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Monarch of the Glen

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Live Chat
Hamish Clark
Hamish Clark came in for a chat on Sunday 29th September 2002, during the run of series 4.

The first question was from Holly Hooper: Do you keep anything in your sporran when filming? (script pages, Mars bars, midge repellent?!)
Hamish Clark: Oh, yeah! I keep my script in there. My make up girl has my midge repellent. I used to keep my cigs there, but I don't smoke any more.

Question from Tinks: Have you got any plans for any other television appearances? Other than Monarch Of the Glen...
Hamish: Oh, yeah, obviously. Monarch is happening just now. Before this I did It's a Wonderful Life. Next I'd like to play the leading character. Just now, Monarch is good fun and a really great platform for me. I would hope to go on and take the next step.

Question from Beth Mcdonald: What was it like filming with real wolves? Were u as scared as Duncan?
Hamish: Because Duncan is off the wall, he's a good medium to explore. There's a lot of comedy in him. No, it was great fun, amazing! There were five wolves each with a handler. They weren't tame at all, but they'd lived with their handlers since they were cubs. The Glenbogle pen is a real one that is actually there. I was in the pen once or twice - I can't remember the episode - maybe they were cut! It was great pretending to be petrified, but I wasn't.

Question from Lynne: What do you wear under your kilt? ;o)
Hamish: Well, obviously you're not meant to wear anything, but I often do a lot of my own stunts! So if you saw anything, because it goes out before 9pm, we'd have to re-shoot which would cost thousands - so I usually wear black trunks.

Question from ionascott: What do you most like about Duncan and where in Scotland are you from?
Hamish: Duncan's honesty. He gets his sleeves up and gets on with it. He has humility. He doesn't care what people think. At times he's shy and embarrassed, but he's a trier. I come from Broughty Ferry - near Dundee.

Question from amy: What has been your favourite episode of Monarch Of The Glen to film and why? Hamish: Out of this series, all the wolf ones were fantastic. Way back in series one when we did the hill race was probably my favourite ever. All the extras were real villagers. It was a big festival atmosphere.

Question from Tim: Are you disappointed that Archie ended up with Lexie, and not Duncan?
Hamish: Oh, you've got a good memory! No, it's good that they're together. It gives the series more places to go. If it had been Lexie and Duncan it would've been awfully Upstairs Downstairs with the servants getting on. I don't want tied down. I'd like to live happily ever after up to the end!

Question from rizla: Do you miss Richard Briers on the set now he has gone?
Hamish: Yes, of course! He was such a character! However, because it's such an ensemble piece and our parts have enlarged to accommodate that, you don't miss him as much as you thought. You're only there some of the time and with some of the people - I didn't do that many scenes just with Hector and Duncan. It's not like there is a yawning gap.

Question from vivano: What is your relationship with the rest of the cast?
Hamish: In real life? Well, we're all chums. I've just watched tonight's episode at Al McKenzie's house with Dawn and our friends. Of course it's different in real life, cos I'm not a half wit and he's not he's not a laird, but we're all mates!

Question from joseandkiller: We love you out here in New Zealand Hamish - any chance of visiting us someday????
Hamish: Yeah, I'm coming over just after this series! Just to say hello basically, for Scotland, some promotional work! I'll be over before Christmas - to Auckland. I know New Zealanders won't be interested but I'm also going to Sydney. I'll be there for the second half of October.

Question from Liila: Do you live in the city or in the country side, so are you used to the way of living that is at Glenbogle?
Hamish: No, my parents live on an estate like Glenbogle, but I live in London.

Question from Bella: Hamish, did you go to drama school?
Hamish: I did English Lit at Edinburgh Uni and when I was at Uni I started doing comedy - stand up and acting. I went to drama school in Wales after that just for a year.

