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Monarch of the Glen

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Live Chat
Richard Briers
Richard Briers was in for a live chat on January 13th 2001, following Episode 10, which featured the death of his character, Hector MacDonald.

Question from Butterfly Olude: How long have you been in Monarch of the Glen? Richard Briers: I have been in the series for over 3 years - 3 series. There will be a fourth series next year which of course I won't be in because I'm now dead. So in total I appeared in 25 episodes.

Question from Liz1: I was really upset when i realised you were dead, but did you like playing Hector? Richard Briers: Hector was a wonderful part for me. I was also upset tonight that Hector has gone but I will have only happy memories of a great job.

Question from Ryan Scarfe: How come the dog survived, the dynamite was in his mouth? Richard Briers: There was a shot at the very end of the dog, Useless, running away at around 40mph so he survived!

Question from Bill Read: Do you think that the series will continue to be as successful now it has lost one of its main characters? Richard Briers: I think that the new character is a wonderful character, very colourful. That's Susan’s brother. He'll quite comfortably take over from Hector.

Question from Lucy B: Was it your choice to leave the programme and if so why? Richard Briers: I reluctantly left the series because a) my age. I'm 68 tomorrow and time is very precious for me to spend time at home with my family and especially with the grandchildren. They're aged 7 and 5. After three years I became homesick for my home.

Question from Becky Smith: Are you sad that the script writers made you behave so badly before they took you out, Mr. Briers? You did misbehaving so well!!! Richard Briers: I think that the writing was very true to life as after my death, people will regret that we, apart from Molly cos we had that lovely scene with her, Archie and I never really made things up which is sad but more true to life than a happy ending.

Comment from Chris Underwood: Hello Richard, I just wanted to say how much we have enjoyed watching you. It has been a great pleasure, and we shall miss seeing you on Sundays.

Question from Charlie C: which of the members of the cast do you get on with the best?
Richard Briers: Very difficult to say. we became like a small family so we are in fact going to have a reunion in March when Dawn is available and the rest of the gang.

Question from Andy Mitchell: Is there any Scottish blood in your family or have you been made an honorary member of the MacDonald clan? Richard Briers: (Laughs) I have yet to prove this but there is reason to believe that I am a MacMahon who came over from the Highlands and became a McMachon. So I have some Scottish blood. We're not sure of the surname spellings!

Question from Cheryl Hedley: What is your golf handicap after the three series... I hear you liked to play in between filming! Richard Briers: Never played enough, no handicap, very large old rabbit.

Comment from Jo Rutter: the chemistry between you and Susan Hampshire was wonderful, you will be a tough act to follow!

Question from David Holdstock: : Hello, I would just like to say thank you for your performances. May I ask how it felt to do that last episode? Richard Briers: A bit sad when I did the reaction to the dog bringing me the boat with the explosives. I just felt very sad and quite relieved that I got through.

Question from Sarah6: What do you think about the writers making Archie say those things to Hector before it happened? Richard Briers: That is, I’m afraid, real life. Hector deserves all he got!

Question from Michael Chilcott: Do you fish in your spare time? Richard Briers: No, absolutely hopeless at it!

Question from Joanna Ritchie: Mr Briers , How do you feel that you related to your character, Hector? Richard Briers: That is an impossible question. I just learned the lines and said them. I'm a little like him, irascible, old fashioned, not liking modern things, computers and not understanding what's going on now!! Richard Briers: Thank you for all your happy birthday messages!

Question from Paul Watt: Were you allowed to add extra lines in your dialogue or did you have to go completely by the script? Richard Briers: I used to make minor alterations and often shorten lines that were rather literary to make them more naturalistic. But my contribution was very small.

Question from Michael Weeks: How do your Grandchildren feel at having a grandad on television? Richard Briers: They’re still a bit too young to really watch Monarch - the 7 year old might be able to.

Question from Weird: Do the rest of your family enjoy Monarch of the Glen as much as you do? Richard Briers: They've been watching repeats of the Good Life but they don't understand that this young good-looking young man is now their white haired old man. (laughs)

Question from Jess Wardlaw: Was the pike caught in the end? Richard Briers: Oh no, the pike was imaginary.

