Succession’s Brian Cox: ‘I was touched up by Princess Margaret’

Brian Cox

Fresh from winning a Golden Globe for his portrayal of media tycoon Logan Roy, the actor talks about class, cannabis and an odd royal encounter

Doing an interview over the phone can be a thankless job: lines get crossed, you awkwardly interrupt one another and, without the intimacy of a face to face encounter, it’s hard to get a sense of the other person. But doing a phone interview with Brian Cox – the acclaimed actor, that is, not the pop-star-turned-particle-physicist with the same name – is such a hoot that if we met in person I would have probably dissolved into a puddle of hysteria.

“No, no, not now, I’m having an important conversation!” he barks when someone has the temerity to try to enter his hotel room 45 minutes into our chat. “So where was I? Ah yes …” And he launches back into the anecdote about the time Princess Margaret felt him up. The man has so much charisma – and so many anecdotes – to burn, I can practically feel my phone melting against my face. Continue reading

The End of the F***ing World star Alex Lawther

Alex Lawther
Alex Lawther

The End of the F***ing World star Alex Lawther on the reception of the show, young love, and his potential career as a gardener.

On-screen, Alex Lawther has done many things. He has killed a man in the woods. He has robbed a bank. Slit the throat of a predator. Been a predator himself. In the early days of his breakout role as psychopathic teen James in Netflix series The End of the F***ing World, we see his face plastered with a mirthless, mild smile as he plots to murder his friend. But for all the endless reels of dark, foreboding content, in real life, the Hampshire-born actor is warm and polite. Continue reading

The Crown: ‘Royal Family’ documentary that the Queen quietly banned

 

For the 27 million people who watched the Queen act alongside James Bond in the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony, or the six million people who watch her Christmas speech every year – it might come as a surprise that the Queen has kept one of her most notable TV appearances under lock and key for nearly 40 years.

Viewers of episode 4, season 3 of The Crown, will see how a documentary made in 1969 about the British royal family was withdrawn from broadcast by Her Majesty after only three public viewings, following of widespread criticism.

The Netflix drama follows the Queen, played by Olivia Colman, and her close family as they organise scripts and film scenes over the course of a year of their lives, before eventually watching it air — and dealing with the ensuing fallout. But did it really happen?

Viewers may be surprised to learn that the 110-minute film, titled Royal Family, was indeed filmed and subsequently taken off air by the Queen. In 2019, it continues to fall under the crown’s copyright, meaning it hasn’t been shown in public since 1972.

How did the film come about?

Towards the end of the “swinging sixties” the royal family felt increasingly out of touch with the new liberal mood of the country. Journalist Malcolm Muggeridge appeared on American television in 1964, telling viewers: “The English are getting bored with their monarchy.” Continue reading