Winning an Oscar is arguably the pinnacle of any artist’s career working in the film industry. But earning a second is a rare accomplishment.

One which St Albans-based prosthetics artist Mark Coulier has achieved this year, just days after he scooped a British Academy Film and Television Award (BAFTA).

On Sunday, February 22, at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Mark, along with colleague Frances Hannon, was presented by Reese Witherspoon with the coveted prize for Best Make-up, thanks to their work on Wes Anderson’s quirky thriller, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The pair also took the BAFTA on Sunday, February 8, for their hair and make-up design on the blockbuster starring Ralph Fiennes.

These gongs now stand proudly on Mark’s mantlepiece with his Oscar and BAFTA for The Iron Lady.

The father-of-three explains his reaction when his name was called at the Oscar ceremony this year, and says: “It’s hard to describe, I just felt really happy and equally nervous about having to get up on stage in front of a billion people.

"In my category they were really strong contenders and it’s a shame only one could win really, they’re all Oscar-worthy, and I feel very fortunate to have won.“ He was nominated for the prize alongside Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard for Foxcatcher and Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White for their work on Guardians of the Galaxy.

At the BAFTAs they were up against competition from the Guardians of The Galaxy team, Peter Sword’s Kings and J Roy Helland from Into The Woods, Christine Blundell and Lesa Warrener from Mr Turner and Jan Sewell and Kristyan Mallett from The Theory of Everything.

The 51-year-old is no stranger to success: in 2012 he won the double-whammy taking both an Oscar and BAFTA for his transformation of Meryl Streep into Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

He explains that experience prepared him for the onslaught of glamorous parties, interviews and photo shoots he would attend ahead of this year’s ceremony in Los Angeles.

“It was very glitzy and it rained quite heavily – it was like British weather,“ says the Anglia Ruskin University graduate.

“We took the weather over with us and came back with the Oscar.“ Lancashire-born Mark has also worked on films including Rush, in which he transformed Daniel Brühl into Niki Lauda who suffered horrific burns; Harry Potter, for which he oversaw the creation of Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort, and recreated actor Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela for biopic Long Walk to Freedom.

But it was for his work ageing Tilda Swinton into an 83-year-old (Tilda is 54) and turning Harvey Keitel into a bald-headed prison-inmate on The Grand Budapest Hotel that he won critical acclaim this time around.

“It was great fun – Tilda was a real trooper, she really loved the process,“ says Mark, who became interested in prosthetic design while a student in Cambridge.

He explains: “I was planning on conceptual design, something like that, but I found a book on prosthetic techniques in Cambridge Market and that sort of opened my eyes to how you can do this stuff.“ His first project was a broken nose, intended to imitate how a boxer might look after a fight.

“I did it on myself, I bought the cold-form make-up kit and my friends life-cast my face,“ says Mark.

“That was it really, I loved the whole process. I loved the techniques. I thought it was really fascinating.“ He owns make-up effects company Coulier Creatures FX in St Albans and he is busy working on Zoolander 2 and the upcoming James Bond film, Spectre.

Even with four gongs, he is modest about his success.

“I never expected any of it really, I’m very fortunate and I have worked hard.“