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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 44 - On Location > LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Margot Hayhoe is a veteran of Doctor Who location shoots from the days when diplomacy and a bag of coppers came in handy.
Peter Davison as the Doctor, on location at Birchden Wood in East Sussex for Part Two of Castrovalva (1982).

Margot Hayhoe’s career in television production spanned over four decades, much of it spent as an AFM (assistant floor manager) and later as production manager at the BBC. These key behind-the-scenes roles saw her work on six Doctor Who adventures between 1966 and 1983, taking much of the responsibility for finding suitable exteriors for the series’ location filming requirements. “The very first thing I ever did as an assistant floor manager was in 1966 on The War Machines,” she says when we meet up at London’s South Bank to discuss the practicalities and pitfalls of location filming.

However, prior to entering a life in production, the young Margot worked on the other side of the camera. “I was a child actor,” she remembers. “I went to a school called the Arts Educational. I used to go to Saturday morning classes and the teacher thought I was a good dancer, so at nine I went to stage school. But I wasn’t really a very good dancer, so I switched more to the acting side.

“The AFM was involved in absolutely everything.” Margot Hayhoe today.

“I’d been in a couple of productions for the BBC. I thought it was a really rather exciting atmosphere to be in. I did a theatre job on tour with a rather well-known couple, Cicely Courtneidge and Jack Hulbert. They were both film stars in the 1930s and 40s, and there they were, at Crewe Station, waiting for a train to go to the next place. I was an understudy, and I had to go front of house so that when Cicely came on I could start the applause, as otherwise she wasn’t a happy lady and would just sort of rush through it. I didn’t want to end up like that. I wasn’t going to get many parts, so I thought, ‘No, let’s do something else.’ And how exciting it was doing television.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

In its early days, Doctor Who was recorded on cumbersome cameras tethered to claustrophobic and often inadequate studios. The show rarely escaped these confines in the 1960s, but as technology improved, producers and directors became more adventurous. Location shooting has helped to create some of the most memorable episodes in the series’ long history. In this unique publication, new features, exclusive interviews and rare images tell the story of those episodes and the people who made them happen.
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