Criminal one day, copper the next – the ultimate Tesco extra with 2,000 TV appearances
Wednesday 13 February 2013
He is the prolific part-time extra who could be one of the most instantly recognisable yet forgettable people in Britain.
John Walker’s 2,000 television appearances means he is on television every single day of the week, but could just as easily be seen stacking shelves in Tesco, where he holds a day job.
He is one of thousands of the unsung, unrewarded extras – or “supporting artists” – who work for as little as £75 a day, often spend hours waiting for a few seconds of screen time, and occasionally incur the wrath of Hollywood’s finest.
“One week I’ll be playing a criminal in Shameless, the next week I’m a police officer,” said the 40-year-old Mr Walker yesterday. He said his uncanny ability to blend into the background made him an ideal choice for work on films.
A key ability for an extra was the ability to silently “mime rubbish” without laughing, added Mr Walker, who has amassed more than 70 hours on the small screen.
“To make a good extra you have to good at blending in the background,” said Mr Walker, from Dudley in the West Midlands, who met his fiancée Neilum Raqia on set when she was a fellow extra in Doctors.
Extras are a significant part of production budgets on television and film. But in recent years filming has increasingly been transferred to eastern Europe where costs are lower.
Now in Hollywood there are at least two companies whose products could mean an end to the high life for Mr Walker – they supply inflatable extras.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love voted Greatest Guitar Riff of all time
Doctor Who lesbian kiss sparks Ofcom complaints over 'weird lesbian-lizard perv trip'
Emmys 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Steven Moffat win big awards for Sherlock
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Beyonce MTV VMAs feminist performance: Twitter reacts to singer's 'double standard'
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >