Co Down coastal town to be showcased in new television drama series

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A Co Down coastal town is set to be showcased across the world in a new police drama to be broadcast by the BBC.

Hope Street is set in the fictional town of Port Devine, filmed in Donaghadee, on the shores of the Irish Sea.

The weekly drama will focus on the town’s police department and the mysterious arrival of English Detective Constable Leila Hussain, played by Amara Karan (The Night of), the first Muslim police officer in the town’s history.

Niamh O’Hare (Ellie Lavery), Shay O’Hare (Louis McCartney), Siobhan O’Hare (Rachel Tucker), Finn O’Hare (Ciaran McMenamin), Leila Hussain (Amara Karan), Clint Dunwoody (Aaron McCusker), Nicole Devine (Niamh McGrady), Barry Pettigrew (Des McAleer), Marlene Pettigrew (Kerri Quinn), Callum McCarthy (Niall Wright) (Long Story TV/PA)
Niamh O’Hare (Ellie Lavery), Shay O’Hare (Louis McCartney), Siobhan O’Hare (Rachel Tucker), Finn O’Hare (Ciaran McMenamin), Leila Hussain (Amara Karan), Clint Dunwoody (Aaron McCusker), Nicole Devine (Niamh McGrady), Barry Pettigrew (Des McAleer), Marlene Pettigrew (Kerri Quinn), Callum McCarthy (Niall Wright) (Long Story TV/PA)

However while each episode features a crime story, it also aims to chronicle the lives of characters living in the tight-knit community and a taste of the local sense of humour and distinctive colloquialisms.

Those behind the 10-part series say they hope it will become a new returning series, allowing opportunities for actors and crew to gain experience in Northern Ireland.

The cast also includes Co Fermanagh-born Ciaran McMenamin as Duty Inspector Finn O’Hare, who knows the real reason Hussain been transferred, but is keeping it to himself, and roadway star Rachel Tucker as his estranged wife Siobhan O’Hare.

McMenamin said he was attracted to the role to “portray modern day Northern Irish people without solely looking at them through the window of our past”.

He also revealed the cast had a co-ordinator from the Police Service of Northern Ireland “on set at all times to keep us on our toes with all things cop”.

Executive producer Paul Marquess said they want Hope Street to become a long-running, returning drama series – set in, and all about, Northern Ireland.

(L-R) Eddie Doyle, head of television commissioning BBC NI, Donna Wiffen, executive producer Long Story TV, Paul Marquess, executive producer Long Story TV, Andrew Reid, head of production, Northern Ireland Screen (Press Eye/PA)
(L-R) Eddie Doyle, head of television commissioning BBC NI, Donna Wiffen, executive producer Long Story TV, Paul Marquess, executive producer Long Story TV, Andrew Reid, head of production, Northern Ireland Screen (Press Eye/PA)

“From the outset we were determined that the series shouldn’t be about the Troubles or serial killers, but should capture the warmth, good humour and resilience of people from Northern Ireland,” he said.

“We’ve assembled a cracking team of writers and a stellar (almost entirely) local cast along with a highly-skilled crew – and we hope that the series will make you laugh and shed the odd tear.”

The series was made with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

Hope Street is a co-commission between BritBox North America, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Daytime.

The first episode will be shown on BBC One NI on Wednesday November 24 at 7pm and in the new year on BBC Daytime and on Britbox North America.

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