Adrian Dunbar tells Graham Norton about exploring coastal Ireland for his new TV show

Virgin Radio

31 Jan 2021, 15:16

Beloved Irish actor Adrian Dunbar joined his fellow countryman Graham Norton on Virgin Radio this morning to talk about exploring coastal Ireland on his new TV show and to update fans on the eagerly-anticipated return of Line Of Duty.

Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland, first airing on Thursday 4th February at 8pm on Channel 5, is a two-part series which sees the actor reconnect with his roots as he travels the wild and rugged west and north coasts of Ireland.

Speaking about the perks of filming the show, Adrian told Graham: “I’m just doing what everybody else really wants to do at the minute which is get out in the fresh air, meet some lovely people, eat some great food and see some incredible places.”

Adrian filmed much of the show in Graham’s “neck of the woods”, visiting many places for the first time: “I try to get out to The Skelligs, and people will know The Skelligs from Star Wars and so forth, but they really are the most incredible monastic settlement on this island off the south coast, the Kerry coast. I tried to get out a couple of times before with the family but never made it. They got us out onto it and it really is a big alpha destination. It’s an incredible place, hugely spiritual. I think some of the visuals we have on The Skelligs are just incredible.”

The weather made things tricky though, as Adrian explained: “Things can turn on a sixpence out in that part of the world, as we know from the tragedies of The Fastnet Rock and all that kind of thing. The water, the sea out there is very unpredictable. So we just got lucky, it was starting to boil up a bit, and then beyond that then it just settled, allowing us to get on." 

So was he the only tourist out there? “It was after the end of the first lockdown when we all felt we could get out and do a few things again, so it was in that window, and yes we were the only people allowed on because they’d closed it down for a while to do a few repairs and so forth. So I got the place to myself, which is an absolutely extraordinary thing.” 

Joking about their differing opinions on County Sligo, Adrian said: “It’s the land of your heart’s desire Graham! As W.B. Yeates called it, it’s one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland. It’s stunning, especially its coastline. People tend to just drive through that area, while honestly there’s some absolutely stunning places to visit all the way along the north-east coast."

The pair then moved on to the question on everyone’s lips: when can we see the new series of Line Of Duty?

“The story is this: first of all BBC One are repeating season two from next Saturday night. Beyond that then of course we have finished. We started, like everybody else we stopped in March because of lockdown, and then we picked it up again basically after I did the travel series. It will go out, I suppose, within the next couple of months, I’d imagine."

“We were shooting out of sequence all over the place, so it was kind of tricky getting your head around what all the time is a very complicated story. Is it going to be up to the same standards? We’re on tenterhooks waiting for it to come out.”

“It’s turned into an event of course because people do watch it in real time, because of the storyline, because of the twists and turns. We all tend to do that, sit back and go “here we go”.  So, fingers crossed. Kelly Macdonald is playing the lead this time, and yeah it’s coming soon.”

And will it continue beyond series six?

“I think as long as there’s an appetite from our audience for the show, we’ll keep going. Why would we stop? We’ve managed to keep the standard, Jed (Mercurio, the show’s creator)  rather, has managed to keep the standard so high for so long, and people love the show. I hope it does go on.”

“But of course everything is finite, I see Peaky Blinders is coming off after six fabulous seasons. When it ends, it will end, and we’ll have all had the most wonderful time.”


Adrian Dunbar's Coastal Ireland begins Thursday 4th February at 8pm on Channel 5.

For more great interviews listen to The Graham Norton Radio Show, Saturdays AND Sundays from 09:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.