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29 October 2014
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Monarch of the Glen

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Live Chat
Alastair MacKenzie
During Series 3 Alastair MacKenzie was online for a Live Chat, if you missed it, here’s what he said.

Alastair MacKenzie has become a household name - and a bit of a heartthrob! - in his role as Archie MacDonald, Laird of Glenbogle and Monarch of the Glen. Alastair chatted live online about life with the cast, the crew, and the midges!

Question from Andrew: Have you any Scottish ancestry or family?
Alastair MacKenzie: Absolutely! All my ancestry is Scottish. All my family are Scottish. 100%.

Question from Lorabisho Mccourt: Are you planning to do another series? Or are there any other projects in the pipeline? Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, we are doing another series this summer. I'm starting to shoot a movie next week, that's in Scotland too.

Question from Karen Sterry: Are you like your character in Monarch of the Glen?
Alastair MacKenzie: No, I'm far more handsome! I'm not nearly as troubled as he is. My life isn't nearly as complicated.

Question from Karen Sherry: Which cast members do you get on with best?
Alastair MacKenzie: It's really hard to say. We all live together in a big house. We're all like one big happy family. Richard Briers and I have become like father and son.

Question from Hazel Fyfe: Is Richard Briers really as eccentric as Hector? If not, what or who else entertains you all when you're not filming?
Alastair MacKenzie: Richard Briers is extremely eccentric as is Susan Hampshire and it's really entertaining. We also have local highlights like the shinty match at the weekend.

Question from Kitty Wolfe: Which cast members have annoying habits and what are they?
Alastair MacKenzie: None of them are really repeatable!

Question from Susan: Who chooses what clothes Archie wears and what do you think of them? I seriously think you should ditch the grey/silver coloured jacket! Sorry!
Alastair MacKenzie: We have a costume designer who picks all the clothes. The grey/silver coloured jacket was chosen for me. They wanted me to be rustic.

Question from Beaulieu Waller: Would you ever swap your life for Archie MacDonalds?
Alastair MacKenzie: Ooh it's a tough question to answer as there are a lot of good points about his life. I'd swap the landscape because I live in the north of London - I wouldn't mind 35,000 acres in the north of Scotland.

Question from Kitty Wolfe: How is it always sunny in Glenbogle? Sunny Scotland? - surely not!
Alastair MacKenzie That's the magic of television. If it's a sunny day we take advantage of it and shoot outside.

Question from Denise Clarer: Do you take your shirt off at any point?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, next week I have a bath!

Question from Daniel Jones: Why are you so goodlooking when Hector isn't?
Alastair MacKenzie: That's very unfair. I'm flattered actually, maybe I have my mother's genes.

Question from Alex Green: I read somewhere that a friend of yours made you laugh so hard that you got a hernia, is this true?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, I ruptured myself laughing! It was Phil Kay who made me split my sides! Then when he came to see me in hospital I split my stiches.

Question from Jess Kitchen: Where is Monarch of the Glen filmed?
Alastair MacKenzie: It's filmed near Newtonmore, in the central Highlands of Scotland, near the Cairngorms.

Question from Laura Cope: Do you and Katrina get together in this series?
Alastair MacKenzie: You're just going to have to wait and see!

Question from Paul Walter: Are there actually any lairds in Scotland as young and as reasonable as you?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, I think so. I've met a couple. The young lairds try to bring estates into the 21st century.

Question from Robyn Eastlake: Do u hate watching yourself on TV?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, I do. You know what it's like when you hear yourself on a tape recorder, it's like that, but worse. I watch every episode, though.

Question from Karon Palmer: Do you feel comfortable having to wear a kilt, and is it true what they say?
Alastair MacKenzie: I love wearing a kilt. There's a chemical reaction between the tartan and the skin that makes you feel like a warrior!

Question from Judy Giles: Do you think you and your family could ever settle in the Highlands of Scotland one day?
Alastair MacKenzie: It's a possiblity, yes. But it's something that I'm not distancing.

Question from Zara Wyte: Are you as ignorant and oblivious when it comes to women as Archie?
Alastair MacKenzie: Ha ha! Probably, but I managed to get a girlfriend and a kid out of it!

Question from Shona Webster: What is your favourite episode, or has it not been screened yet?
Alastair MacKenzie: It's next week's episode. Watch and you'll find out why!

Question from Sunni: I'm currently choosing my A-Levels and it makes you think if you'll regret what you choose. Is there anything you regret about your career and choices?
Alastair MacKenzie: I regret not going to university.

Question from Jacco Sandra Burger Voormolen: Is the next episode the last one?
Alastair MacKenzie: It's the last one of this series, but we're doing another series next year.

