Category : Scotland;
Date : 13.03.2004
and Simone Lahbib are to join the cast of BBC ONE's internationally
acclaimed feel-good drama, Monarch of the Glen.
Famed for his role as cult TV icon Doctor Who, Tom Baker
- whose credits also include Little Britain, The Lives & Loves Of
A She Devil and Strange - will join the Monarch cast for its sixth series
as Hector's younger brother Donald MacDonald.
After a 40 year absence from his Highland home, hellraiser
Donald MacDonald (Tom Baker) returns to Glenbogle but his homecoming
stirs up memories from the past for the family.
Former racing driver Donald has lived his life in the
fast lane and has accrued a catalogue of speeding offences along the
In an attempt to keep him out of trouble, the police
place the unruly pensioner under the careful supervision of the MacDonald
clan but Donald isn't a man who can be easily tamed.
Scots actress Simone Lahbib (Bad Girls, Family, Young
Persons Guide To Becoming A Rock Star) will play the role of feisty
neighbour Isobel Anderson, who returns to Glenbogle to run her late
Former local girl Isobel has spent much of her life
building a career in Edinburgh and London so the return to the rural
community of Glenbogle is sure to come as a shellshock to her as she
struggles to make a success of her farm.
Tom Baker is delighted to be joining the cast of Monarch
of the Glen: "I think I'm made for the role of Donald MacDonald
- he's quite clearly from another planet.
"He's benevolently unstable and his release into
the care of the MacDonald clan is going to be interesting because he's
something of an old lunatic.
"They'll have to keep their eyes open - Donald's
a bloody menace.
"I'm looking forward to lots of laughs with Monarch
and it will be wonderful to spend time in Scotland. I know the area
quite well having toured with various theatre productions - it's a beautiful
part of the country."
Simone Lahbib adds: "I'm absolutely delighted to
be joining Monarch.
"Isobel is a feisty, determined young woman who
isn't afraid of rolling up her designer sleeves and setting in motion
her plans to get her grandmother's farm up and running again.
"With it's loveable characters, good storylines
and breathtaking scenery it's no surprise Monarch enjoys such considerable
success the world over.
"I'm going to have a lot of fun playing Isobel.
"This is the first time I've been back to work
in Scotland since Young Person's Guide To Becoming a Rock Star and I'll
only be a two hour drive from my family in Stirling. I just can't wait
to come home."
Created by Michael Chaplin and inspired by the Highland
novels of Sir Compton Mackenzie, Monarch of the Glen (an Ecosse Films
production for BBC Scotland) has proved to be a smash-hit with Boglies
(Monarch fans) the world over.
It is broadcast in more than 20 countries worldwide
including America, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Dubai.
Tom and Simone will join Monarch of the Glen's principle
cast members Susan Hampshire, Dawn Steele, Lloyd Owen,
Hamish Clark and Alexander Morton who return to their
Highland homes in Glenbogle to film the 10-part sixth series at the
end of March in Kinloch Laggan, Invernesshire, Scotland.
Favourites from series five, Martin Compston
and Rae Hendrie, will also return in the new series as loveable
rogue Ewan (Compston) and Glenbogle's first girl ghillie, Golly's daughter
Producer Rob Bullock (Passion Killers, Holding The Baby,
My Wonderful Life) says: "Tom Baker and Simone Lahbib bring anarchic
comedy and glamour to the series which is exactly what viewers want
from the show.
"It's a new era for Monarch of the Glen and the
sixth series is full of comedy, romance and great stories. Tom and Simone
are exciting additions to a fantastic cast."
Gaynor Holmes, Executive Producer, BBC Scotland, adds:
"Monarch has always been lucky to have such a strong ensemble cast
and we are delighted that this will continue into series six with the
addition of Tom Baker and Simone Lahbib.
"Their characters bring exciting new storylines
with them and promise to shake up life in Glenbogle."
Rob Knights (Waking The Dead, Monarch of the Glen, Dangerfield)
will direct the first block of filming.
Writing credits for the sixth series include Niall Leonard
(Monarch of the Glen, Hornblower, Ballykissangel), John Martin Johnson
(Wasps) and Leslie Stewart (Holby City, Peak Practice, Casualty).
Gaynor Holmes (BBC Scotland), Douglas Rae and Robert
Bernstein (Ecosse Films) are the Executive Producers for series six.
Monarch of the Glen is an Ecosse Films Production for