Hugh Francis Spight; Born in Neath Abbey. South Wales UK
They say “Passion is its own excuse”. But at 16 years old and having already sailed around the World (as a Midshipman), that passion he was seeking still eluded him. It was three years later after he had become a student at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama that he found it. Dance! Following a sort of original “Billy Elliot” experience at the local provincial Ballet school, he auditioned and was awarded a Dance Scholarship in a professional school in London, which he completed in two year. After working in various dance companies across Europe. He returned to London and fulfilled his student dream, and became a soloist with the renowned Rambert Dance Company. There followed thirty years of working as a dancer/singer/actor in theatre, film and television both in the UK and Germany. In 1980 Hugh was engaged by the Henson Organisation as a Movement Coordinator for the film ’The Dark Crystal” to help create, develop and perform many of the original and unique characters and creatures that are seen in that ground-breaking production.
Especially the 3meter high galloping “Land Strider” that he performs, which was a “first”, in combining both arm and leg stilts in order to create the authentic look and movement of such a creature. The film took two years to complete. As the film was being completed. Star Wars, “Return of the Jedi” (or as his original crew sweat shirt says “Revenge of the Jedi”) had begun shooting at the same studios at Elstree, where George Lucas had built the largest indoor stage in Europe. Hugh, along with a few others from “Crystal” were asked if they would like to come and perform a few body puppets. So it was a case of being in the “right place” etc! He played three characters, including the main “Gamorrean Guard” holding Han Solo, and taking him down to the dungeon. Hugh likes to say he had a fight with Harrison Ford…….and won!
Hugh also appeared as a Dalek in several episodes of Doctor Who in the 1988 season.
As a consequence of working and being involved with so many gifted and talented people in the film world, Hugh formed his own Special Effects Company called Animatronics Ltd. and worked successfully both in the UK and Germany on television and commercial productions. He now lives in the north Oxfordshire countryside. He enjoys attending conventions, and meeting people who are as enthusiastic as he is, and share with him a passion for this creative industry with which he feels privileged to have been a part of for so many years.