Arts Q&A: Poldark director William McGregor on Cinemagic, Irish folk music and rugby

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Bafta-winning Poldark and One of Us director William McGregor

Bafta-winning director William McGregor

1. When did you think about film directing as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I enjoyed writing short stories, drawing and taking pictures, so picking up a Handycam and making short stories evolved from that when I was about 15. It was one of my first films shot solo with a Handycam that showed at Cinemagic in 2006. I then returned in 2009 with a student film which won a few awards.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

I recently saw an incredible Irish folk band called The Gloaming at The Royal Festival Hall, that was an incredible experience – there's something magical and timeless about their music.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

I'd probably go with The Gloaming again, you can't go wrong with some 10th century Celtic folk music.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island?

Something by Dire Straits as it reminds me of home. I'll go with the conveniently titled Making Movies.

5 Book?

I'm going to cheat and go for a collection. Tales of Wonder by HG Wells.

6. Top three films?

Ken Russell's The Devils, Nic Roeg's Don't Look Now and Jack Clayton's The Innocents.

7. Worst film you've seen?

I walked out of a screening for the first time ever the other day, it was at the London Film Festival. But I don't want to say the title as I don't believe in knocking other peoples work.

8. Favourite authors?

HG Wells, Edgar Allen Poe and William Blake.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I used to play rugby, before my knees gave up. I have a soft spot for Leicester Tigers as I was in their youth set-up. Now I just enjoy going to the gym.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

A remote log cabin in the mountains.

11. Pet hate?

People chewing loudly.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Steak

Dessert? Tiramisu

Drink? An Old Fashioned.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

I'd have to say my girlfriend Sarah. We meet whilst on a foundation degree in Art and Design 10 years ago.

14. Is there a God?


:: William McGregor will host a Talent Lab Q&A as part of the Cinemagic Film Festival for aspiring directors aged 16-25 on Saturday 22nd October, 2pm-5pm in George Best Belfast City Airport. For more info visit


Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope:  

301 Moved Permanently

Moved Permanently

The document has moved here.