Conleth Hill as PJ in ITV Drama "Holding", photographed by Conor Horgan

Filming begins in West Cork on Holding, the four part adaption of Graham Norton’s bestselling novel

Academy award winning actress Brenda Fricker will return to television to star alongside Conleth Hill in ITV’s four part adaptation based upon Graham Norton’s funny and tenderly perceptive debut novel, Holding, which is being filmed on location in West Cork and directed by Kathy Burke from a script by Dominic Treadwell-Collins.

Fricker is joined by leading Irish actors Siobhán McSweeney (Derry Girls, Nowhere Special, Collateral), Charlene McKenna (Peaky BlindersVienna Blood, Bloodlands), Helen Behan (Elizabeth is Missing, The Virtues, This is England ’90), and Pauline McLynn (GameFace, Father Ted, Angela’s Ashes).

Completing the cast are Clinton Liberty (Handsome Devil, Normal People), Amy Conroy (The South Westerlies), Olwen Fouéré (Beast), Eleanor Tiernan (Bridget and Eamon), Gary Shelford (Belgavia), Lochlann Ó’Meárain (Smother), Sky Yang (Halo), Demi Issac Oviawe (The Young Offenders), Norma Sheahan (Bridget and Eamon), and Anne Kent (Fair City) with Calum Rea, Jane Spollen, Jim O’Donnell, Pat Kinevane, Karl Quinn, Michael Fry, Maria Connolly, Ian Brooker, Abhainn Harrington, Christopher Logan, Molly Logan, Terhas Gleeson, Ivet Corvea, Gary Murphy and Felix Brown. Casting is by Louise Kiely Casting

Set in the insular fictional village of Duneen, West Cork, on the edge of Ireland, a place with its own climate and rhythms, Holding is a darkly funny and an inherently Irish production with support from Screen Ireland.

Siobhan McSweeney as Brid in ITV Drama “Holding”, photographed by Conor Horgan

Olivier award winning actor, Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones, Dublin Murders, Vienna Blood) plays local  police officer Sergeant PJ Collins, a gentle man who hides from people and fills his days with comfort food and half-hearted police work. He is one of life’s outsiders, lovable, but lonely and a bit rubbish at his job. 

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. Unearthing long buried secrets, PJ finally connects with the village he has tried so hard to avoid.

Siobhán McSweeney (Derry Girls, Nowhere Special, Anthony) plays vulnerable, messy Bríd Riordan. Bríd had been due to marry Tommy before his untimely disappearance, whilst Charlene McKenna is youthful, stuck Evelyn Ross who desperately loved him. The two women are at the heart of the community and neither is above suspicion.

Brenda Fricker takes the role of Lizzie Meany, a shy presence in PJ’s life who has been battling her own demons and secrets  – as PJ comes to discover…

I am ecstatic to be part of this wonderful production, in beautiful Skibbereen, and finally not to be playing a mother! Mrs Meany is a bit of a dark horse. She has had a dreadful life but has retained her values, her friendships and most of all her sense of humour, keep a sharp eye on her.

Brenda Fricker

I cannot think of a better script in a better place with a better cast and crew. I’m in heaven being back in Cork.

Siobhán McSweeney

ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill has commissioned the series for the channel and will oversee production from the broadcaster’s perspective.

Holding is written by Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Karen Cogan for Dominic’s ITV Studios label, Happy Prince, and adapted from Graham Norton’s debut novel of the same title.  The drama is produced by Martina Niland (Once, Sing Street) for Port Pictures in association with Screen Ireland with co-production partners Virgin Media Television.

Holding is in association with, and distributed internationally by, ITV Studios.