09 October 2019 19:47

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Michael Sleggs passed away before series three began filming (Picture: BBC) The late This Country actor Michael Sleggs wanted to be in the upcoming third series of the BBC show but passed away before filming got underway. The star, who played Michael 'Slugs' Slugette in the comedy, died in July aged 33 shortly after announcing that he was terminally ill and didn't have long to live. Creators Charlie and Daisy May Cooper revealed that Michael had hoped to feature in the upcoming new chapter and explained they've honoured his wishes. Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, the siblings opened up on how difficult it was to continue the comedy without Michael. '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,' Charlie told us.

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'He embodied the spirit of the whole thing, so his absence was really hard. Daisy and Charlie have paid tribute to Michael in the upcoming third series (Picture: BBC) Daisy 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. She also confirmed that they've paid tribute to Michael in the best way and enthused: 'We've honoured him in the ultimate Slugs fashion.' Charlie and Daisy have recently published This Is This Country, a book that is based on the Bafta-winning series.

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There's now a This Country book (Picture: BBC) Speaking about the book's inception, Daisy revealed: 'It came about because there was so much great stuff from writing the last three series that we never used. Charlie added: 'We started writing the show in 2011 and in that time there has been so much stuff that we haven't been able to use so it was really nice to find a home for it. 'And also lots of new stuff could be written in.' 'It goes into the details of when she met Martin and when Kerry was born,' Charlie teased. 'We were in your living room killing ourselves laughing at our jokes,' Daisy recalled. Got a showbiz story?

If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you. MORE: This Country star Michael Sleggs coped with his illness with a 'sense of humour' MORE: Best Slugs moments on This Country as star Michael Sleggs dies aged 33 Get the biggest Daily stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email The co-creators and stars of BBC comedy This Country have said actor Michael Sleggs who died earlier this year was "an integral part of the show". Charlie and Daisy May Cooper spoke out about the death of Sleggs last night at Cheltenham Literature Festival in a sold out event following a book signing in which Waterstones ran out of books. The siblings said doing the third series without him was "really tough". The actor, from Cirencester, played the character Slugs in the banta-winning sitcom by BBC Three. He died aged 33 in July. Speaking to a packed audience at the festival on Tuesday evening, Charlie Cooper said they auditioned various people to play Sleggs but "none had the authenticity". In the show, Sleggs - a personal friend of the Coopers - had terminal cancer and drew up a bucket list, which included playing Laser Quest. Earlier this year, he revealed on social media that he had been in and out of hospital and was receiving palliative care for heart failure. Charlie and Daisy Cooper were at Cheltenham Literature Festival to discuss their new book, This is This Country, and the show's third series due for release next year. Charlie said: "We lost Michael Sleggs in the summer. He was such an integral part of the show, both on screen and behind the scenes. Having to do the series without him was really tough. "He was one of the first characters that you see in the first episode, when he was trying to get us to go to laser quest. It was one of the first scenes we wrote, it actually happened about 10 minutes before in town. Daisy added: "He so wanted to be in the third series. He wanted it to be really funny so we have tried our best, with the permission of his family, to give him a really good tribute. "He used to corner us in Poundland, before the whole series, and hang around way too long. Charlie said: "He really embodied the whole spirit of the show. We did use a lot of non actors and we wanted to keep the show as real as possible, and authentic. He was described as 'extraordinary' by Daisy who said: "He was a one-off. There will never ever be another Michael Sleggs. He was always messaging me saying 'you've got to watch this thing, it's called Basketcase which is about a man who has a deformed brother who lives in a basket'." Charlie said: "That was the whole point we wanted him in the show, we wrote the character based on him. We auditioned various actors and no one felt right. It got to a point where we said 'shall we just see if he can do it?'." We got him on tape and he was so funny. Most of the time without knowing he was funny. He does a monologue about his love life, and the way he delivered that was so beautiful." Ran out of books The event saw the longest queue for a book signing at the festival so far this year. The Waterstones tent ran out of the This is This Country book, so five people left happily with a signed book plate instead. Daisy May and Charlie Cooper have something special planned for the opening episode of the third series of their BBC comedy This Country. The sibling duo confirmed the premiere will feature a "fitting" and "funny" tribute to Michael Sleggs, their co-star who died, aged 33, earlier this year. Sleggs, a friend of the show's writers, played a character inspired by himself called Michael "Slugs" Slugette in seven episodes of the series, making his final appearance in the 2018 special This Country: The Aftermath. "[Making a tribute to Sleggs] was really important to us," Daisy May told RadioTimes.com. "And Michael was adamant that he wanted to be in the first episode and he wanted it to be funny. So, with the help of his family, we tried to make a fitting tribute." Charlie added: "In proper Slugs fashion, though." Get the latest TV and entertainment news direct to your inbox Thanks! Sign up to receive television and entertainment email newsletters from our award-winning editorial team. Sleggs died in July. Prior to his death he announced he was in palliative care at home suffering from a heart condition, and told fans that "deterioration has been fairly rapid". Details about the upcoming series are currently being kept under wraps, but the sibling duo confirmed that the third series has finished filming, with a launch date scheduled for February 2020. The Coopers, who are currently promoting their book based on the series, This Is This Country, also said that they haven't decided when they will end the show. "It's tricky, we always said we'd know when the time is right [to end the show]," Charlie said. But yeah it is definitely that thing of, we want to leave it while its still producing good moments." "Or we'll do 45 series," he joked. This Is This Country is out NOW

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