Georgina Hale - 20th Anniversary Interview

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The letter from Georgina Hale To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of T-Bag first being broadcast in the UK, I asked Georgina Hale (who played Tabatha Bag) some questions about the show, about her thoughts then and now and much more.

She kindly replied to my letter, asking me to phone her to talk about T-Bag, the letter can be seen to the side (with the phone number removed). An excellent opportunity not to be missed. The interview took place in the morning of 12th March 2005. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with her about T-Bag, all those years ago when I watched Georgina as T-Bag I never imagined I'd be talking to her on the phone!

A big thank you to Georgina for her time and thoughts on the show, it is greatly appreciated.

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

How did you get involved with T-Bag? How did the part of Tabatha Bag come up? Were there auditions etc?

All actors have agents, or try to get an agent, some good some bad you just never know catch 22. That week or whatever it was I was up for three different things, I remember that one was a movie, which I didnít get, one was T-Bag as Iíve got no kids I had no reason for me to watch childrenís television, and something, I canít remember what the other was. Anyway I went and met two really nice guys at Thames, we had a bit of a chat, sit and chat, a few days later the agent phoned - I got T-Bag , having never seen what went before which was probably good in a way as I had never seen what the other lady (Elizabeth Estensen) had done prior to me. Terribly nervous, which you cope with.

What were the cast and crew like?

Everybody was nice, young John who was playing T-Shirt was really great to work with, we had many, many directors, no not too many directors and finally we ended up with one director, which was really nice. With the last one, we never went home with a different director. What was great about it, the writers who were two actors who were now writing because only the chosen few get regular work. It was great, to me it was high camp, you could play her and then you got the chance to play all these fabulous characters.

It was a great team, it was a joy to do, it was really fun, and as the time went on, you know people in the street would stop me. It wasnít, and I say it wasnít just slotted for children. I used to get one parent dads write to me or one parent mums that are in on an afternoon watching it, and I tried to never to, if possible, look down to children, and treat them as though they on your level, thatís what I hoped for, and it was just so great fun to do.

Were you disapointed when T-Bag came to an end?

It was terribly sad when doing the last one because, I think Thames Television altogether made about two thousand people redundant, you're talking about camera crew, make up girls, wardrobe departments, and it had all gone except for the building.

After you filmed T-Bag did you ever see it or any footage of it?

No, because your on doing the next one, so you saw them whenever they came up, because you do like the whole block, and it would come out three or four months later.

What did you think of your costumes for the show?

Oh lovely, Ray Childes, initially did the first lot, was brilliant, very very clever guy, it was very sad you know, he didnít do the last one, when that job finished. The last time I saw Ray was he was selling motorbikes, he had a love for motorbikes too. You think what a, what a waste of a talent, but you know with so many people at Thames, suddenly the job went and lots of people were unemployed. It was very sad.

I can remember a friend of mine, a writer, this was years ago, who said a man in America had actually bought some of my costumes, they were offered to me and I thought Ďwhat do I want them forí and he paid about three hundred, four hundred pounds, you know just for one dress, there we are, we reached America, but not on the television!

You had a fantastic on screen relationship with John Hasler who played T-Shirt, have you seen or heard from him after T-Bag finished?

No I havenít actually, he was really lovely to work with, I remember he wanted to be a director. I remember the other day, somebody was talking about T-Bag and they said that John was on the telly on four or five and it came on at ten oí clock Wednesday or Thursday night, I couldnít even tell you what it was called, but I guess if I got the Radio Times and checked down there one would find his name. Oh Iím trying to think now; he must be about twenty seven or twenty eight, about that.

Iím 23 now, and T-Bag started when I was three and a halfÖ

Gosh and you remember it.

I do have all the episodes on video tape in most of its entirety; I taped them when they came on the television.

Gosh, I only had a few, and some Iíve given away, and Iíve lent them to people and you know you never get them back, people you donít know terribly close. But sometimes I can watch and other times I canít because I think where did all those years go, where did all those years go. I only ever watch a few things that I did.

Which was your favourite/most memorable episode?

I can remember gone with the wind, that was great fun to do, and I remember, Long John Silver, that was fun to do and there was another one, I canít remember, it was tap dancing, but they were all great to do.

Georgina Hale