Facebook live coming up! Today (Wednesday 12 August) at 7pm I will be talking with Jules O’Dwyer, whose dogs wowed the nation!
Colin Skeaping was one of the first professional stuntmen – in an era before CGI! He was in very many of the blockbuster movies you will have watched. For the first three Star Wars movies he was Luke Skywalker’s stunt double; you’ll have watched him in James Bond movies. He was an extra in Superman on his day off from stunts!
He was in so many iconic movies and it took him around the world. Back home he was in so many famous TV scenes, and when he worked he took his dogs with him as there was a lot of sitting around waiting.
When ‘acting’ dogs came in to do their jobs, Colin would watch dogs spooked by the equipment and the difficulty of long distance commands in this alien world. Directors were often not animal savvy and it would hold up filming when they couldn’t get the dog shot.
More and more Colin was asked if his dogs could do the action, and they always could. Consequently, his Beardies starting cropping up in roles they would not normally have been cast in! Midsommer Murders always had a disproportionate amount of murders – but in this beautiful place Bearded Collies were the most popular breed of dog – everyone had them!
I first met Colin at a charity Beardie event, I think I was co-judging, and Colin was doing an agility demo. I’d seen him on Crufts TV doing agility really well with a gorgeous Beardie. I was very impressed. The physical demands of being a stunt man meant that he was to start to suffer aches and pains which made it hard to keep up with his super fast Beardies when they did agility, so he simply trained them to do it while he reclined on a sun lounger!
I don’t know how long it was before I discovered Colin’s life outside of dogs. He’s very modest. He’s never written a book about it. He should! Colin now has two working Beardies that are so smart probably no one else could keep up with them. I can’t wait to talk to him about his life and work – join us tonight!
Did you miss any of the previous Facebook Live interviews? They’re all in my podcast Beverley Cuddy – The Devil Wears Dog Hair:
Marc Abraham – the vet behind Lucy’s Law
Debbie Matthews – the campaigner for microchip and pet theft reform
Professor John Cooper QC – defender of underdogs everywhere
Jordan Shelley – the dog trainer who turned his life around
Jemima Harrison – the journalist who exposed pedigree dogs
Dr Ian Dunbar – the dog world’s David Attenborough
Jules O’Dwyer – the trainer whose dogs wowed Britain