'This Country' Will Honour Michael Sleggs In The Most Fitting Way
This Country is returning for its third and final series this Monday, but one regular face will be noticeably absent.
Cast regular Michael Sleggs, who played Michael 'Slugs' Slugette, a character inspired by himself, in the BBC Cotswold-based mockumentary, will not be on our screens. The actor died in July last year following heart complications.
Michael - who was a friend of show creators Daisy May Weston (nee Cooper) and Charlie Cooper before they cast him - will be honoured in the series 3 premiere, and now, the Coopers have revealed it will be done in "ultimate Slugs fashion".
Speaking about the struggles of doing the show without Michael, co-creator and show star Charlie told Metro: "It was tough having to do it without him because he's such a huge part of the show both on-screen and behind-the-scenes.
"He embodied the spirit of the whole thing, so his absence was really hard. He had such a great sense of humour."
Daisy May, who also stars, added: "He definitely wanted to be in it. He wanted it to be funny.
"His family really wanted that and [said] that we should mention it [his death] in a funny way. I hope that we've made him proud."
She added they'd paid tribute to Michael in the most fitting way. "We've honoured him in the ultimate Slugs fashion," she said.
According to BBC, the opening episode will see the documentary crew return to the village to discover some sad news about one of the local residents - Slugs.
This Country was Michael's first acting gig, and he starred in seven episodes of the series, making his final appearance in the 2018 special This Country: The Aftermath.
In the show, Slugs has terminal cancer and one of his episodes sees the character attempt to organise a game of laser-quest with Kerry and Kurtan as part of his bucket list.
The actor died in July 2019 age 33, shortly after announcing he was terminally ill.
In May, he left a message to his Facebook followers, explaining he'd been sent home on palliative care and did not have long to live.
His message read: "Hi friends, as a lot of you are probably aware I've spent a lot of time in and out of hospital over the past few months. This last time it was decided i was reaching the end of options so they've sent me home on palliative care to live out the remainder of my days at home. No specific time limit has been given but deterioration has been fairly rapid.
"I've been sleeping a lot and narrowly dodged a coma by accidentally overdosing on morphine the other day. 'Anyway as you can imagine this isn't the ideal way I wished things to go and my family are dealing with a lot of grief. Just wanted to say I love everyone reading this status so much, you have all been such amazing, kind, caring people who have all touched my life in so many unique and incredible ways.
"Sorry if this status is too schmaltzy but not everyone has the chance to say goodbye so indulge me lol. If you're wondering why I'm not sounding freaked out by the whole situation.
"Well, initially I was, but, as always in a time of crisis (should have been way before I'm ashamed to say) I turned to God and my Christian faith. Been reading the Bible daily, listening to Christian songs and sermons and its changed my entire mindset to nothing but peace and gratitude.
"Guys, regardless of a few medical issues, I have been blessed with the best life and the best friends and aside from not following God more diligently earlier in life I don't have any regrets. If you don't know Jesus already, my only hope is that you get to know him before you get to my state. He'll totally rock your world in the best way!"
The Country airs on Monday 17th February, available at 7pm on iPlayer and aired at 10.35PM on BBC One.
Featured Image Credit: BBC