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Wonderful to be paid for doing what you love!

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Anne Diamond | 12:38 UK time, Monday, 23 August 2010

It's what we like to tell our kids, isn't it? Try and get yourself a job where you'll be paid for doing what you love anyway.

Today I met two guys who are doing just that - in very different ways. First, former Olympic champion skier Graham Bell, who's from Henley. Once his professional skiing career was waning, he was lucky enough to be taken on as presenter of Ski Sunday, and now spends his life talking about his sport - and being paid for it!

Anne with Leigh TookIt was great also to meet a man who has a job you might not even know exists - Leigh Took, whose business is illusion! He came into the studio bearing one of the model heads which he has created for a movie.

As a young artist from Caversham, near Reading, he was taken on in the "matte" department at Pinewood Studios at 18, and has been working in the Big Movie Business ever since. His company now produces matte paintings (that's where the artist actually paints onto glass through which the camera shoots) and all sorts of special effects, including the most breathtaking "miniatures". For instance - the exterior of the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, where the Da Vinci Code plot draws to a close. The real chapel has all sorts of ugly corrugated iron and building work going on, so the movie producers asked Leigh to provide a totally authentic version of the chapel, but with a rather more ancient look. So the exteriors you see in the movie are actually Leigh's creation - and not the real thing at all.


  • Comment number 1.

    What amazingly wonderful stories - Graham Bell and Leigh Took - finding their niches, living their lives to the full.
    You know what it amazingly wonderful?
    I don't know one person in my immediate circle of friends who doesn't work to pay bills and nothing more. They do the 9-5 bit waiting for the day to end, and then try to get to bed reasonably early so they can do it all over again, except on week-ends when they pathetically try to find nirvana.
    One wonders why this is so. Why more people don't come to their own niche and snuggle in. Is it the lack of high-quality guidance counselling? Is it our class society that forces some people to take what they can get like it or not? Is it money, status, money, status - take the highest paying job?
    I looked for some research on this and found none. I'll keep looking, but something tells me that worker-happiness is just not among the priorities of the corporate elite. One cog, another cog - what is the difference?


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