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29 October 2014
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Monarch of the Glen

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Cast Comments
Tom Baker Tom Baker
Nowadays when Tom Baker bumps into fans in the street it's not Doctor Who they have on their minds. Since appearing in the sixth series of Monarch, all anyone wants to talk to him about is Donald MacDonald, perhaps Glenbogle's all-time most eccentric and unpredictable inhabitant.

"A lot of people have come over to talk to me saying how much they enjoyed my performance and that they were very relieved to see some extraordinary overacting in the show - which I take as a compliment," says Tom.

"I enjoy overacting and I'm very good at it - I suppose you could say I've made a career out of it. Donald MacDonald is a part I can have fun with, which is marvellous because I have a horror of self pity and I try to see the funny side of everything. As you get near death, as I am, you have to laugh at everything otherwise the alternative is to be utterly depressed."

Having protested he didn't want to live there, Donald is now finally feeling at home at Glenbogle. In fact, when the estate's future is threatened Donald is the one who becomes fiercely protective of his childhood home.

"I think Donald has finally accepted that the grass isn't always greener and he isn't trying to escape anymore. But the thing with him is it's difficult to know what he is thinking because I don't think he's quite well in the head. He's a self-seeking, eccentric old git who is extremely manipulative and you never quite know whether he's telling the truth or not," suggests Tom.

"In many ways I am very like Donald both in age and in our slightly skewed mental capacities. We both have all sorts of bizarre impulses and experiences.

As usual Donald gets up to plenty of mischief for the final series and is always on the hunt for the next scam to make a quick buck, often aided and abetted in his mischief-making by impish young chef Ewan Brodie. "It just shows that sometimes, thank God, youngsters can enjoy the company of older people. They can be adventurous together. Ewan and Donald have a real bond and the audience love their relationship. They seem to enjoy entering into the tumult that is Donald and Ewan's world and being amused and diverted by them."

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