Question from Joanne Have: Have you made any films, if so which do you prefer TV or films?
Alastair MacKenzie: I've only ever made one film, but I'm starting work on another one this week. TV is very quick and I'd like to make more films.

Question from Alan Gillies: Were the midges a problem?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, the midges were a problem. We had to reshoot several scenes because the midges were so bad. The crew were in complete bodysuits!

Question from Clare Livesey: Out of Katrina and Lexie, who's more your type?
Alastair MacKenzie: Like Archie, I can't decide between the two.

Question from Claire Java1: If your life were made into a film, who would you have to play you?
Alastair MacKenzie: Good question - Steve McQueen!

Question from Rebecca Colley: What has been the most comical moment on the set?
Alastair MacKenzie: Richard Briers forgetting his lines and me having to hold an idiot board and I was laughing so much he couldn't read the idiot board. We ended up having to do 23 takes.

Question from Laura B: Out of all the cast who is most like their character?
Alastair MacKenzie: It's Molly - extremely barking - in a nice way!

Question from Rachel: Is Duncan really as dim as he makes out?
Alastair MacKenzie: Sometimes - but most of the time he's pretending to be dimmer than he is.

Question from Jane_Knott: How are you coping with being the hottest property out of Scotland since the haggis?
Alastair MacKenzie: Very well thank you! I do what I can do.

Question from Marge Bates: Who is your favourite character?
Alastair MacKenzie: Hector - he makes me laugh the most.

Question from Karen Sterry: If you were told you had to be stranded on an island for 12 months, which character would you take with you and why?
Alastair MacKenzie: I think I'd probably go for Katrina, actually, because she's put up a good fight and we could always kiss and make up.

Question from Alex_Green: Today we saw you running over the countryside, are you that fit and agile in real life?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, when you're an actor you have to be fit most of the time anyway.

Question from Elizabeth Mulligan: Is Glenbogle house really as run-down as you all make out, or is it sheer luxury?
Alastair MacKenzie: It's not as run-down as it looks on the TV because the art department make it look run-down, but it is big and dark and cold.

Question from Colin: Is the location as good as it looks on TV?
Alastair MacKenzie: Every day we go to work with fire in our bellies because it is such a beautiful place to work. I'm euphoric about it really.

Question from Denise Clarer: Do you have your own website yet?
Alastair MacKenzie: No, I haven't really thought about it.

Question from Emma Jeffery1L: What do you and the cast get up to when you are off set?
Alastair MacKenzie: We all live together in a big house in a village, so every night there's some kind of tv going on, pubs, quizzes and the like.

Question from Clare Livesey: Do you prefer the bright lights of London or Glenbogle?
Alastair MacKenzie: I'm very much torn between the two. I couldn't live without either.

Question from Joanne: How long does it take to make an episode and have there been any embarrassing moments?
Alastair MacKenzie: It takes two weeks to make an episode and there are embarassing moments every day. The bath scene was quite embarassing. There was a very embarassing moment when I was driving a car and I went into a gatepost.

Question from Robyn Eastlake: If your kid grows up wanting to become an actor, what advice would you give them?
Alastair MacKenzie: I'd say. 'Make sure it's really what you want to do'.

Question from Sam Galbraith: Do you like pipe music?
Alastair MacKenzie: I do when it's outside.

Question from Charlie Twain: I'm intrigued by the mention of the bathing scene - how much of you do we get to see?
Alastair MacKenzie: Put it this way, we used bubble bath...until a certain person pulls the plug!

Question from Rebecca Colley: What would you be doing if you weren't an actor?
Alastair MacKenzie: I would be be a sailor.

Question from Katherine Omara: Which character in the programme are you most like in real life? Duncan?
Alastair MacKenzie: Golly.

Question from Karen Sterry: Have you had any disasters with on screen kisses??
Alastair MacKenzie: I once had to kiss somebody (not in Monarch of the Glen) and I accidentally bit her lip really badly and it was really swollen! That was very bad.

Question from Rory Sinclair: Do you like England better than Scotland?
Alastair MacKenzie No.

Question from Miranda Thomas1: Has your girlfriend ever got jealous when you do on-screen kisses?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, every single time. I have to explain every week that I don't enjoy kissing anybody other than her.

Question from Fraser Thomson: What tartan do you wear?
Alastair MacKenzie: In the show it's the MacDonald tartan.

Question from Alex Green: How come none of the MacDonald family have a Scottish accent?
Alastair MacKenzie: All I can say is that they are a breed of aristocratic Scots that all have posh accents.

