Susan George has her hands full with her biggest production yet. What will the neighbours say? Photograph by Brian Aris
Bundles and bundles of joy-and all in her own back yard! “Seeing Kelly give birth to, all those puppies was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. Something I will always remember,” says Susan George. Praise indeed from the highly successful actress whose first film as a producer, Stealing Heaven, is doing brisk business.
Kelly is the three-year-old who’s been bounding around Susan’s country home in Berkshire, ever since the Irish setter was a playful pup of eight weeks. She came from Dorking, complete with an impressive pedigree, and when she gave birth it was a particularly moving moment for Susan.
It was on February 12 (coincidentally husband Simon MacCorkindale’s birthday) that Kelly gave birth to the tiny pups after seven hours of trouble-free labour. And they’re all pure red, as their father, who’s called Cornevan Morello, is also a top pedigree Irish setter.
Susan had always kept male Irish setters and had just lost Oliver, who lived to the ripe old age of 16. So when Kelly produced her litter, Susan immediately picked out the best looking boy, along with a female pup who she thought had star quality. The rest will be going to loving homes.
They all have their own personalities and idiosyncrasies, ranging from inquisitive to truly rumbustious! And Susan has got to know them all.
“After being part of their every moment for the early weeks of their lives, I became extremely close to them. They’re all so lovely, but I simply couldn’t keep them all for ever, although I’d like to,” she says. “The only thing that would deter me from seeing more puppies born is having to let them go at all.”
With Susan’s work schedule, she has little choice. Another film, White Roses, will be out by autumn and there are plenty of other projects in the pipeline. That’s not to say that Susan and Simon have ruled out having a brood of their own-but for the moment, this little lot are enough of a handful!