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Doctor and Bad Girl head for the Highlands - Tom Baker and Simone Lahbib to star in Monarch of the Glen

Category : Scotland; TV Drama
Date : 13.03.2004
Printable version

Tom Baker 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 way.


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 grandmother's farm.


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 Jessica (Hendrie).


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 BBC Scotland.



Category : Scotland; TV Drama
Date : 13.03.2004
Printable version


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