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29 October 2014
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Monarch of the Glen

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Cast Comments
Simone Lahbib Simone Lahbib

It took her a few days to adjust to the pace of life in the peaceful Highlands, but Simone Lahbib is relishing her role as Monarch's latest feisty female lead. 'When I arrived up here I was shocked by the beauty of it all but, also, having been a city girl and lived in London for almost ten years, I was thinking: 'Oh my God. How am I going to cope with the quietness?' But everyone's been really kind showing the new girl the ropes. When I'd just arrived, Dawn and Rae turned up with a couple of bottles of wine and filled me in on how it all works, which was incredibly thoughtful of them,' recalls Simone.

The sassy Stirling-born actress plays Isobel Anderson, a successful career woman who returns to Glenbogle to sort out the lease on her late grandmother's farm. But her visit to Glenbogle fast develops into an emotional link with the past and Isobel is forced to decide whether she wants to return to the bustle of city life in Edinburgh or rough it in Glenbogle.'Glenbogle had a huge affect on Isobel as a child and now her grandmother has died, the spirit of the place has just drawn her back.'

From their very first meeting, Isobel's relationship with new laird Paul is, at the very least, fiery. They seriously rub each other up the wrong way. She's convinced he's just an outsider playing at being a laird and doesn't take him seriously. The city slicker is a proud woman and hates the fact that she might need help, especially from Paul. 'Isobel's no shrinking violet. She's bright, determined and very proud which is one of the things that stands in her way a little bit. There are times the laird does want to help her out with things, but her pride gets in the way,' reveals Simone. 'They can't stand each other, but we are all suckers for a love story.'

When her family found out she'd signed up for Monarch Of The Glen, they were nearly as thrilled as Simone herself.

She says: 'They were over the moon when I told them I was going to be in Monarch, especially because it was a nice family viewing show, one that my nephews and nieces could actually watch me in for once. We'd all been talking about it so much that by my first day I was a bag of nerves. The first time I saw the house I was like: 'Wow'. Just now I haven't had many scenes in there so I hope that one day the laird will marry Isobel and she can move in,' adds Simone, grinning. 'I've had a good snoop round though and it's very grand. I think Isobel could be very at home there.'

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