BRITT ALLCROFT

'The Lady Who Brought Thomas To The Screen'

Britt was warned by Awdry that many had tried and failed to bring his stories to the screen.  Through careful choices of Storyteller, Director and Studio Crew, as well as a genuine love and understanding for the characters and stories (which still shines through today), Britt was destined to succeed where her predecessors hadn’t.  

 

In 1984, she launched the first series of Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends, and catapulted the Railway Series characters and stories to a whole new audience, and continued to nurture the characters throughout their television existence.

Britt also kick-started the Thomas craze in America too, creating Shining Time Station with Rick Siggelkow, as a vehicle to launch Thomas into America, a series which proved very popular in its own right, basing the situations and morals of the episode around the featured Thomas story of the day.

 

In 1991, her creative partnership with David Mitton saw the pair produce a set of  original stories alongside the Rev Awdry’s stories for the 3rd Television series.  Although this may have soured relations between Britt and the Awdry family, Britt and David continued to write their own material for the Television Series, and went on to produce a full series of non-Awdry stories in 1998 following Britt’s successful acquisition of the copyright from the publishers the year previous.

 

In 2000, Britt wrote, produced, directed and briefly voiced the character of Lady in Thomas’s first feature film, Thomas and the Magic Railroad.  Following the movie, Britt stood down from her position in The Britt Allcroft Company, which rebranded as Gullane Entertainment, prior to being taken over by HIT Entertainment.  Britt set up a new company, Britt Allcroft Productions, and joined HIT’s creative board in 2004, leaving the same year to focus upon her other business commitments.

 

Since setting up her new company, Britt has remained loyal and supportive of Thomas the Tank Engine - and become a great supporter of Sodor Island Forums and Fansite.  Remaining active in the production world from her new base in Los Angeles, in 2008, Britt bought back the rights to The Magical Adventures of Mumfie, which she had developed in the early 1990s.

 

And despite not being a well-known Rail Enthusiast like the Rev. W. Awdry - Britt still managed to garner some support in The Railway Magazine’s Great Railway Personalities of the Millennium poll, published in 2000, although she did not enter the Top 50 along with the Rev Awdry.