The six part TV comedy series of The Young Offenders commences filming in Cork today. Commissioned by BBC Comedy for BBC Three, in association with RTÉ, the TV series comes from producers Vico Films. Written, directed and executive produced by award-winning filmmaker Peter Foott, the comedy series will film for eight weeks at locations across Cork city and county.
Foott wrote and directed the original smash hit feature film, which took in €1.3million at the Irish box office in 2016. Acclaimed producer Martina Niland (Once, Sing Street) is producing the series, each episode with a duration of thirty minutes. It is expected that the series will be broadcast early in 2018.
The Young Offenders TV series will follow the coming of age adventures of loveable rogues Conor and Jock (Alex Murphy and Chris Walley, reprising their roles from the feature film) as they navigate their awkward teenage years, hatching plans and adventures to help distract from their tough home lives and their inability to stay out of trouble at school.
The comedy series will expand on the characters already seen in the film as viewers watch the lads encountering love, loss, peer pressure, and morality, with each episode set in the city the producers want to celebrate with these memorable characters. The Young Offenders is foremost a comedy and will be jam-packed with laughter, but it will also be tender with a lot of heart.
The much-loved characters returning for the TV series include Conor MacSweeney and Jock O’Keeffe (Alex Murphy and Chris Walley), along with Conor’s long suffering mother Mairead MacSweeney played by Hilary Rose. All three actors received Irish Film and Television Academy award nominations for their performances in the film. Many other familiar faces from the film will also feature in the TV series, including Dominic McHale as exasperated Garda Sergeant Healy; Shane Casey as local fun–loving thug Billy Murphy; and PJ Gallagher featuring in a new role, Principal Walsh. Foott continues to bring new talent to the forefront by including two exciting young actors in the cast, local Cork newcomers Jennifer Barry and Demi Issac Oviawe.
Peter Foott commented: “After spending many months writing the scripts and getting the whole team together to rehearse over the last few weeks, it’s a real thrill to start filming today with these fantastic actors and crew. We’ll be bringing new adventures and stories for the well-known characters, and some new ones, to life in the TV show. The reaction to the scripts has been really positive, and we want to live up to the original spirit of the film. I think we have all the right elements, so we’re all excited to get out there and start filming today on this new phase of The Young Offenders journey. We’ve picked some fantastic locations in Cork, so we’re looking forward to knuckling down and working hard on filming, which I’m sure will be great fun too!”
The Young Offenders was commissioned for BBC Three by Controller of BBC Three Damian Kavanagh; Controller of Comedy Shane Allen and Commissioning Editor Alex Moody; and for RTÉ by Eddie Doyle, Head of Comedy.