Question from Garreth Waites: Which month or months do you film Monarch of the Glen?
Alastair MacKenzie: Last year, we filmed between May and October.

Question from Camilla Attwood: Do you have any children, and were they born in Scotland?
Alastair MacKenzie: I have a 14-month-old daughter, but she wasn't born in Scotland.

Question from Patricia: Where in Scotland were you born and brought up?
Alastair MacKenzie: Perth.

Question from Katherine O'Mara: Have you ever done a Fergal and gone swimming in the loch?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes I have. We had a really hot spell last year and we all went swimming in the loch and we had no swimming costumes!

Question from Sally Bonner: Do you support a football team and, if so, which?
Alastair MacKenzie: St Johnstone FC.

Question from Miranda Thomas1: Do you like Travis? (they're the only Scots group I can think of)
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes I do, but there are plenty of other ones. Have you heard of Teenage Fanclub?

Question from Garreth Waites: Which actor or actress do you admire? Alastair MacKenzie: Juliette Binoche and Steve McQueen.

Question from Colin: If you could be the monarch of any country, and in any period, what would they be and why?
Alastair MacKenzie: Spain in the 17th century.

Question from Michelle Lake: Since you admire Steve McQueen so much, do you want to either ride a Harley over barbed wire or drive daredevil down the hills of San Francisco or some stunt like that??
Alastair MacKenzie: I definitely want to ride a car down the streets of San Francisco.

Question from Katie: What other jobs have you had besides acting?
Alastair MacKenzie: I've worked in a bar, I've been a cleaner, a painter, cook.

Question from David Pickard: Can you speak any Gaelic?And if so, what?
Alastair MacKenzie: I can't speak any Gaelic.

Question from Kirsty Lohman: When did you realise you wanted to be an actor?
Alastair MacKenzie: When I was very young, my uncle said to me that I should be on the stage as I used to show off in front of the family.

Question from Thea Pitchers: What would be your perfect day off?
Alastair MacKenzie: In bed with a pile of newspapers, followed by a long walk up a mountain, followed by a couple of pints of beer, then a bath.

Question from Denise Burgess: Have you always lived in Scotland?
Alastair MacKenzie: No, I now live in London.

Question from Laura Cope: Do you have any phobias?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, I'm terrified of snakes.

Question from David Pickard: What are you enjoying on television at the moment?
Alastair MacKenzie: 'In a Land of Plenty', it's the best thing on the TV I've ever seen.

Question from Emma Thistleton: What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
Alastair MacKenzie: Held a python in my hand.

Question from Patricia Do you have any bad habits?
Alastair MacKenzie: I've just given up smoking - so, no!

Question from Laura Bayliss: I used to have a dog called Ciochnahoigh, what would you call yours if you had one? Alastair MacKenzie: Duncan.

Question from Camilla Attwood: Would you like to live in a house like the one in Monarch?
Alastair MacKenzie: No, I wouldn't. It's too cold and dark, but I wouldn't mind the view.

Question from Thea Pitchers: What will be the first thing you do when you finish chatting tonight?
Alastair MacKenzie: Finish my tea, probably.

Question from Karen Sterry: What is your favourite song and why?
Alastair MacKenzie: 'Waiting on a Friend', by the Stones.

Question from Garreth Waites: Are you computer-literate, or is somebody helping you tonight?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes, I can type at 65wpm and I'm always logging on.

Question from Lisa Wallace: Would you like to have a father like Hector?
Alastair MacKenzie: Yes. He's cantakerous, but he's lovely.

Question from Sharon Anderson: How many Valentine cards did you receive this year? Alastair MacKenzie: Strangely enough, I got three. I don't know who they're from!

Question from Kitty Wolfe: If you had to choose - haggis or fish and chips?
Alastair MacKenzie: Haggis.

Question from Emma Thistleton: Which character would you like to trade places with and why?
Alastair MacKenzie: I'd like to trade places with Fergal, as he gets to go to New Zealand.

Question from Denise Clarer: What other programmes or films have you been in?
Alastair MacKenzie: The last TV show I did was a thing called 'Psychos' on Channel 4.

Question from Sarah Jones: How long did you spend living in Perth when you were younger?
Alastair MacKenzie: I spent time there when I was very small, and I also spent my teenage years there.

Question from Ruth French: If you could have had a role in Trainspotting, would you have been Renton or Begbie?!
Alastair MacKenzie: Renton.

Question from Mike and Sharon: My wife and I reckon you would make an excellent James Bond. With Pierce Brosnan retiring, would you fancy the job?
Alastair MacKenzie: Very much so, yes please!

Next Chat - Series 3 Richard Briers >>
Alastair MacKenzie



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