RTÉ and BBC commit to 'The Young Offenders' TV series

A six-part spin-off of the 2016 hit film will go into production in Cork later this summer

RTÉ and BBC commit to 'The Young Offenders' TV series

Chris Walley and Alex Murphy in 'The Young Offenders' [Element Pictures]

One of the biggest hits at the Irish box office in 2016, The Young Offenders is to be adapted into a six-part comedy series by RTÉ and the BBC.

The award-winning feature film will make the leap to the small screen, with writer-director Peter Foott, who claimed an IFTA for ‘Best Screenplay’, adapting his own characters for the sitcom. Acclaimed producer Martina Niland, best known for her work on Once and Sing Street, will also work on the show.

Inspired by real events, The Young Offenders details the story of two inner-city Cork teenagers, Conor and Jock. The pair embarks on a 160km road trip on stolen bicycles in the hopes of finding an unrecovered bale of cocaine after the story breaks on national news.

Newcomers Alex Murphy and Chris Walley will reprise their roles as Conor and Jock, with Hilary Rose also returning as Conor’s mother Mairéad.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be able to work with the BBC and with RTÉ to bring these characters back to the screen,” said Peter Foott.

“They have been so supportive of the project and will be a wonderful home for it. The public response to the film, and specifically the characters themselves, was just so overwhelming that we really felt there were a lot more stories to tell, so we’re very excited to be doing this as a six-part television series.

“It’s a real honour to have a chance to take these characters on their new adventures and we can’t wait to start filming in Cork.”

A co-production between BBC Three and RTÉ, the TV series will be filmed in and around the rebel county, featuring many of the familiar faces that popped up in the film.

“Peter has created a very sure-footed and wholly original world that combines a winning blend of hilarity, charm and emotional impactful moments,” said Shane Allen, the British broadcaster’s Controller of Comedy.

“It will stand nicely alongside BBC Three stablemates Fleabag, Uncle, This Country and People Just Do Nothing as a sharp and naturalistic portrait of endearing characters with a unique comic voice.”

Eddie Doyle, Head of Comedy at RTÉ, added: “Peter Foott has created something really special with The Young Offenders, as we’re absolutely delighted to be supporting the TV version.

“It is fantastic to see young, home-grown talent take the next step to international TV success.”

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