Michelle Morgan: Such fond memories of Balamory

The cast of Balamory, including Mary Riggans (in the red coat) who has died

The cast of Balamory, including Mary Riggans (in the red coat) who has died

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I was sad to hear of the passing of actress Mary Riggans.

Perhaps you know her better as Effie from Take The High Road or Suzie Sweet in Balamory.

I knew her as both, but most of all from Balamory.

When my daughter was really, really little she absolutely loved that show.

Every day she would watch it, and at one point the only way I could ever have a shower in peace was if I turned on the adventures of Suzie, Penny Pocket and Miss Hoolie.

I must say that through her obsession for the programme, I became a fan too, and both of us would sing and dance to the opening credits and sit glued to see what mysteries PC Plum would solve today, or what inventions Archie would come up with, involving yoghurt pots and loo rolls.

Of course she hasn’t watched it for many years now but just a few months ago I came across the DVDs and bribed her into watching an episode of the programme with me again.

It may have cost me a bag of sweets but it was worth it to see the colourful credits again, and cuddle up with my girl the way we used to do when she was a baby.

When it was finished, I asked if she would like to watch another episode but she decided (probably quite sensibly) that one was enough.

She went back to her artwork and I went back to my book, and life carried on as normal.

But the passing of dear Suzie Sweet brought it back to me again, and I couldn’t help but think about those years when my daughter’s biggest joy was watching Miss Hoolie asking what her name was at the beginning of each show.

Maybe one of these days I will be able to bribe her into watching another episode of Balamory with me, but I feel that if that happens, she may be looking for something more substantial than a little bag of sweets.