Retirement living story - Dot Connolley
Flirting with Michael Keaton, dining with Michael Caine... it’s all in a day's work for Dot!
"I like to think I gave Ant and Dec their big break and paved the way for their TV career,” jokes 67-year-old homeowner Dot Connolley, a former TV script supervisor who now resides at Riverwood, a McCarthy Stone Retirement Living development in Milngavie near Glasgow.
It’s easy to see why Dot had an extraordinarily happy and successful career behind the camera as she embodies the phrase ‘people person’. “I often think to myself 'Not bad for a girl from Sunderland, who left school at 16, with only five O levels to my name!’”
Dot began her 40+ year career in TV production at BBC Newcastle, where she worked on the children’s show Byker Grove and remembers candidly helping audition the Geordie duo Ant and Dec. “Even back then the crew all knew we had found special talent – they were raw, relatable and above all funny.”
At age 36, she upped sticks from her native Sunderland, relocating to Scotland to work for BBC Scotland. After her contract ended, she took the decision to go freelance and worked, amongst lots of other programmes, on the Scottish detective TV series Taggart. “I was the Script Supervisor, primarily responsible for continuity. It was a fabulously rewarding job seeing all the scenes run seamlessly together.”
Dot also worked on the Irish-British television sitcom created by Brendan O’Carroll, Mrs Brown’s Boys, including its Christmas specials. “The cast is made up of several friends and family members, so it was a real hoot to film!”
As a well-respected freelancer, Dot was lucky enough to travel all over the world and spent four months in Nice. “My time in Nice seems like a dream. At one point I dined with Michael Keaton and Michael Caine at a rooftop restaurant with the deep blue waters of the Cote d’Azur providing the dramatic backdrop, I had to pinch myself!”
Fast forward to today and Dot recently decided it was time for a change. Now, in the prime of her 60s, she made the decision to move from her house in Milngavie, which she had lived in for more than 15 years and join the vibrant community at Riverwood.“I wanted to move into a place where I would be part of a community, feel safe and have stacks of facilities on my doorstep. Riverwood ticked all the boxes for me, and I haven’t looked back, it really is living made easy.”
Dot has relished every moment since making the move to Riverwood. She explains: “Fabulous accommodation, a kindred community, surrounded by friends and with all the cafés, restaurants, pubs and shops of Milngavie on my doorstep; what’s not to love? I’ve lived a colourful life and I’m not stopping now!”
With travel plans in the pipeline, Dot’s adventure has only just begun. Explore properties for sale or rent at Riverwood, Milngavie, Glasgow.