Question from smalldavy: I met you at my cousin Jane Gillespie's wedding, and II want to know, how did you get into this business?
Hamish: I was like an overnight success that took 9 years! After I left Uni, I thought, I am going to act. So I did the Edinburgh Fringe, etc. Then I went away to London. Then Angus McFadyen, who was Robert the Bruce in Braveheart and myself and Emma Thomson's 'man' went off to do it. So, Angus did Braveheart, and he was going for another film and said I should go for a part. So, I met the people and they said no! But I did a film with Jane Horrocks and then I got a good agent. Then things just went really well. And I got offered Jonathan Creek and the new Simon Nye - I got offered loads! At the beginning of the week I was working in Oddbins and at the end of the week I was working with Jane Horrocks!

Question from Ben01: Hi Hamish, just saw the show and enjoyed it very much. You mentioned you would like to move on to be a leading character and I was wondering if you would like to do films and if so what type of movie would you like to star in?
Hamish: It would be... (thinking) - you know it's like when you meet someone and fall in love - you don't look for a type. When the script comes and the character is right, then you say yes. Obviously comedy is very important to me. A lot of the stuff I do now, I have to do with a bigger spot light on it before I start moving into different genres. I like the Graduate and Amadeus - character movies.

Question from visitor p2223: How come it never rains on Monarch, you don't get that many dry days in Scotland!
Hamish: We have an on/off button on the camera!

Question from adele02: Other than "Monarch" what TV programmes do you like to watch?!
Hamish: I haven't seen any telly cos I've been working. I like League of Gentlemen and the Office. When I was a kid I liked 6 million dollar man and Alias Smith and Jones - the two cowboys.

Question from Natalie: I saw you outside the real "Mackenzie Stores" back in March and wanted to say hello but my husband thought you would think I was a sad, starstruck, fool! How do you feel when approached by the public?
Hamish: Fantastic! It's good! It's always nice cos it's the only way you can gauge how you're doing. You film the show, you watch it on a Sunday night - that's it. So it's lovely when people come up and tell you how you're doing. I was at a wedding recently and there were some New Zealanders and there were lots of kilts and they thought it was just like Glen Bogle and then in I walked!

Question from Selena: Do you ever get sick of Duncan's inability to find romance? I mean, apart from Archie and you of course, there isn't exactly a great deal of talent in Glen Bogle. There must be a suitable female somewhere!
Hamish: No, the only girl worth having in Glenbogle is Lexie and I'm quite happy that her and Duncan are chums. Being lucky with women doesn't seem to make Archie any happier! He's been miserable for three years!

Question from Emma: I've heard the midges can be quite annoying at Glenbogle! What's it like trying to film outside with midges around?
Hamish: It's a bit like the rain thing - you just get on with it. The make up girls are over the minute you scratch and we take antihistamine to stop the bites showing. We have big fans too - the midges can't fight against them! They are freezing and noisy so we can only use them between takes.

Question from Yellow: Any hopes of becoming the next Scottish-born James Bond!?
Hamish: I hadn't thought. No, I don't want to be James Bond - it kind of ends your career! I am flattered though. I would like to be a Bond baddie though!

Question from milton: Has anyone ever mistaken you for Ewan McGregor???
Hamish: All the time! I get asked for his autograph all the time! I know him. We look nothing alike and he's about a foot bigger than me! He once said, it must be great, you can go hillwalking. And I said yeah, and you can go up Ayers Rock!

Question from sarah8: Do you follow football? and if so who do you support?
Hamish: I've never been at a football match in my life - I played rugby.

Question from lyndsay: If you did a film which actor/actress would you like to star opposite?
Hamish: That's a good one. I'd like to do a film where Dustin Hoffman was my father, cos when I was little people used to say I looked like him. And Goldie Hawn - she's a brilliant comic actor. The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox with her and George Segal is brilliant. And her daughter did Almost Famous, of course.

Question from Jo1: Do you miss Scotland?
Hamish: Mmm. Yeah. I do. But it's fantastic being up here to film Monarch. The last place I was based in was Manchester. I am an actor who happens to be Scottish. So it's my job to be a cowboy, martian, whatever. I'm not a professional Scottish person. You must be in London - it's a springboard for lots of work.

Question from bubblestar02: What music do you like?
Hamish: The Beatles, I love them. Pulp, Blur, yeah - Indie 90s thing. And Robbie Williams.

