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Scots-based Outlander TV show casts Simon Callow

Part of Outlander will be filmed at Doune Castle in Perthshire. Picture: TSPL

Part of Outlander will be filmed at Doune Castle in Perthshire. Picture: TSPL

  • by BRIAN FERGUSON
 

AWARD-winning actor Simon Callow has been confirmed in the cast for a major US fantasy show which is currently being filmed in Scotland.

The star of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love and Amadeus will play the Duke of Sandringham in Outlander, which is set in two different time zones in Scotland.

The 16-part show, due to air on US cable channel Starz next summer, follows the adventures of married nurse Claire and her entanglements with Jamie after she is mysteriously propelled from the Second World War to the midst of the Jacobite rebellion.

Callow, who starred as Charles Dickens in an instalment of Doctor Who in 2011, has also been a regular fixture in shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in recent years.

The 64-year-old is by far the best-known member of the cast which has been confirmed so far for the show, billed as Scotland’s answer to “Game of Thrones.” It is expected to be worth at least £20 million for Scotland’s economy.

A vast warehouse complex in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, has been transformed into a studio complex for the production, while location work has been done at the likes of Doune Castle, in Perthshire, and Falkland, in Fife.

A statement from Starz said: “We are thrilled to announce that Simon Callow will join the Outlander cast as the Duke of Sandringham. Callow is an actor, author and director known for a number of impressive roles.

“He has directed a number of productions and has written acclaimed biographies of Oscar Wilde, Orson Welles and Charles Laughton.”

Around £640,000 is currently on offer from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland to help with the making of Outlander and ensure as many facilities as possible are retained at the new Cumbernauld complex.

A deal to bring the Outlander series, based on American author Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling series of Jamie and Claire novels, was revealed in June. More than 25 million of Gabaldon’s books have been sold around the world so far and the show is being masterminded by former Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica producer Ron Moore.

Historic Scotland agreed to shut down Doune Castle for a month to accommodate filming on the programme, which a 200-strong crew is working on.

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