‘Citizen Charlie’ – RTÉ’s TV trilogy charting the rise and fall of former Taoiseach Charles Haughey – will begin production next week, starring Aidan Gillen in the lead role alongside fellow ‘Love/Hate’ actors Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and Laurence Kinlan.
Produced by Touchpaper and Element Pictures, the drama will cover Haughey’s turbulent political career from 1979 to 1992, with Vaughan-Lawlor playing Haughey’s adviser PJ Mara and Kinlan as Independent TD Tony Gregory.
The project was awarded BAI funding for €1m of its €3.7m budget under the original title 'Citizen Charlie’ but is also operating under the working title 'Charlie' - with the official title yet to be finalised.
The series will be directed by Kenny Glenaan and Charlie McCarthy, with other cast members including Lucy Cohu (‘Ripper Street’) as Terry Keane; Gavin O'Connor (‘The Tudors’), Risteard Cooper (Après Match), Peter O'Meara (‘Band of Brothers’) and Frankie McCafferty (‘Ballykissangel’).
Dublin playwright Colin Teevan, whose previous writing credits include episodes of ‘Silk’, ‘Single-Handed’ and ‘Vera’, scripted all three 90 minute instalments.
Jane Gogan, RTÉ Head of Drama, said of the series announcement: ‘We have a fantastic cast lined up to tell a story about one of the most intriguing characters in Irish political life.’
RTÉ One Channel Controller George Dixon described the project as a ‘landmark Irish drama series’, citing ‘Love/Hate’ as proof of the Irish appetite for quality drama.
Producer Catherine Magee added: ‘Element Pictures and Touchpaper Television are delighted to begin production on a trilogy of dramas about Charles Haughey for RTÉ penned by Dublin-born writer Colin Teevan and drawing on the finest of Irish screen talent.’