Brian Cox admits he ‘froze’ when Princess Margaret ‘started unbuttoning my shirt

Succession: Brian Cox stars in season three trailer

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Brian Cox, who has returned to screens to portray media mogul Logan Roy in Succession season three, was invited onto the Jonathan Ross Show to discuss the highly anticipated third series of the HBO hit. In the episode, which airs Saturday night on ITV, the award-winning Scottish actor also detailed an unusual encounter with the late Princess Margaret where she started “unbuttoning” his shirt. 

On this week’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, the ITV host is joined by actress Dame Joan Collins, Succession star Brian, comedian Rob Beckett and footballer turned presenter Alex Scott.

Brian has been getting tongues wagging following the recent release of Succession’s new series and gracing the front cover of the latest GQ magazine. 

The 75-year-old veteran actor also has a new autobiography out, named Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, in which he traces his life story from his childhood in Dundee to his extraordinary acting career. 

During his Jonathon Ross Show appearance, Brian talked about both Succession and his new book – and he even revealed his first impressions of Princess Margaret. 

When discussing his unusual encounter with the late princess, Brian explained: “It was my birthday. I was doing a play at the Royal Court.

“I’d been given this rather nice red Indian shirt [that I put on after]. My hair was wet. I suppose I wasn’t bad looking at that age.

“So anyway, we’re standing there [at an after party] and I’m talking to her and she was commenting on my performance.”

Margaret commented on Brian’s shirt and he informed her that it was a birthday present. 

He added: “She said, ‘This is a beautiful shirt.’ She started unbuttoning my shirt, then her hand was making its way to my left nipple.

“I was completely frozen to the spot, I didn’t know what to do. 

“Then I sort of made my excuses and f***ed off. She was quite something!”

The princess, who was the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II, died in February 2002. 

During the ITV show, Brian was asked about playing the notorious Logan Roy in Succession. 

Logan is an ageing media emperor, with a ferocious temper, who is unsure that any of his children are fit to become his successor. 

Brian said: “I think he’s misunderstood. That’s the job [to humanise them]. Everybody’s human… Our job is we have to find that which is human in them, that that is who they are inside. 

“Logan’s a really interesting character from my point of view. He’s a man who is very misunderstood.

“Look at those children, those awful f***ing children. You have to think about their mother, which you never see… I’m not blaming the mother. All bets are off after a certain age.

“I just think that that’s what’s interesting about the role. He’s an extraordinary man, a self-made man, a disappointed man in many ways. But I’m an optimist, I think things will get better, he doesn’t.”

Asked if the part is based on the Murdochs, he replied: “No, it’s not [Rupert Murdoch]. It’s the Roys, it’s his [Logan’s] family. 

“Jesse Armstrong once wrote a piece about the Murdochs so of course everyone makes that association. I’ve got three sons and a daughter, some make that association.”

The Jonathan Ross Show airs Saturdays at 9.30pm on ITV and ITVHub. 

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