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
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
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
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.
- Series 4 Susan Hampshire >>