Northern Irish drama Hope Street hailed as a ‘breath of fresh air’ as series two returns

The Northern Ireland-based program returns for its second series, having found success with audiences both at home and abroad.

Set in the fictional seaside town of Port Devine and filmed in scenic Donaghadee, the first series drew an average viewership of 1.7 million per episode.

Viewers can expect to discover the fate of Detective Finn O’Hare – played by Ciaran McMenamin – after a dramatic cliffhanger in the final episode of the first season.

Ciaran McMenamin as Inspector Finn O’Hare, Rachel Tucker as Siobhan O’Hare, and Stephen Hagan as DC Alistair ‘Al’ Quinn in Hope Street. Daytime crime drama Hope Street – credited by two of its leading actors as ‘a breath of fresh air’ – is back on screens next week

McMenamin, born in Fermanagh, said being on the show had “invigorated” his love of acting, adding “I’m really having fun”.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the show’s return and alongside other cast members, he got excited about filming in his native Northern Ireland.

He said, “It’s amazing to come home and work on something like this,” adding that “it looks amazing on camera.”

“When you create something anywhere, the 1% of the audience from there is usually the most critical. So I was wondering how it would be at home.

“But people really drank it because it’s pretty positive and it’s a new way of looking at it here. We don’t just dig up all the negative stuff and people really reacted to it.”

He and his on-screen wife Rachel Tucker, who plays Siobhan O’Hare, described the show as “a breath of fresh air”, with the Broadway star adding that she is proud of the portrayal of northern humor -Irish in drama.

She said: “I am proud. I’m really proud of this humor.

“It’s a pure Northern Irish series, it should be so celebrated.”

Executive producer Paul Marquess, who has worked on Coronation Street and Brookside, described it as a throwback drama rather than a soap opera and reiterated comments before the show launched that he had wanted to do something that “not about serial killers or The Troubles”. ”.

He told reporters he wanted the program to be “a character play in which a crime is solved in each episode” by a “group of characters you’d like to spend time with, in a place you’d like to come to.” . and take a little break.

The producer, from Belfast, said he was excited to see the local team given the opportunity to progress, with some who were trainees in the first series having been promoted to bigger roles in the second series.

He said: “They are from here and it is so rewarding to see. They’re smart and capable and they don’t have to leave the six little (counties) to work in this industry, so it’s very satisfying.

This series will see the return of Shameless actor Aaron McCusker as Clint Dunwoody and Niamh McGrady as his partner Nicole Devine, as well as the introduction of new characters including Stephen Hagan as Detective Al Quinn.

The first episode of the second series will air on BBC One Northern Ireland and BBC iPlayer at 7 p.m. on November 7. The series will be available on BBC Daytime in the New Year.

The program is a co-commission between BBC Daytime, BBC Northern Ireland and Britbox International, produced with the support of Northern Ireland Screen.