My Celebrity Life

Graham Norton only showed up on Holding set for ice cream and ‘loved having nothing to do’ for the TV adaption of his novel

The TV adaptation of Graham Norton’s acclaimed first novel was in good hands – and he certainly thought so (Picture: ITV)

Graham Norton only spent one day on the set of the TV series based on his book – the day they just so happened to be handing out ice cream.

The popular presenter, 58, published his first novel, Holding, in 2016 to critical acclaim, with the TV adaption set to air on ITV in mid-March.

A dark, comedic, quirky whodunnit, Holding is set in the fictional West Cork town of Duneen, with larger-than-life characters and a hugely compelling storyline.

Directed by the legendary Kathy Burke and written by Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Karen Cogan, it was clear from the offset that the TV adaption of Graham’s novel was in safe hands – and he clearly thought so, too.

Metro.co.uk and other press sat down with some of the stars of the show: Conleth Hill, Charlene McKenna and Clinton Liberty, and discussed working with the absolute icon that is Graham, and how involved he really was.

‘He wasn’t at all,’ star Conleth, who plays the lead of Garda PJ Collins, revealed immediately.

‘I think he was involved in the scripts and storylines and stuff like that but as far as the shoot, I think we saw him one day – he came for the cast photo!’

Conleth Hill plays Holding’s lead, the anxiety-filled PJ Collins (Picture: ITV)

Peaky Blinders star Charlene, who plays Evelyn Ross in the series, added: ‘I was going to say he came for the ice cream. That was the day we had an ice cream truck.’

‘Oh yeah,’ Conleth agreed. ‘He wasn’t stupid, he knew when the ice cream was being given out.’

Explaining Graham’s process, the show’s lead added: ‘He was totally trusting of Dominic and Karen and Kathy, so I think he gave a few notes in the writing stage, he terribly cared about it but also trusted them enough to let them do their own thing.’

Peaky Blinders star Charlene McKenna plays the headstrong but mysterious Evelyn in the soon-to-be-released show (Picture: ITV)

Rising star Clinton Liberty, who plays the young city blow-in Detective Inspector Linus Dunne, recalled meeting Graham on the set and having to balance his excitement with the sombreness of the scene they were shooting.

‘The day we had ice cream everyone was already high energy,’ he said. ‘And then Mr Graham Norton came on set, and it was bananas.

‘My problem that day was [I had to] reign it in, because me and Conleth were in the middle of a very serious scene.

‘So I had to maintain composure, when underneath I was jittering with excitement.’

Relative newcomer Clinton had his acting skills put to the test when he had to shoot a serious scene surrounded by ice cream and Graham Norton (Picture: ITV)

Graham himself, speaking at a Q&A with press present, made it clear that from the outset that he ‘knew I didn’t want to do the adaptation’.

‘I just knew that’s a skill, that’s a job that other people are able to do.

‘I felt like I’d had my time with these characters, I’d done my work with them, I’d enjoyed them and it was time to hand them over.

‘So I’ve loved this experience because I’ve had nothing to do! And I’ve just been able to watch what’s happened.’

He admitted, however, that at first he worried he ‘might feel weird about it’.

‘I thought it might be an odd thing, but actually I’ve loved seeing the direction the characters have gone in and the story has gone in, and the way the world has opened up and become larger. I’ve really enjoyed it.’

The series boasts an incredibly impressive cast, with Oscar winner Brenda Fricker, Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn, Derry Girls icon Siobhán McSweeney, This Is England ’90’s Helen Behan just some of the big names to star in Holding.

This, coupled with the talents of Kathy, Dominic and Karen, and it’s no wonder the presenter felt able to sit back, relax and enjoy some ice-cream.

Holding begins on ITV on March 14 at 9pm.

 


Credit: Source

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