did the success of the series affect your career?

Well, many people remember it so thatís great. Itís hard to know exactly how any job affects your whole career. In fact I did mainly theatre for a while after T. Bag. So the answer is Ė I donít know.

Have you seen T-Bag in recent years?

No.

You speak about T-Bag with great affection, would you ever consider reprising your role as Tallulah Bag if you were given the opportunity to do so?

No, it was of itís time. Also Iím too old now Ė it was 20 years ago!

Now you star in Emmerdale, do any of the young actors/actresses on set remember you as T-Bag from their childhoods?

Yes, and they get quite excited. I can tell how popular it was by the way people talk about it.

If T-Bag was commercially released on DVD would you be willing to get involved with the extras (e.g. interviews, running commentaries etc)?

That questionís too theoretical. Couldnít say.

Youíve had a great TV and theatre acting career, is there any particular roles or shows you would like to be in?

I donít know how to answer that. I donít think thereís anything specific that I can think of.

Have you any other comments or further thoughts about T-Bag you would like to share with everybody who grew up watching T-Bag?

I donít think so. Iím just pleased it was so enjoyed.

Elizabeth Estensen