ITV has announced a TV adaptation of Graham Norton's funny and tenderly perceptive debut novel, Holding.
Holding will be directed by Kathy Burke, written by Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Karen Cogan and produced by Happy Prince, part of ITV Studios, and Martina Niland for Port Pictures, in association with Screen Ireland.
Olivier award winning actor, Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones, Dublin Murders, Vienna Blood) will take the leading role of local police officer, Sergeant PJ Collins, a gentle mountain of a man, who hides from people and fills his days with comfort food and half-hearted police work.
A teaser shares: "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. PJ finally has to connect with the village he has tried hard to avoid.
"A story of love, secrets and loss, Holding, is a darkly comic tale which shrewdly observes the lives of its characters, each with frailties, complexities and pasts they’d rather keep hidden. The story is a murder mystery laced with dark comedy and centred around the minutiae of rural Irish life."
Graham Norton said: “I am beyond excited to see the story and characters I created being brought to the screen. I love how the brilliant creative team have transformed my novel into something so rich and dramatic. West Cork is ready for its close-up!!”
Director Kathy Burke: commented: "2021 is my 40th year working in the industry and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than directing Holding. It’s a beautiful piece of writing with a great story and fantastic, full bodied characters. All this with glorious West Cork as its setting proved irresistible."
Conleth Hill said: “I’m looking forward to getting to work with Kathy, the cast and crew, Dominic and everyone at Happy Prince on bringing Graham’s brilliant characters and story to the screen.”
ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill said: “Graham’s wonderful book has been brilliantly brought to life by Dom and Karen. Conleth Hill is the perfect PJ, in what is a funny and well observed look at life in a small rural Irish community. It’s testament to the strength of those scripts that Kathy Burke is directing and it will be exciting to see her bring this adaptation to screen.”
Dominic Treadwell-Collins commented: “It’s so exciting to be able to bring Graham’s beautiful novel to the screen with the creative powerhouses that are Kathy Burke and Karen Cogan, with the brilliant Martina Niland producing. To be writing my first scripts alongside Karen and to film with Conleth and such a talented Irish cast and crew in West Cork - where my father was from and my family still are - makes this even more special.”
Karen Cogan added: “The nuance and heart Graham captured in Holding really appealed to me and it’s been a pleasure to delve into these characters' lives to bring them to screen. Working with the clearly magnificent Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Kathy Burke is joyful; and as a Cork woman, it’s especially lovely to be coming home to shoot with Irish cast and crew and this powerful team.”
Holding will be filmed in Ireland across the summer of 2021 with further casting to be announced.