Question from John South: Richard, do you enjoy single malt as much as Hector? Richard Briers: I have been known to have the occasional sip. Most enjoyable.

Question from Ukjent: What did you think of the dogs in the programme, were they well-trained or did you have to shoot scenes repeatedly? Richard Briers: The dogs were wonderful and Useless, the last dog, I almost brought home… then decided not to!

Question from Dominic Allen: Do you have any funny backstage stories of working in Monarch of the Glen? Richard Briers: I had to be immersed in the loch and the unit warned me, being the oldest member of the company that when I got into the loch it would be very cold and I would shiver. A few minutes later I was told I would spasm and then be calm. I replied that was good news and she replied, no, then you die!

Question from Flora Suttie: What did you think of wearing a kilt? Richard Briers: I thought I looked rather fetching! (laughs)

Question from Rosalind Anderson: Susan Hampshire seems great fun. Did you enjoy being her husband? Richard Briers: Yes, she's absolutely lovely. One in a million.

Question from Tom Hickman: Do you have any plans on what your next upcoming television show or whatever you choose to do will be? Richard Briers: I'm doing two plays in the theatre. No TV. The first will be a revival of Alan Ayckbourn play, opening at the Aldwych Theatre in London. Run from the end of March until end of May. It's called Bedroom Farce. In September to November, I'll be playing Prospero in The Tempest on tour, hopefully visiting Scotland. I prefer theatre but TV keeps you well known.

Comment from Katy England: You were absolutely brilliant all through the series and left me in tears tonight!

Question from Grant Harrold: Richard, That really was a sad exit. I was sorry to hear you were leaving Monarch of the Glen. I use to live in Dalwhinnie Nr Laggan so I know Adverikie Castle well. My question is did the famous Scottish Midges affect or annoy you?
Richard Briers: The midges were only bad at Ardverikie near the loch. Occasionally they were very bad and very painful but not for too long.

Question from Lizz Shaw: Did you bring any souvenirs from Glenbogle away with you, to remember the series and location? Richard Briers: Not really. The company gave me a very nice painting of the house and I have very nice photos. Also I have a copy of the painting Molly painted of me.

Question from Jeremy Backshall: Richard, you said in the Radio Times, that you may pay a visit whilst the next series is being filmed. Have you thought about directing an episode? Richard Briers: Not qualified I'm afraid. (laughs)

Question from Alison Tennant: While you were shooting, did anything ever go drastically wrong? or any unusual incidents happen?
Richard Briers: Not really, we had a lot of trouble sometimes, laughing too much. Most of the time it was very, very professional. We had great laughs with the crew, absolutely the best I've worked with in 45 years. It was very emotional when I left.

Question from Ellie McLean: How old were you when you first began your acting career? Richard Briers: I was 20, I was an amateur from 14 but my first professional role was at 22.

Question from Darren Bellingham: What was it like to work in that great house, and did you stay overnight on occasions? Richard Briers: I would never stay overnight! It was very, very cold. It's no exaggeration to say that when you enter the house you put your anorak on!

Question from Helen Livingstone: Did you have any problems with the Scottish accents? Richard Briers: I cannot do any accent. Luckily Hector was educated at Oxbridge and speaks very posh. Lairds do not have Scottish accents. They are all educated at Oxbridge and lose the accent - very sad.

Question from Victoria Andrews: Is your sense of humour like Hector’s? Richard Briers: Well I suppose so yes. He is angry and funny and I suppose I am too.

Question from Jane Woodcock: I really enjoyed watching you in Ever Decreasing Circles, do you have fond memories? Richard Briers: Martin was the part I played. I enjoyed that more than Tom Good cos he was such a frightful little man and a different part from what I'd played before.

Question from Shell Rimmer: Richard, Is there a favourite scene or episode that springs to mind? Richard Briers: Difficult because there were so many good scenes. Killwillie and I enjoyed the funny scenes but I suppose the scenes with Alistair were the most enjoyable to act because we became such close friends. He became almost like my son.

Next Chat - Series 4 Susan Hampshire >>

Richard Briers


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