GRAHAM Norton’s novel Holding is to be filmed for ITV in West Cork this summer.
The four-part adaptation of the Bandon writer’s bestselling novel will star Game of Thrones actor Conleth Hill and be directed by Kathy Burke.
The screenplay is written by former Eastenders producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins, whose father is from Skibbereen, and Karen Cogan.
ITV commissioned the TV mini series based on Graham’s funny and perceptive debut novel and Collins confirmed today that it is to be filmed on location in West Cork.
Olivier award-winning actor, Conleth Hill, of Game of Thrones, Dublin Murders and Vienna Blood, will take the leading role of local police officer Sergeant PJ Collins, a gentle mountain of a man, who hides from people and fills his days with comfort food and half-hearted police work.
When the body of long-lost local legend Tommy Burke is discovered, PJ is called to solve a serious crime for the first time in his career. PJ finally has to connect with the village he has tried hard to avoid.
‘I am beyond excited to see the story and characters I created being brought to the screen,’ Graham said. ‘I love how the brilliant creative team have transformed my novel into something so rich and dramatic. West Cork is ready for its close-up!!’
Set in the insular fictional village of Duneen, West Cork, many have speculated that the village is similar to Durrus, not far from where Graham has his coastal bolthole, in Ahakista.
Holding will be directed by award winning actor, director and producer Kathy Burke who said that 2021 is her 40th year working in the industry.
‘I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than directing Holding. It’s a beautiful piece of writing with a great story and fantastic, full bodied characters. All this with glorious West Cork as its setting proved irresistible.’
Conleth Hill said he was looking forward to ‘getting to work with Kathy, the cast and crew, Dominic and everyone at Happy Prince on bringing Graham’s brilliant characters and story to the screen.’
ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill has commissioned the series for the channel and will oversee production from the broadcaster’s perspective.
‘Graham’s wonderful book has been brilliantly brought to life by Dom and Karen,’ she said. ‘Conleth Hill is the perfect PJ, in what is a funny and well observed look at life in a small rural Irish community. It’s testament to the strength of those scripts that Kathy Burke is directing and it will be exciting to see her bring this adaptation to screen.’
Dominic Treadwell-Collins said it was exciting to ‘be able to bring Graham’s beautiful novel to the screen with the creative powerhouses that are Kathy Burke and Karen Cogan, with the brilliant Martina Niland producing.’
He added: ‘To be writing my first scripts alongside Karen and to film with Conleth and such a talented Irish cast and crew in West Cork – where my father was from and my family still are – makes this even more special.’
Holding will be filmed in West Cork across the summer of 2021 with details of further casting released closer to the commencement of production.
It is in association with, and distributed internationally by, ITV Studios and produced by Happy Prince, part of ITV Studios, and Martina Niland for Port Pictures, in association with Screen Ireland..