Question from Glenda 02: I'm 14 years old and I really luv monarch of the glen, and so do all my friends, what sort of age group do you think its appealed at?
Hamish: Oh, everybody. When it started people thought, oh, here's a family show. I get mail from grown ups. After the 2nd series, lots of younger people have been writing so I think it's aimed at everybody. I think they think it's cool now, to watch it and have a laugh. The writers write it for everyone as a bit of fun.

Question from Trinity: Your character seems a little intellectually challenged (albeit v. sweet!) obviously have a quick mind if so is it frustrating or a nice break having to play such a character?
Hamish: No, it's great fun cos that's where all the comedy comes from. It's not frustrating. To play someone not that bright doesn't make you become the same! It's more of a challenge to play.

Question from Victoria: Fab show Hamish! You've made it this far in your career. Tell us your wackiest ambition.
Hamish: My wackiest ambition? I do at one point want to go and live in Africa for a year. I spent a lot of time there when I was filming the Vodafone ads. There was this little oasis with a village, it was strange. People had lived there for a couple of hundred years, black and white people but even by African standards it was strange!

Question from wench: How do you feel about the adulation you get from women since doing Monarch?
Hamish: It's great! It's just fantastic. It's lovely when people are friendly. sometimes it's a bit scary, too. But mostly it's well intended. Sometimes it's frightening for the people I'm with. I remember one time I was walking down the road with my mother and some girls chased me and got a bit rough. My mum was a bit upset.

Question from Duncan Lover: What you favourite movie, and what type of movies do you like?
Hamish: The Graduate is one of my favourites, Amadeus - Tom Hulce is fantastic in that. Butch and Sundance - wonderful bit of cinamatography.

Question from mincher: Hey Hamish my names Richard and I go to Fettes college and your sister teaches me latin.
Hamish: Hello right back at you! Fantastic. How's it going! Have a good one - it's coming up for Christmas!

Question from Katiy: What do you like to do when you get some spare time?
Hamish: I like to spend a lot of time up here, walking up the hills. I bought a tent and we've been known to play tennis. In London, we're members of a private club so we do a lot of coffee drinking.

Question from Hannah2: Apart from Glenbogle - when was the last time you went on a bouncy castle?
Hamish: I was on one quite recently! I remember getting into trouble cos I forgot to take my shoes off! Al McKenzie's got a trampoline up here! I had a go on that the other day!

Question from Scottish: What's your favourite tipple?
Hamish: I used to work for Oddbins so I sat the wine exams and learnt all about it. Whisky was my favourite. Dalwhinnie is the nearest distillery to Monarch.

Question from tilly: Would you prefer to be in Harry Potter OR Lord of The Rings?
Hamish: Oh, that's a really good question! It's really difficult. I was obsessed with Lord of the Rings as a teenager and when Harry Potter came out I loved that too. But as an actor, I think Harry Potter would win. Although I loved Strider. I know it's not cool to say, but I liked the Black Riders.

Question from viksters: If a film was made about your life who would play you?
Hamish: Well, me, hopefully! Um, well, they always glamourise life - so Ewan MacGregor!!! I don't think he'd want me to play him! You could go mad - Tom Hulce! The guy who played Amadeus.

Question from widge: So do you cruise around in a landrover when not filming or do you have summin a bit more fast!?
Hamish: I've got an MGB. It's 25 years old, that's my only car. It's a little white one with spoked wheels, and the top down. I just drove up to Scotland in it.

Final question from Sarah: Would Duncan annoy you if he was your friend? Would you even be friends with him?
Hamish: Oh, no, I'd definitely be friends with him! He wouldn't annoy me. He's always doing his best. He does his job. He's just like a rabbit in the headlights though with authority and girls. He's not very good at his own PR.

BBC McHost: And a last word from Hamish...

Hamish: Cheers! Thanks very much for everyone who 'typed' in and said hello to me! See you next week, fingers crossed that Golly comes back!

Next Chat - Series 5 Dawn Steele >>

Read Hamish's Chat from Series 5 >>
Hamish Clark


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