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16 October 2014
Monarch of the Glen

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Behind the Scenes
Molly's Garden - Series 3

Molly's Ghost Painter - David Fallows

Susan Hampshire, who played Monarch's adorable Molly, waxes lyrically about her favourite pastime - gardening, a passion she shares with her slightly-dotty alter-ego in the show.

"I love it, it's my main hobby. I like being at home and I'm very happy being in my house, I love cooking too. I'm also a better gardener than Molly!" she laughs.

Susan will admit that it is Molly who has the upper hand when it comes to another pastime - painting! When poised by the lochside, floppy-brimmed hat shielding her eyes from the highland sun, tickling a canvas with a paint-laden sable brush Molly MacDonald is in her element - Susan is less so.

aving done some watercolours as Molly, I think it would be a wonderful hobby to take up. I really enjoy it now but I've never had lessons. I will eventually, perhaps when no one wants to employ me any more!"

Loch Laggan in Winter - Series 3Susan's secret weapon when it comes to her artistic credibility appears in the shape of her 'ghost' painter, David Fallows, an artist who lives and works right in the heart of ‘Glenbogle Land’.

David has painted all of the watercolours that have been portrayed as Molly’s creations throughout the seven series run. He was asked to take on the role when the script called for Molly to take up painting and he was, of course, delighted to oblige!

David FallowsDavid, 57, has been a full-time artist for the last seventeen years, but in fact sold his first painting at the tender age of twelve. His mother insists that he used to draw on anything he could find as soon as he could clutch a pencil; the back of bus tickets; that handy roll of paper in the bathroom; walls - anything that came to hand.

Trained early on in oils whilst at Park High School in Birkenhead, David switched mainly to watercolour some twenty years ago, but still paints the occasional oil painting and dabbles in pastels too. Working for Monarch has been a fascinating experience, he tells us.

“The production team would give me a call and say that they needed half a dozen watercolours for a particular scene, or a couple of sketchbooks with some sketches and watercolour notes. Sometimes it would be a specific request, like the part completed scene by a stream with a bridge in the background that Molly was supposed to be working on whilst out painting with her boyfriend at the time.”

David was also asked to gather together fifty or sixty pictures from a range of local artists that were all transported down to Carrbridge Village Hall (Glenbogle Village Hall in the series) to become 'The Glenbogle Art Competition' in the fourth series.

Prize in our CompetitionThe picture, that was presented as the competition prize in the episode, was painted in the last few weeks before the cast left, and was signed on the mount by Susan just two days before she left the Highlands at the end of series seven.

There are only three of these very special signed originals, and the lucky winner of one of our series seven competitions now has one of them on her living room wall!

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