Wednesday, February 27, TG4, 10pm and Sunday, March 03, BBC Two NI, 10pm
SCÚP is a new eight part Irish language drama series written by novelist and screenwriter Colin Bateman. A co-production between BBC Northern Ireland and TG4, with funding through the Northern Ireland Screen Irish Language Broadcast Fund (ILBF) and Broadcast Authority of Ireland (BAI), the drama begins on TG4 on Wednesday 27th February at 10pm and on BBC Two NI on Sunday 3rd March at 10pm.
Set in a struggling Irish language newspaper in Belfast, the series is built around the character of Rob Cullan (Don Wycherley), a journalist who has left a high flying job in an English newspaper under a cloud. He is persuaded to return to the community he grew up in by the wily newspaper proprietor Diarmuid Black (Denis Conway) to help rescue his ailing publication.
In fighting for the paper’s survival Cullan takes over as Editor and finds he is not only up against the local economy, but all too frequently his own staff – a mix of old hands, set in their ways, and inexperienced newcomers.
Cormac (Donncha Crowley) who expected the editorship, resents Cullan’s appointment and sets about undermining him. Janine (Caitriona Ni Mhurchu) has a hold on both the paper’s finances and its owner and is determined to maintain her influence over both. Cub reporter Michael (Tim Creed) has a lot to learn but streetwise photographer Sean (Patrick McBride) thinks he knows it all landing them both in a variety of scrapes. But in spite of their many arguments, Cullan begins to form a professional and personal interest in Alix (Kelly Gough) a young reporter whose heart often rules her head.
Throughout the series, Cullan sets about building a new, credible newspaper with this dysfunctional family of characters with the action taking place within the open-plan newspaper office, and at locations around the city. SCÚP reflects modern Belfast and the stories the employees chase reflect contemporary issues as they publish a newspaper under sometimes difficult, stressful, morally and financially challenging circumstances.
SCÚP is Colin Bateman’s first drama series to be broadcast in the Irish Language. He says “I’ve had a fantastic experience on Scúp – I’ve always wanted to film a TV series in Northern Ireland but this has been my first opportunity. It’s in the Irish language, but I think and hope it will have universal appeal. I’m certainly drawing on a lot of the experiences I had as a young reporter in Bangor together with more recent influences living and working in Northern Ireland.”
The series was made by Stirling Productions, produced by Peter Norris and directed by Declan Recks.